Wing Commander Standoff – Day 4

You’ll have to excuse the thumbnail sized screenshots in this post. I’ve been getting my PC set up for Windows 7, which included a reinstall of XP + Hypersnap. Unfortunately, it reset my image size to 200×200 when I swapped from crop to resize in the settings and I didn’t notice until I’d played through the game. It’s a pity as there are some impressive sights in this 4th episode but I don’t fancy replaying the whole thing again.

The episode starts out with us attempting to clear a path to attack the Kilrathi supercarriers. This means taking out some capships, a lot of capships. In fact the most even seen in one place in a Wing Commander game.

I just have to concentrate on fighters myself although I do have just enough torpedoes to take out the remaining capships after the cover is gone. There are a lot of floating husks when we are done.

Next we get to go after the carriers. I finally get the choice to fly a Crossbow and I’m not about to turn it down.

The cockpit has the familiar white bulges at the side that I remember from WC2.

It’s a decent ship which is just as well as we have to go against a supercarrier. This thing has god only knows how many engines to take out and seems to launch fighters indefinitely. I start out trying to take out the fighters but it doesn’t get me anywhere so I decide to concentrate on the engines instead. This isn’t too hard although it does take a while to fly around to get to them when I’m going around a ship this vast.

After the mission, I get a new landing sequence for the new bomber, this time at a different angle.

I’m struggling to remember details of the next mission in all honesty (thats why I need the screenshots) but I think it involved escorting a confed capship to the fleet. Sparrow and Spoons get sent off on another assignment early on anyway so we have to fly with reduced numbers but we do get helped out by the fighters already there. We win the battle but the capship has suffered too much damage and has to evacuate. The fighters are sent back with us to the Firekka.

When I get back I discover that Spoons was killed in the last mission.

We are called to scramble as I’m being told. No one wants me to fly the mission in my current mood although you would think a Wing Commander would have seen this a few times after years of fighting. I steal another fighter and fly out into the battle against everyones advice.

I have to defend the Firekka from a small attack then I’m eager for more work and despite the comm officer wanting me to return I head out to save another ship which is under attack but can’t launch fighters. This is actually the first mission in this game that I don’t complete on my first go but it’s still easy, I just have to go after the Grikhaths and ignore everything else to stop them taking out the capship. I realise this and complete the mission second time around.

Since my little stunt didn’t backfire, I get away with it but still have to hold Spoons funeral when I get back.

Now Spoons isn’t around to warn me off, the inevitable love interest provided by Sparrow comes to fruition…

We have been separated off from our fleet. For now we are going to attempt to rejoin with another nearby carrier. We get to see what the Kilrathi have done to one of this systems planets in the meanwhile. The mission is a straightforward one just taking out some fighters.

The final mission in this episode is a similar one where we have to escort both ships to the jump point where the rest of the fleet is waiting. This time we have corvette escort but we also come under attack from a silly number of Kamekh’s. I just go for the fighters and leave the corvettes to take care of each other. After the mission we meet up with the Concordia. I’m not so sure about the model for this, it looks a bit different than I remember but I don’t get a really good look at it from this distance.

In the most impressive cutscene so far (but you wouldn’t know it from my titchy screenshots) the start of the final chapter shows a little of the Kilrathi’s last assault on Sol and how much larger the force they have mustered this time.

This has been the most fun episode yet with lots of frantic action, a good bit of storyline and some interesting new ships thrown into the mix. It’s also been the easiest with me completing every mission first time except for the one escort mission which only took a few attempts. Despite it being relatively easy, I always felt challenged at the time and the storytelling and mission design were exceptionally well done. There have been some monumental battles in this, which begs the question just how large they are going to get in the final episode.

I’ve got a feeling that Lazarus will top it when I actually get around to playing it but this is by far the best fan made game I’ve ever played, and I’d have quite happily have paid a few quid for it. The old WCP engine has held up amazingly well with the enhancements they have managed to work in. I can’t wait to play the last chapter but its likely to be the weekend again before I get around to it.

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