Well Zoe is finally off to sleep and I've been playing for about an hour now. I'm impressed with the overall graphics and sound and feel of the game. The music is really great and the new voices sound good too. I absolutely love the new cockpit!
The ships, stations, planets, skyboxes and effects all look great. The particles whizzing by, give a real sense of motion especially when looking out the side windows of the cockpit.
The stability is great. I'm running on Vista Ultimate and haven't had a single crash up to this point. The only glitch I've seen is when looking towards the rear view. My pilot seems to be missing a few triangles of textures in a few places. Its probably a video driver issue. (I'm running the Nvidia 169.09's as the last couple driver's control panel settings weren't working properly and I haven't had much time to mess with the newer ones.) I'll try turning off multisampling and a few other things to see if that clears it up.
It is also really, really nice that the entire manual and commands are available in game. I've been playing the BC series from the beginning and its nice to have access to the docs and commands at the press of a button as many things have changed over the years.
There are a few things that might need a bit of tweaking.
I failed the first mission the first time out because I was waiting for orders for Echo 00 (me). Echo 01 and 02 were ordered to check out the Mercury region and I didn't realize I was supposed to go too. By the time I started getting warnings about not following orders it was too late for me to make it to Mercury before being relieved of command.
I also started with the high level enemy combat tactics on, but had to turn them off because I was having a bit too much trouble hitting the enemy fighters with my laser shots. I'm using the joystick for controls and the dogfighting was a bit tough. I tried switching to mouse control thinking I might be a bit more precise with my shooting but the sensitivity was too low and I couldn't turn my ship fast enough. A mouse sensitivity adjustment might be needed. (Maybe I'll try the X-box controller instead. BTW nice that it is supported!)
After a while I got the hang of it and was able to clear out Mercury with little difficulty.
I think the ship speeds will need a bit of adjusting though. Upon returning to the Saturn region I was told by the GCV Excalibur that I was able to return to base to dock and re-arm. The only problem is that I can't fly fast enough to catch up to the Excalibur! I had sustained a little bit of damage at Mercury but had only lost a little off my top speed. Even so, there is no way I'll catch up with the Excalibur unless it stops or I get lucky and it flys straight at me. The cap ships might need to be a bit slower to allow the fighters to catch them.
Overall, I'm having a fantastic time playing and I'm off for another round.
Looks like a winner to me!