Star Wars: TIE Fighter

Moby ID: 240

Critic Reviews add missing review

Average score: 90% (based on 20 ratings)

Player Reviews

Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 117 ratings with 14 reviews)

Great game that lived up to my expectations.

The Good
* Newtonian story line [the game push the story to you as hard as you push the game], ability to join the inner circle.

  • On top of getting the mission accomplished message the player gets to receive medals for extraordinary fits in battle.

  • The GFX and GUI are adequate to the time of it's conception.

  • The player get to fly a wide variety of crafts.

  • Enemy deployment noted in Intel reports plays a key role in craft armament phase.

  • Different locations for each of the chapters adds to the games richness.

  • the ability to change chapters even with out finishing them first decrease frustration level, the player can get back to a hard mission later on.

  • GOOD old Star Wars music.

    The Bad
    * No personalization to the character accept for the different medals the player receives.

  • No personalization to the player's craft, in real life pilots and army vets usually know that "your weapon is a part of your body" and that your craft is your weapon. Tie fighter takes the least personalized "Oh-spawn-already!" approach.

  • Good OLD Star Wars music.

    The Bottom Line
    To make a long story short: Tie fighter was created in times when GFX weren't enough to make a real impact on sales since there was no real ability to have complexed graphics. The story line got the job done and let the player feel like he wasn't the bad guy even if he flew for the empire, unless of course you wanted to run secret errands for the emperor and be accepted in to the ranks of the dark society of the Imperial intelligence, that's a whole lot different story... I've been playing PC\console games for well over 20 years now and to my humble opinion is that lucasarts really maxed out their investment on this game. I personally hope that lucasarts will remember us joystick people and will make a "Freelancer\Parkan II\X3:reunion"-ish style game ;) Tie Fighter gives you the thrills of a good flight sim while involving you in a story line that takes you on a too well traveled though shady path. Two thumbs up, WAY UP!

[...and these are just few words of this great lucasarts game]

DOS · by tuxu tuxu (2) · 2008

A masterpiece of the space-sim genre.

The Good
There is a good deal to like about TIE Fighter. First of all, of course, is a chance to fly for the Empire in all of its technologically advanced starfighters. All the elements that made X-Wing so great are there and there are several improvements. The graphics are excellent, the sound appropriate, and the famed Williams soundtrack is, of course, there to accompany you for the ride. The missions are exciting and interesting, with multiple goals to accomplish. You can get through the game by accomplishing only the main goals of the missions, as assigned to you by your commanding officer, but there are also hidden goals, often assigned to you by a secret agent of the Emperor. The dogfighting action is great and the new variety of weapondry makes it even better, adding such goodies as space-bombs and rockets. The Tour of Duty is the best of this game. Though there are "simulator" missions, like X-Wing┬┤s "Historical Missions", this time around most of them are simple training exercises and not too challenging, though there are some real nutcrackers there. The final nice feature and a great improvement over X-Wing is the ability to back-up your pilot┬┤s illustrious career, just in case you get blasted to kingdom come in the next mission.

The Bad
Can┬┤t think of anything in particular, except that joystick support for the Gravis Blackhawk is horrid (it kept jumping to the side when I was trying to get a good bead). It works great with a Sidewinder, however.

The Bottom Line
A great space-sim set in the inspiring stage of the Star Wars universe.

DOS · by Steelysama (82) · 2000

The elite: The best action game ever made for a PC.

The Good
TIE Fighter is, in every respect, a perfect PC game. There isn't any aspect of video games not to like here.

You want graphics and sound? TIE Fighter was years ahead of the competition, and even today it looks great. You want exciting, heart-pounding action? Here it is; go up against a swarm of X-Wings and your adrenaline will be coming out your eyes. You want cool ships? Nobody has cooler ships than Star Wars, and they're all here to either fly or blow up (and there are 5-6 flyable fighters, too, not just the regular old TIE.) Great backstory? (Actually, backstories?) Check. Awesome, varied, balanced, thrilling missions? They're all here.

Every nuance of a good dogfighting game is here without any of the irritating overhead. The mission briefings are detailed and as clear as day, yet avoid overburdening you with too much info. Enemy and friendly AI are excellent. Menu screens are easily navigated. Situation awareness and targeting - in fact- everything to do with flying your ship - are all easy.

The Star Wars games since TIE Fighter have all been good, but they haven't yet matched this masterpiece. If you don't have TIE Fighter, get it right away; seven years later, it's still better than almost any game on the shelf.

Ranks as my second-best game of all time, behind only "Civilization II."

The Bad
Nothing. This is a perfect game.

The Bottom Line
A classic of video gaming and a must-have for anyone who owns a PC and a joystick.

DOS · by Rick Jones (96) · 2001

Note to self: Buy a joystick

The Good
Action, action, action. And teamplay. That about sums it up. Just that feeling: dozens of ship around, fighting with each other, and you're one of them. NOT one against all, but a part of a team. You're not special, you just go out there and do your job - take out as many of the enemy's ships as you can, keep an eye on the special objectives and hope others are succesful in doing the same.

The combat itself is mostly a case of moving your joystick (or in my case, mouse) frantically around so that you get your chances of landing some hits on the evil (er) critter buzzing all around and trying to kill you. There is a bit more complicated thinking going on BEFORE you entire close combat - ie, when you approach your enemy you could try weakening him with some missiles, and you have to be really careful to dodge in the last moment before he hits you straight on with laser fire (killing you in seconds) - but once you're past that stage, it's just mindless fun, killing your controller of choice by whacking it about like crazy, trying to guess which way the enemy will go and then getting an immense feeling of satisfaction as after 2 minutes of chasing that elusive spot in your radar suddenly in 5 seconds you get 5 hits in and lower his shields to 10%. And before he gets the shields back, second-guess his move, get on his tail, equalize speeds and blow the sucker out of the sky. Then mutter to yourself: "one down, three to go", or something of that nature, and get on to the next one. If that doesn't speak FUN in very large letters to you, then you probably haven't tried it yet.

Teamplay is, to be honest, probably not that important a STRATEGIC element in the game, but for entertainment value, no Wing Commander dramatics can stand close. You've got your dopey Y-wings all sorted out? There's your wingman battling a wily A-wing 2 k's off - so switch to missiles, get your target fixed and help him out (missiles are only good for middle-distance fighting, when you're up close and personal it's lasers only). Or perhaps it's a routine clean-up mission, four of you against some X-wings and A-wings: throw out all your missiles on the A-wings, move in, engage the X-wings, bang bang, your teammate's lowered his shields to nothing, you do the rest - then you return the favor, leaving some poor X-Wing roaming about on no shields and 50% damage so that one of your wingmen gets an easy kill. Or perhaps you have your base ship with it's heavy laser fire in this mission, and can draw your enemies in towards it's range and watch them being burned alive in all the lovely beautiful GREEN (that's your allied color) laser fire. In short, winning in this game is a total blast (on losing, read the Bad section).

And another thing which makes this game different from WC (that's Wing Commander not Warcraft) is the general mission design: three words, Matter of Fact. No soap opera going on here - exactly like the actual mission gameplay, the grand plot is just the Evil Empire getting on with its evil business. Settle a civil war, destroy a rebel outpost, defend the building of your own outpost in order to battle space piracy. And it all goes about slowly, one engagement after another as you gradually take the conflict in your hands, or as your outpost is gradually constructed, or as you gradually move in on the rebel's location. Realism rather than drama, and WC fans will probably be bored but for me, it just adds to the immersion effect. Not to mention the schematic mission briefings, the weathered old pilot with his wise (and practically useful) words of advice, the emperor's agent with his "special tasks" and the stars and secret tatoos you get for it all. No big deal as far as rewards go (certainly not if compared with FMV cutscenes) but that's what this game is about - not the loud pomp of saving the galaxy, but the quiet satisfaction of killing 8 Y-wings in one mission.

The Bad
Well, the flipside of the coin is that though the winning totally kicks ass, the losing is REALLY REALLY irritating. Your ship is just as vulnerable as all the others, so if you have a stroke of bad luck (enemy getting on your tail), within 5 seconds the mission might be over for you. And you have to replay it from the start. This is okay with the fun missions - I don't really mind going out against all those hordes of Rebel small craft cannon fodder one more time - but if the mission we're talking about is one of those buggeries with a "twist" in it, then it gets really annoying. The "twist" I'm talking about here is generally along these lines: you have a weakling ship to watch out for WHILE you're battling an armada of enemy ships, or you have big huge enemy ships that kill you in approximately 0.005 seconds time if you don't watch out or hammer them out with missiles right from the start (which isn't very easy to do). Or, most absolutely worst of all, you have a field of about 20 floating mines which are nearly impossible to target and which continously fire lasers at you. And I'm talking NORMAL DIFFICULTY here! If that's normal difficulty, then who needs enemies?

The Bottom Line
Splashes of laser fire on an X-Wing's warm twisting wet body. The crossfires turning blood red on the enemy battle cruiser. You shields down to nothing and suddenly the screen turning green from allied fire. If dated (though servicable) graphics don't bug you, those are the things you'll be eating and drinking and having sex with for the next two or three full days after buying this game. Good luck.

DOS · by Alex Man (31) · 2002

The definition of the genre.

The Good
What happens when you combine LucasArts' art talent, music staff, programmers and producers? This happens. You get another classic. A classic with a movie license. Normally an irony beyond compare, it's proven completely wrong here.

TIE Fighter put Star Wars on the space sim map. Heck I think it was the first good Star Wars game made. X-Wing was far too hard for most people, TIE Fighter fixed that. TIE Fighter's graphics engine was fast, detailed, and 3D (unlike Wing Commander back then.) The characters were pulled from the best series of Star Wars books ever (Tim Zahn's.)

I need to put some emphasis on the soundtrack. It has to be some of the most creatively engineered MIDI ever. Michael Land said in an interview that TIE Fighter was one of his most difficult challenges. He, Peter McConnel and Clint Bajakian wanted to give the Star Wars soundtrack a little spice, a 'rock'n'roll' attitude. In my opinion they pulled it off marvelously. The IMuse music system also got a workout, giving the player music which changed style according to the action. I think the only issue with the music is that you need a high end DOS MIDI card to hear it properly. If they had been able to make it streaming digital music instead of MIDI I think this soundtrack would be on CD.

The Bad
I always thought it kinda portrayed you as the invulnerable TIE pilot. A single TIE Fighter placed in the right spot could destroy a Star Destroyer. That's pretty unrealistic. But, it's fun! The gameplay may come off as too easy to some but remember, you ARE having FUN!

The Bottom Line
The classic of classic space sims. It's Star Wars. It's the good 'ol LucasArts from when they were an unbeatable development house. It's FUN!

DOS · by Deleted (33) · 2002

A superb flight-sim! A step up from X-Wing, an already great game.

The Good
I loved the ability to adjust the difficulty level. I also liked having the option of various goal levels so that you could survive the tough missions and rack up major points on the easy one.

The Bad
Like the X-Wing game, I thought the maze race was so-so. I may not have played that part enough to get the "full enjoyment" out of it. I'm not sure yet how I would have improved it, but it seemed awfully boring.

The Bottom Line
Despite being 6 years old, this game is still highly competitive with current games. It's definitely a classic worth replaying over and over again.

DOS · by Spectre (127) · 2000

A game that makes you wonder - did George Lucas skip on movie starring you?

The Good
The game itself is simple - you fly around with your high-tech spacecraft and destroy others. However the best part of the game is the constant challenge. Disintegrating "bad guys" is not enough. You must protect cargo vessels from enemies and so on, similarly to some other space sims, but sometimes it is needed to defend a disabled enemy from your own of being destroyed. And there is of course, awesome variety of vessels for you to fly. Starting with the original Tie Fighters, Bombers and Interceptors, later come the Advanceds and Defenders (in the Defender of the Empire expansion pack). And besides the Ties there are Assault Gunboat with its superior successor Missile boat. The story is linear - your success in the game is in no way affecting the story. But in the story there are some great cinematic sequences that remind you all of the Star Wars movies.

The Bad
Besides everything there are some lackings in the game. You can not choose ship for your mission and sometimes not even the weaponry. If you deliberately fail a mission (to eliminate Darth Vader or the Emperor) you are forced to refly the mission. Although the game does not require a joystick, it is almost impossible to fly without one. Keyboard is too slow for even fine aiming and mouse...well, after first week of playing, half of my mouse pad was stuck under my mouse.

The Bottom Line
It is worth playing if you like space sims of Star Wars trilogy. However, it is not free for downloading and when you need to invest some of your hard-earned money into it, you would probably prefer newer versions of the game, maybe X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter.

DOS · by tige kala (4) · 2003

Classic sequel to 'X-Wing'

The Good
The sequel to 'X Wing', 'Tie Fighter' added lots of improvements whilst not reducing the essential good-ness of the original. The most important addition is a difficulty slider - 'Tie Fighter' can be completed by mortal people. The plot, in which you defend the galaxy from from evil Rebel terrorists, is a nice touch. The graphics have been overhauled, and despite being gourad-shaded polygons they're effective, and move swiftly on a 486 DX/33. 'iMuse' is back (you get to hear the Imperial march in AdLib FM), and it's generally a more satisfying game, with a wider range of ships and an incentive to play it in the harder difficulty levels in the form of advancement into a 'secret society'. As a single-player game it's much more satisfying than the disappointing 'X Wing Vs Tie Fighter', too.

The Bad
Truth be told, there isn't much wrong with this game. Some of the unfair, 'protect the vulnerable crates / transports' missions are back from 'X-Wing', but they're toned-down. Even the fact that you're flying an unarmoured light fighter isn't a great problem, as you're deceptively tough. The biggest problem is technical - it's quite possible this game won't work with your modern machine due to difficulties with VESA drivers.

The Bottom Line
Still great fun today, an addictive space combat game with ridiculously cool space hardware.

DOS · by Ashley Pomeroy (225) · 2000

For me, this defined Star Wars...

The Good
I got this game in Christmas '96 when I was a whole lot younger, and it's something I'll always remember. I'd wanted this game for 2 years, having obtained the demo version from a magazine. It was worth the wait (although I wish I hadn't had to), and I ended up ruining that Christmas by playing it the entire day! Didn't get far, of course. It betters X-Wing in a fair few aspects (I got this before X-Wing), and it is very appealing to take the side of the ''bad guys'', so to speak. You get a far wider range of craft selection in this game, from the standard TIE Fighter to the futuristic Missile Boat. The new speech effects in-game are enjoyable and provide yet another sense of "realism" to this fantasy universe.

The Bad
I feel the game tagged off a bit when you begin to fight traitors in every mission. It gets fairly confusing fighting craft that appear to be one of yours, yet you end up getting a laser going straight through your engine.

The sound effects in this game are relatively poor, apart from the voices. I have to say I much preferred X-Wings 'classic Star Wars' sound effects. The game can also crash, and the sound gets stuck, resulting in a required reboot.

The Bottom Line
There are bad things, as with many games, but this game is brilliant. I recommend the Collectors Edition for people who have not yet obtained this game. The 'more realistic' version that comes with X-Wing/TIE FIghter and X-Wing VS Tie Fighter Limited Edition is not worth the hassle. It requires a fairly fast pc with at least Win95 to run properly, which is a very unlikely combination in this day and age, so I strongly advise getting the original editions.

This game defined Star Wars for me, and it's not too late for it to do that to you.

DOS · by Quackbal (45) · 2005


The Good
WHERE DO I START!!! In 1994 I was already a game vet with 7 years of great gaming experience, when my friend said you have to try TIE FIGHTER. At that time I had only ever liked one filight sim of any type. (F-15 II,Microprose) I had bought with much lothing other flight sims that made me a usual customer at the return desk of EB. I had looked at X-Wing and then Tie FIghter in stores but scoffed at them and said you will never see me buy that thing! One day at my friends house I watched him play and 3 minutes later after he agreed to let me take it for a spin, I was on way home faster than the law allows. 6 glorious years later It is still on my hard drive (note it has outlasted 3 computers) and just yesterday I was out and fighting for the empire. I wont bother to tell you why it is so good just trust me, "buy it borrow it plead for it rent it what ever just try it". WSM

The Bad
I wish that the medal section of the game was as cool as X-wing.

The Bottom Line
See above section if you still havent went to buy it.

DOS · by William Shawn McDonie (1131) · 2000

Another one of my all time favorites.

The Good
More laser blasting, high speed chasing, dog fightin' than you could ever ask for. Wonderful graphics, amazing sound track, and a whole lotta fun.

The Bad
Only that you aren't fighting for the Rebels.

The Bottom Line
Another space shooter well worth your money from Lucas Arts.

DOS · by Attila (553) · 2001

A terrific space 'sim' in the Star Wars universe.

The Good
Well, what is there not to like?-) I mean, the graphics are quite good, cutscenes and in-game both, gameplay is great if you like Wing Commanderish games, the missions have quite nice variety and cool plot twists, and the musics.. yes, the musics are fantastic, they are full of Star Wars feel and they are dynamic, and you can easily see how well you fare in combat just by listening to the musics.. :) And, you get to fly on the bad guys' side, which is not all that usual. In fact, I rather stick with the dark side!-) Plus, the CD version has all the in-game speeches digitized so the feeling is quite awesome.. although Darth Vader sure as heck doesn't sound like James Earl Jones.. which is odd since you'd think Lucasarts would be rich enough to hire authentic crew... :(

The Bad
The only thing that goes here is that the campaign is not a bit dynamic; It doesn't branch or anything and if you fail a mission objective you either just exit to DOS or try the mission 'till you get through...

The Bottom Line
A great space 'sim' (I use the word veeery loosely here), a Star Wars game, and overall a great space battle experience!

DOS · by RmM (68) · 1999

The good guys ALWAYS win. Right?

The Good

Story: See what life is like on the OTHER side of the cockpit, you are a new enlisment in to the Imperial Navy, your goal is to serve the Emperor at all costs. The brillant story line continues right from X-wing's ending and goes from mucking up the rebels attempts at escaping Hoth, to stopping a traitor from stealing an experimental cloaking device, all that is star wars is in here. All the events lead up to the eve of the battle of Endor.

Menu: Like X-wing, the corridors of an imperial Star destroyer, the doors all open up to different rooms

Graphics: Note I am pretending that I am still living in 1994 not 2001 Oh... they are good. Still the same from X-wing but with new lighting effects explosions reflect off your craft, new ships (YT-1300 says "HI") and new weapons (I think 6) Plus two secret new star fighters that link in well with the story. And well done cutscenes are also included, with a very nice one to end it all off with.

Sound: Possibly the best MIDI version of the Star Wars sound track, all voiced by talented actors, Darth Vader ever has a good portrayer. Weapons, shield frying collisions, it's all there.

Gameplay: Ok, a large and fun training course, then it's onto holographic training gounds then the battle front. Missions can be recorded and viewed at your own free will. A virtual ship data base is also inculded with free rotating craft. The missions range from the simple inspect all craft (Ewok giblets are intersting cargo) to the more important: Defend the Emperor (With Darth Vader at your side) Varied, never boring, all voiced. Missions are breifed by your common officer and a cloaked Secret Service agent (Who gives you nice tattoos, along with the medals you can win)

The Bad
Some of the later missions were very hard, some training missions pitted you against 8 X-wings. And at times you often fell asleep during boarding missions, but that is about it.

The Bottom Line
X-wing's brilliant story is continued, may the force (Hopefully dark) be with you.

DOS · by Sam Hardy (80) · 2001

Star Wars combat at it's best

The Good
The fact that it's Star Wars means that you will wan to play this, only the difference is that you get to play as the Empire, that means instead of X-Wings, you can now play as a Tie Fighter!. There are planty of missions that will keep you busy, also the film room mode that allowed you to view your mission like a mini movie (a rather good feature in X-Wing) is also in this game.

The Bad
The missions can get a bit on the hard side and there are too many controls, but then that's the problem with flight games.

The Bottom Line
If you like Star Wars, and flight games, then you will really want to check this out

DOS · by Grant McLellan (584) · 2001

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Patrick Bregger, Tomas Pettersson, shphhd, Scaryfun, Wizo, Alsy, Tim Janssen, DJ OldGames, Sun King, mailmanppa, Cantillon, yenruoj_tsegnol_eht (!!ihsoy).