Written by  :  Richard Carrington (4)
Written on  :  Aug 21, 2000
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  4.67 Stars4.67 Stars4.67 Stars4.67 Stars4.67 Stars

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This game is the best of the series...

The Good

Strangely enough when I started playing this game I became immersed in the plot, the characters and the cool FMV. It took me back to when I first played Wing Commander on a friend's Amiga. I guess that when I played it solid for eight hours one evening, flying several missions and getting right inside the spirit of the game (something, with the exception of Wing Commander 4) I have not been able to recreate in terms of experience since that the true meaning of Interactive Movie became known to me personally. The game allows you to select various degrees of difficulty and the keyboard (the most important part) settings were at once intuitive and sensible. I had hoped that somewhere a gamer would create a game with WC3 compatble key stokes, similar to "Wordstar compatible" keystrokes. I miss this in other games. The fact it runs in DOS meant that I could play it full window under Windows 95 on my P75 with 24MB ram and 1MB VRAM card, unlike todays monstrousities which would be happier running on a server with a very fast CPU and tons of RAM, not to mention a graphics card with an amount of Ram of biblical proportions.

The Bad

The fact that it crashed when I had done four missions straight off and hadn't bothered to save it. The fact that I broke the joystick pounding away at Kilrathi. The fact that it it didn't like certain sound cards, and because it was a DOS based game took a dim view of Windows 98 attempts to "interpret" how it should run. I also found some of the missions truly insane, such as the one where if you don't cloak you go into an endless loop of Kilrathi fighters popping out of nowhere, etc. Some of the plot was a bit mediocre and when replaying, unless you had a suitable save game entry point you had to do the whole lot again to get to whichever mission you wanted.

The Bottom Line

An excellent DOS based space combat sim with cool effects, FMV and a decent storyline (unlike the Prophecy series which was just plain (a) boring and (b) virtually impossible to play on the machine I was using. If you play just one game in the Wing Commander series this is the one to get. Rec Sys Req: P90, 16MB Ram,1 MB graphics card, SB 16 P&P sound card,Port 220, IRQ5 DMA 1