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Superb Star Wars-style thrills
The space-based flight sim genre has rarely been seen games of the quality of the Wing Commander series, with only the likes of Freelancer and the X-Wing franchise really standing out. This sequel to the classic original Wing Commander expands on its predecessor's mix of exciting Star Wars-style dogfighting and gripping storyline to create a first-rate sci-fi experience. The basic gameplay remains similar, with players taking part in a series of campaign-based missions as part of the ongoing conflict between the Terran Federation and the feline Kilrathi. Several new ships are added to the mix as are new weapons and which provide plenty of opportunities for inventive tactics as you engage in bombing runs, escort duties and out-and-out dogfights in the depths of space. The series' trademark cinematic storytelling is also expanded here, with lots of nicely animated cutscenes that further the engaging plot and which are well-directed and edited and which feature some early examples of voice-acting in games. A few other changes have been incorporated, with the story now more linear than previously, while you cannot receive medals or promotions and your wingmen cannot die. However, these are minor considerations and don't really impact much on the quality of the gameplay, which is up to the same high standards as established in the first game. If you want a thrilling space-opera experience that offers up lashings of action and adventure, this has to be near the top of the list. The graphics and sound are spectacular for their age, while the gameplay itself is fast, exciting and varied so for a modern take on Elite, this must be checked out.
Brought the new genre even further
There are those that would not give Wing Commander its deserving spot as a definitive icebreaker of a game, at least for a niche of space fighter games. However, while the recipe itself was not invented by these games, and some would like to go back in time to the time of Elite there are things that Wing Commander implemented in the way it did for the first time. And, those innovations are furthermore polished, rehashed and made more enjoyable by this second game. As you'd expect, the graphics in this one are quite a departure from the more blocky ones of the original. However, while mesh quality and texture quality might not be at an all time high, what has improved even more is the actual fluidity of the animations; that means that the time it takes to draw a frame in this game has been reduced quite a bit, which makes this game so much more enjoyable. So, yeah, you'll pick up where the first game kind of left you, you now have to prove to the world that you were imprisoned for nothing, which will be done through loads of space missions, and by lots of diverse gameplay. Totally fun and totally worth playing for space flight sim fans.
- Wing Commander Academy Simulation, 1993
- Wing Commander: The Secret ... Simulation, 1991
- Wing Commander: Privateer Simulation, 1993
- Wing Commander: Armada Simulation, 1994
- Wing Commander: Secret Ops Simulation, 1998
- Wing Commander 3: Heart of ... Simulation, 1994
- Wing Commander: the Kilrath... Simulation, 1996
- Wing Commander: Unknown Enemy Simulation, 2002