Wing Commander: Secret Ops

Moby ID: 1822

Description official description

Secret Ops continues the story of Wing Commander: Prophecy. Casey and some of his wingmates are transferred to the Confederation's newest cruiser, the TCS Cerberus. They are assigned patrol duties close to the Sol system. However, the bugs are back and this time, they are close to Earth. It's up to Casey to stop their plans once more.

Secret Ops uses essentially the same engine as Prophecy. You can fly upgraded versions of the Prophecy fighters equipped with some new weapons. The story is no longer told with videos but with cutscenes using the game engine.

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Credits (Windows version)

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Reviews

Critics

Average score: 87% (based on 5 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 15 ratings with 2 reviews)

The last really good thing that Origin ever did for it's customers

The Good
How about an add-on mission pack to expand on the kickass Wing Commander Prophecy? Pretty cool, isn't it? Already a kickass action game, WC:Secret Ops set out to give gamers a healthy dose of more of the same while also improving and balancing out some features. You are still that Casey dummy and you and your wing mates have been transferred to the new end-all-be-all carrier (as per WC sequels standard rules) things seem pretty peaceful after Luke Skywalker went awol on the last game and closed the alien portal, but as you start picking off more and more stray fighters you find out that it's not over with those pesky Babylon 5-like aliens, and in fact they are even more closer to home than the last time. Quickly the "cleaning up" feeling will be replaced with some major all-out battlefests and you'll be in the midst of veritable war as you try to protect your carrier and it's crew on it's merry voyage to sol system.

The changes to the game are few, there are some new weapons like the guided rocket pods, and new cluster missiles and some ships have been modified a little particularly the Wasp interceptor/fighter which now sports a more extensive loadout and increased defenses. But otherwise the game still uses the same engine and control scheme so it still plays out like a dream and it still looks pretty nice for it's time.

There are also some new ship models like the cerberus itself, the civilian cruisers, destroyers and there are also some nice additions to old time WC veterans like the inclusion of some Excalibur fighters in a mission, a Vesuvius super-carrier and other extras like 3 different endings... oh yeah, and the fact that it's FUCKING FREE!!!! That's right!! Save for the phone bill for downloading that friggin' 100 megs of ones and zeroes I paid zilch to get this baby and that alone lifts this thing to the skies. Quite frankly I can't believe EA ever could make a thing like this, I mean give us the customers some value??? This is the company that took one of the best developing houses and trashed it into the ground, not to mention the one that rips you off each year with the same game you bought last year with some crappy pop songs added to it in their "EA-Trax" marketing deals... shyeahh!

The Bad
Engine cutscenes are nice and all, but that means we don't get no Stiletto!! Man, that babe was the hottest thing on the original game, and it's still one of the hottest babes ever placed on any computer game... hmmm... Stiletto.... hmmm!! Wonder if Ginger Lynn Allen ever gave her any "acting" classes.... hehehe... er what? Oh, no nothing wrong with this. Move along.

The Bottom Line
Free and good, and FREE and... and... FUCKING FREE MAN!!!

Er...ok, ok. It's a fantastic value for what's essentially still a fantastic action experience with a lot of cool missions and superb gameplay. How's that?

Windows · by Zovni (10503) · 2003

A fascinating way for delivering a top-quality game to the masses...

The Good
Secret Ops is a rare breed. Mainly for 2 reasons. One: It's a free game, and Two: It's a HUGE Free Game.

In my opinion, Origin did Wing Commander fans a great service by providing us with a High-qualtiy game for absolutely nothing. Other than the huge INITIAL download (About 120MB), the game is great. I had the bonus of having a cable modem to download the episode from, so those with a 56K Modem are in for a LONG download time. Thankfully, Origin also hacked the full download into sizeable 20MB chunks.

Well enough of that, let's get into the meat of the meal...

The graphics, are outstanding. I remember playing the original WC series on my 386, and I still remember how jerky and unrealistic it feeled. Not any longer. The flight model rivals X-wing and feels very fluid and graceful (for a fighter game that is). Even on my clunky old P233, the graphics and the special effects are top-notch. There is some slowdown, mostly when fly thorugh an exploded Kilrathi fighter, but other than that, I am very impressed with the games graphics. All the cinemas are done with the game's engine, so the transitions between cinema and flight time are seemless.

The Sound is arguably the best I've heard in a space-sim. Although not as familar as X-wing blasters or the roar of a TIE fighters engines, It sounds REAL good. With the help of the Speech pack Add-on, the in-flight game comes alive with sounds, making the game feel that much more realistic.

The Control is well thought out as well. I'm a huge X-wing fan, so getting used to the different keyboard layout was difficult, but worth getting used to. Too bad there wasn't a way to re-map the keys to your tastes.

And finally, the way it was presented through the internet is still cool. After completing an episode, you receive a Password that unlocks the next episode, and so forth, until the end of the game. As far as I can tell, the Multiple Branches system is still used (i.e., depending on the Success or Failure of each mission determines the next mission you fly), and it still works like a charm.

The Bad
Not much. The game is a fantastic download.

Unfortunately Origin Systems no longer has the Episodes available for download.
Luckily, ingava.com has the individual episodes availble for download off their site, so those who took the effort to download the massive game can enjoy it to it's fullest extent. Also, some of the links at the offical website are bad links, and if you want to download the 20Meg chunks, you might have to go directly to the SecretOps ftp site (ftp-east.sercetops.com or ftp-west.secretops.com) in order to download the game.

The Bottom Line
Bottom Line: It's Free :)

But seriously, I applaud Origin System for giving back to its loyal customers by way of this game. I hope other game developers take note of this and also start offering great games for free. At least a way of saying "thank you" to all the devoted gamers in the world that helped them become the companies they are today.

It's a fantastic space-sim that is worthy of the name Wing Commander. Download it today, or Buy it in the Wing Commander:Propechy/SecretOps Cd Package.

Either way, you'll be treated to a fantastic space sim.

Windows · by Chris Martin (1158) · 2001

Trivia

Cut-scenes

All the "cut-scenes" in the game are rendered in the game engine itself. While this is nothing really new (Starsiege did that long before Secret Ops), it was a first for an Origin game.

Release history

Secret Ops was distributed for free over internet, being one of the earliest games that was split into several downloads that were released at different times. Starting August 27th, 1998, when the basic game files and the first missions were released, a new episode containing six to eight missions was made available weekly over a period of seven weeks. These missions, were activated with a code you received when you finished the last mission of the previous download. Fiction leading in to a new episode was released on the Secret Ops website a few days prior to the actual episode release. The scheduled releases ended on October 31st, 1998.

Information also contributed by Kasey Chang, Zzap

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Related Sites +

  • Secret Ops Mission Packs
    This is the website to download the remaining 6 mission packs after you download the Full game and/or Sppech Pack

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  • MobyGames ID: 1822
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Terok Nor.

Additional contributors: Trixter, Chris Martin, Alaka.

Game added June 28, 2000. Last modified January 19, 2024.