Now Playing: Wing Commander (1990)

Got a new flightstick so had to play some Wing Commander.

There’s not a whole lot to say about the first one. It was pretty basic. Not much in the way of story yet, just a shitload of space combat. There are basically only two kinds of missions in this one really: do a patrol and kill everything you see or those damned escort missions. Escort missions are the worst. Some of them are horribly stacked against you to the point where if you don’t pop your thrusters to get to the ship in need and draw off all its attackers within a few seconds, its already over, and with the branching mission system, losing the wrong mission could mean losing the whole game, and that makes Commander Halcyon very sad. Just have to keep trying until you get it right…

The main campaign is not all that bad though. The real trouble comes in the Secret Missions expansions. Some of the levels in there are fucking ridiculous. You’re put up against new, heavier fighters and a ton of ace pilots, mostly in much larger groups than you ever faced in the main game. Encounters can easily end with you dead within two seconds if you’re not ridiculously careful and evasive. As usual, your wingmen are mostly useless too, almost never getting kills of their own and really only serving as a temporary distraction for an enemy or two at best. You will die more often than a Dark Souls game in these levels, that’s how bad they are.

Hey, at least if you make your way through it all you get to save the lives of your new birdman allies…who are of absolutely no help to you in this game and never appear in the series again as far as I can remember. Hooray!

So, this first entry in the Wing Commander series was not the best, but it’s still pretty decent and fittingly nostalgic. To me, the series didn’t really take off until the second game. Guess we’ll see how well that one holds up very soon…

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