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.