The best space combat sim of it's time, and my favourite still.
The first thing that grabbed my eye when I spied it on the shelf were the graphics. Simply ubelievable for the time. As I drove home with it I found myself guessing that the graphics on the box must all be from cut sequences and was AMAZED to find out they were the graphics from the simulation itself.
The character interactions were wonderful. I really had a sense of getting closer to the other pilots.
The combat was just difficult enough to make it challenging. I'm one of those freaks who, if he dies, starts the game over from scratch and replays. I finally did beat this series front to back without losing a single man and felt an overwhelming sense of accomplishment.
One aspect that hasn't been mentioned in other reviews - the branching storyline. This, to my mind is a MUST in games of this nature, but is so seldom implemented. I HATE games that, if you fail in a mission force you to replay it. There's no sense of cohesive story there. This game actually altered the storyline based on your success or failures, but NEVER made you replay a failed mission. Absolutely brilliant.
My main gripe with this game is that it doesn't run on my 400 mhz machine. I'd play it before I'd play it's more modern aspects like WC IV.
There is a small flaw in the game logic - as long as you survive the final mission, you win. Therefore (although I didn't win this way my first time through) if you really want to beat the game, just eject as soon as you leave the Tiger's Claw on the final mission. You survive and somehow remain responsible for destroying the Kilrathi base.
The Bottom Line
An amazing feat of technology for its time, a whole lot of fun, and my favourite simulator in any genre ever.