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Wing Commander (DOS)

95
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.1
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Olivier Masse (421)
Written on  :  Oct 20, 1999
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars
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Summary

Not only an action game: A breakthrough in interactive fiction.

The Good

I'll start with the technical aspects. First of all, the game was perfectly playable on a 286, albeit you had to get rid of some details. The music was also really good; sound cards were being used since a maximum of two years in 1990 and this game really set a standard in terms of music quality.

Along from the very beginning at the credits, you were immersed in what looked more like a movie rather than a game. Nice cut scenes, briefings, funerals and chit chat in the mess hall gave a never-before-seen dimension to this game. All of this on three 5 1/4 HD disks!

Some might disagree with me on this as I don't have a huge gaming portfolio, but this was the first game that I've played that featured interactive fiction which you really felt that you were part of. You could talk to other characters and get to know them; rather than seeing an idle image or a text description of the characters, you saw them interact with you. This really contributed to give a more realistic image of the game.

WC was the first game in which I've somewhat got involved personally. I was so inside the game itself that I remember feeling really bad when one my colleagues was KIA. I've never felt anything like that again in a game afterwards.

I must have got used to it.

The Bad

On a system with low memory (1 Mb), some options were disabled, such as seeing the face of people who talked to you on your radio.

The game was difficult, and I eventually got discouraged. That's too bad, as I didn't have the opportunity to see the ending.

The Bottom Line

In perspective, a trend-setter. Most games now feature lots of cut scenes and cinematographic elements, but I still believe Wing Commander was the first to do it so sharply.