Over the years it is inevitable that you will miss some terrific games. There is a wide array of ‘classic’ titles, a list which will vary greatly depending on whom you ask. Some of these are games I overlooked, which the years pushed into memory all too quickly. Others are games I simply lacked interest in. The Classic Game Club has been an opportunity to discover some of these classics with new eyes. Not all aged gracefully, but each offered something special to recommend it.
Which brings us to my selection, a game which is frequently hailed as one of the best all time. One which, in almost any list of the genre, is at or near the top. It is also a game I should have jumped on and loved. I am talking about Wing Commander 3. It is one of the greatest omissions in my gaming history, and it thrills me to no end to see if this game really lives up to it’s reputation.
See I grew up a huge fan of science fiction, I became obsessed with Star Wars as soon as I discovered it. When my family finally got a PC my first game was a flight sim. Here was a game combining sci fi flight sim with Luke Skywalker. It was tailor made for 12 year old me. Unfortunately at the time the only computer I had access to was an old Apple IIE, and most of my gaming was done on the Sega Genesis. By the time I had the ability to play the game, it had already faded from it’s glory days.
There are other reasons to pick Wing Commander 3 other than reputation. Space sims are quickly gaining traction, look no further than Elite: Dangerous and Star Citizen to see examples. Speaking of Star Citizen, the crowd funded darling, the designer is none other than Chris Roberts of Wing Commander fame. So now is the perfect time to see why his name gains such reverence that it can garner $48 million in crowd funding. That kind of cash is evidence of fierce loyalty, loyalty that only could come from some truly seminal games.
The game is also notable for it’s story. IT might seem odd for a flight sim of any stripe to b heralded for narrative, they rank with strategy games for their perfunctory nature often, but it remains one of the frequently cited strengths of the series. Full motion video, with live big name actors no less, underpins the storytelling. The Kilrathi have managed to gain enough notoriety that even my complete absence of any experience with the series does not prevent me from knowing of them, a notable feat in itself.
All that said it’s simply a game I’ve long wanted to try. Well no time like the present. Time to dust off those old flight sticks, because we’re going flying.
Wing Commander can be found at GOG for $5.99.