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What is the price of freedom?
The Wing Commander series of space flight sims is one of the true industry legends, and with its mix of cinematic storytelling and Star Wars-style combat, it offers any space fan the opportunity to live out their dreams. This fourth entry in the series is one of the better ones so if you have any interest in such things, this needs to be in your collection. This one takes a similar direction to its predecessors, being a wonderful blend of complex space opera, including the usual political tensions in the depths of space, and intense dogfighting action. This one finds Christopher Blair, the legendary Heart of the Tiger, being called back to the frontlines from retirement to deal with a mysterious threat that is destroying civilian ships seemingly at random. The game itself is the usual mix of impressive cutscenes featuring well known actors and full-on space combat missions which are dynamic in that the results of one will affect what happens in the next one. The Price of Freedom is one of those games which may well divide gamers. In some ways, it's not much of a game and is more of a movie, as there are a lot of cutscenes to wade through before you get to the action. However, for many, it's this sense of immersion and depth that gives the game its appeal. There's no denying the fantastic production values give it a real sense of being in a sci-fi movie and you really feel like a part of something bigger when you play this. The combat itself is superb, being fast, intense and feeling quite realistic, so if you do like the idea of a real interactive movie, this is one to go for.
Modern enough to be enjoyed by non retro gamers as well
With this 4th iteration Wing Commander had gotten to the point where it was as modern as you could desire and expect it to be. Yeah, the older games in the series were great as well, but they didn't necessarily had mass appeal, especially years after they were released. I'd say that this is not the case anymore with the fourth game because it upped the ante on all sectors. Not the least it excels at immediate playability, as the graphics are no longer just by associating looking like the world of the movies, nope, now they genuinely use ship models that are really top notch, recreations of the Star Wars fighters and what not, and the interiors of the ships (the overlay displays) are also so much better crafted and much useful than ever. The missions haven't changed in what they ask of you: there is a lot of hunting missions, a lot of space combat and exploration and some freight transport missions as well. It's, in many ways, a maturation of the series, and if you are uncertain with the series, starting out with this 4th title will sure be a sure bet.
- Wing Commander Academy Simulation, 1993
- Wing Commander 2 Simulation, 1991
- Wing Commander: Secret Ops Simulation, 1998
- Wing Commander: the Kilrath... Simulation, 1996
- Wing Commander 3: Heart of ... Simulation, 1994
- Wing Commander: Armada Simulation, 1994
- Wing Commander: Privateer Simulation, 1993
- Wing Commander: Unknown Enemy Simulation, 2002