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Wing Commander

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Released: 1990

Genre: Shoot-’em-up

Format reviewed: PC - Windows

Publisher: Origin Systems

Developer: Origin Systems

Submitted by: Gnome KD

Origin, Richard Garriott's legendary company and home of the Ultima series, released Wing Commander back in 1990 and proved that DOS PCs (IBM compatibles -remember?) were finally overtaking the Amiga and them 16-bit consoles in terms of gaming-focused power. Wing Commander, you see, was the graphically impressive, hardware-pushing, jaw-dropping game of 1990. It featured impressive 256-colour 3D-ish VGA graphics, stereo SoundBlaster sound, great digitized speech, tons of polish and was a truly multimedia interactive-movie extravaganza that ate up hard-drive space like nothing before it.

Happily, it also was an incredibly playable, deep and very atmospheric space-sim (with an obvious shoot-'em-up mentality and a few tactical options), sporting an interesting and impressively branching storyline, many cutscenes, archetypical sci-fi characters, cat-like alien enemies, a decent selection of spaceships to pilot and, really, much more than any aspiring space-shooting gamer could have asked for. Ah, those happy sleepless teenage nights in front of the struggling 286…

Anyway. Fond memories aside, Wing Commander still was an instant classic and has aged remarkably well too, even though games like TIE Fighter actually surpassed it. Definitely worth a play.