Written by  :  Trixter (9128)
Written on  :  Apr 27, 1999
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars

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A worthy start to a long and successful series.

The Good

Wing Commander gave gamers a product that was not only a new (for the time) first-person perspective pseudo-3D space shooter, but also had a storyline with an engaging story and well-drawn characterization.A first for games of the time, music was very well done, thanks to The Fat Man and his team. The music was also "aware" of the action, and increased or reduced tension depending how much trouble you were in.

The Bad

The artists chose to use the color blue when drawing highlights in black hair. (This is where the main character, Blair, got his nickname "Blue-Hair".) This isn't really a massive flaw, but it lowers the graphics down to the comic-book level occaisionally.

The pseudo-3D engine didn't have any minimum-distance clipping, so when you got close to a ship, you really got close to a ship. The resulting pixelicious display that resulted slowed the game down to a crawl on low-end systems.

Speaking of low-end systems, this game performed perfectly on them--but was way too fast on high-end systems out at the same time, like a 386/33. Tsk tsk, Origin... needed to do better planning. (This speed problem was eliminated in The Kilrathi Saga, a re-release of the first three Wing Commander games rewritten for Windows 95.)

The Bottom Line

An instant classic. If you haven't played it, you owe it to yourself to play the game through to completion.