Following the collapse of Soviet Union, USA began to dominate the politics of the Commonwealth of Independent Nations. Islamic countries started a global jihad against the Western world, and as a result, petroleum has become an even more rare and valuable resource. In a chain of events, Alaska declared independence, and major powers of the world began fighting over its oil-rich territory. Japan turned into the world's most powerful nation, while United States and the Catholic Church were weakened; by the year 2011, humanity's dreams of unification have become completely shattered, and the fate of the world was decided by mercenary organizations.
Similar to Wing Commander
in gameplay style and visual presentation, Strike Commander
is a flight simulator with action-oriented combat. You lead a rag-tag mercenary fighter squadron known as the Wildcats, trying to make a living in a dangerous, chaotic world. Somewhat simplified dogfights in your blackmarket-purchased F-16s are supplemented by interactive cutscenes where you converse with your teammates, or go into town to buy new contracts.
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The Press Says
Included inside the "Sudden Death" manual is a 2-page article from Chris Roberts
describing how difficult it was to create the game and likening his experiences to the film Heart of Darkness
, a documentary on the creation of the film, Apocalypse Now
Origin had released posters touting the original release date of Strike Commander
. Such posters are real collector's item now, as the game was two years late and still runs like a dog on most systems then.
A mock magazine named "Sudden Death" (meant for Mercs working out of Turkey) was contained in each copy of Strike Commander
(it was released in Acrobat PDF format in the subsequent CD versions) that detailed the economic, historical, and political background behind the game's "post-depression" setting. Within it were several articles portraying some of the many characters in the game, as well as a collection of humorous advertisements.
One article is the interview with a retired "enforcer" (a mercenary specializing in punishing those who renege blood contracts from "fixers" and wealthy contractors) whose trademark slogan is "Gule, gule" (Go cheerfully). The meaning of this trademark becomes apparent as well as his other slogan, "The gun for the brave, the knife for the coward."
was so ambitious that it began development in 1991 with features that then-current 386 processors couldn't handle adequately, (such as real-time true 3D texture mapping with Gouraud shading, fractal terrain, and atmospheric hazing of distant objects). Numerous optimizations were made in an attempt to get the game running smoothly, but Strike Commander
was one of the first games to attempt such a complex engine, and optimized 3D texturing techniques weren't prevalent in the industry. By the time the average gaming machine was a 486/33, the game shipped, nearly two years later.
The game's notoriety for being unplayably slow on average gaming machine's reached far and wide, even into PC Magazine cartoons (one particular joke was about how trying to run Strike Commander
on OS/2 with a defrag running at the same time used up so much power that lights dimmed throughout the house). By the time a greatly-optimized version (almost 3 times as fast) version was released, it was too little too late.
Information also contributed by
Kasey Chang and
- Computer Gaming World
- November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) – #15 Top Vaporware Title in Computer Game History
- GameStar (Germany)
- Issue 12/1999 - #95 in the "100 Most Important PC Games of the Nineties" ranking
- PC Powerplay (Germany)
- Issue 11/2005 - #9 Game Which Absolutely Needs A Sequel