BREAKING NEWS: First Arena Screenshots! (February 22, 2007)

Dougly

Spaceman
I'm a bit sad that it's multiplayer and not for PC. But, I'm EXTREMLY happy to see any kind of a new (as in, not a remake) Wing Commander game at all.

I'm especially happy because this means we can now officially tell all of those people who engaged in "Wing Commander is dead!" hysteria what they can go do with themselves.
 

Ijuin

Admiral
What I am hoping for is some sort of cooperative campaign mode where you can form a squadron of players and fight through missions full of NPC's to win or lose control of a sector of space.
 

dafusion

Spaceman
I agree with AD, the screenshots really don't paint the whole picture.
The videos are pretty cool, but boy does that player (in the first clip) barrel roll a lot.

It reminds me of Subspace, which isn't a bad thing at all.
I hope it also shows up on the Wii, PS2, or PC!
 

st3lt3k

Rear Admiral
I'm definitely looking forward to this (enough to possibly purchase an Xbox 360)!

I'm curious how the ship customization will work.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
It's too bad we can't host the high res movies here. On an unrelated note, #WingNut is a fun place to visit on a night like this.

I'm curious how the ship customization will work.

Me too, because as far as I know there isn't any in the game...
 

Dougly

Spaceman
Does anyone know if there will be much of a plot/back story to this game? Or, is it just a chance to get together with some friends and blow each other up? Because the impression that I’m getting (and, I may very well be wrong) is that it’s the latter.

Even if it is primarily a “get together and blow things up” game, I'm hoping that this might be the first step in resurrecting the WC franchise... That, perhaps, after this we might see a more story based, primarily single player WC game released. Something that helps to significantly expand upon the WC universe that we know, in the same way that previous WC sequels did.

A game set after the events of Secret Ops would be nice. Though I'd also be happy with a sequel to Privateer.

Any news at all on the WC front is good news...
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
The game has a 'setting' that will advance the Wing Commander timeline a little, but there's no specific narrative included here.

I think, unquestionably, though, this is the first step to bringing back Wing Commander -- and it's a *big* one. This game is going to sell well based on its outstanding technical virtues alone...
 

Dougly

Spaceman
I think, unquestionably, though, this is the first step to bringing back Wing Commander -- and it's a *big* one. This game is going to sell well based on its outstanding technical virtues alone...

I'll be a very happy person if that's the case. At least as long as WC Arena doesn't cause the development of some of the amazing fan projects we've been seeing (Standoff, Saga, Pioneer, ASCII Sector) to be abandoned.

Those official releases can really suck up the free time of the fan developers. ;)
 

Flojomojo

Patron of the Nerdly Arts
I *love* XBLA (check out my gamercard -- I've been buying most of these games), and this looks like a lot of fun -- kind of a combination of SubSpace, Arena, and NetTrek. I'll be all over it on day one.

The game style is NOT Wing Commander at all, though, and for me that's a disappointment. The perspective reminds me of the Star Trek Encounters budget game that came out for PS2 last fall.

I would really like to see a fast, fun, true 3D space sim amongst all the gritty war games we have. Something like TIE Fighter would be ideal, but Battlesphere or Wing Commander would have fit the bill nicely. There's an overlooked Windows game called Void War by the developers of Outpost Kaloki X that looked promising. Since WCA is all on a single plane like Pac-Man, maybe there's hope for that game to come out on XBLA someday.

I feel like WC fans are really getting teased by EA:
- Prophecy Advance for GBA, which looks great but is hobbled with wonky sound, boring talky screens, and iffy controls. A port of the WC1 story with the Blue Roses 3D engine for spaceflight would have been perfect.
- EA Replay for PSP, which gave us a fine emulation of the SNES WC1 games, which is fine for what it is, but was hobbled with nasty low-res graphics and digital controls. A port of the PC game might have been tricky for a game console, but would have had a lot more gamer appeal in these modern times.
- Wing Commander Arena, which looks nice for what it is, does not look to be the story-based space combat simulation that WC is known for.

Keep trying, don't give up, you'll get it right someday .....

See you in the Arena!
 

PopsiclePete

Mission programmer
I'll be a very happy person if that's the case. At least as long as WC Arena doesn't cause the development of some of the amazing fan projects we've been seeing (Standoff, Saga, Pioneer, ASCII Sector) to be abandoned.

Those official releases can really suck up the free time of the fan developers. ;)
Oh, for my part I already lack free time, and I can't affort to buy a X-Box 360 :p Wether the fans and mod makers maintain their interest in their project is a good question, though. Let's hope so.
 

Dougly

Spaceman
Wether the fans and mod makers maintain their interest in their project is a good question, though. Let's hope so.

In theory, having a new WC game should raise interest in fan projects. It could create new fans, who will (hopefully) be interested in finding the older games and running them via DOSBox. And, those same newbies would likely also be interested in the fan made stuff.

If the WC franchise is resurrected in any serious way, what I'd really like to see is a WC collector’s edition... ALL of the WC games (I, SM1, SM2, II, SO1, SO2, Priv I, RF, III, IV, Priv II, Prophecy, and Secret Ops) remastered to run on modern computers.

Now, collectors editions usually have special bonuses that are included as part of the package. And, as a special bonus for this particular collector's edition - and as a way of thanking the WC community for staying loyal, and for all of their hard work - a nice touch would be to include a disk with the best "fan made WC" on it: Standoff, Saga, Pioneer (if it's finished before we're all in our 80s), ASCII Sector (which looks like it'll REALLY be good), etc.

Am I dreaming? Maybe. But, we all need our dreams.

Who *are* you people?

I don't think we should be entirely surprised by apprehension.

Wing Commander is a kind of franchise. And franchises bring with them certain expectations. If I go to McDonalds, I expect the items I normally see on a McDonald's menu, not Arby's style roast beef sandwiches. Likewise, if I buy a WC game, there are certain things that I "expect" it to have.

Wing Commander Arena, at least on the surface, seems like a drastic departure from the "regular" WC formula that we're used to. For that reason, I guess a lot of people are afraid that it just won't be the game that they've been looking forward to since 1999, that it won't many similarities to the games that they fell in love with - that, in effect, they're going to go into McDonald's and be confronted with an Arby's menu.

That said, I do feel that we need to balance apprehension with an understanding that the world is not the same as it was in the early 1990s, and that WC will likely have to change in certain ways in order to survive.

Not all change is bad, and I'm willing to give EA a chance on this one. I just hope they're able to live up to their promise of delivering a game that's as satisfying for us "old timers" as it is for newbies.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
That said, I do feel that we need to balance apprehension with an understanding that the world is not the same as it was in the early 1990s, and that WC will likely have to change in certain ways in order to survive.

Fortunately, all the hands-on previews so far read like this...

We had a chance to play the game today at EA headquarters and, while it is a departure from the traditional Wing Commander formula, the central "dogfights in space" components are still well intact.

In all, Wing Commander Arena's new approach to the series might be a shock to long-time WC fans but it seems like the developers are doing their best to create a game that is both respectful to the Wing Commander legacy but also approachable to an entirely new generation of players.

I think that's pretty fair and shouldn't cause anyone here to really worry at all. Something like this is about the best way to get things rolling again. Over in #Wingnut, we're already getting brand new people stopping by who liked the look of this game and want to know more about the rest of the series. It's also a ton of fun too.
 

NinjaLA

Alex Von T.
I'm an "old timer" and I get excited every time I watch the gameplay video

just because its not exactly like all the other Wing Commander games doesn't make it inherently a bad thing. Besides, if this game is a success, you'll get your WC sequal game, I'm sure of that.
 

Conrad

Rear Admiral
It's great to see some media so soon after the leak through the ESRB.

The largely 2d plane is interesting, it certainly looks nice, with big background ships and colourful backdrops.

I'd love to see a phanther in there or maybe a vampire from WCP thrown in there as well as the midway!
 

Manboy

Rear Admiral
Wow, just wow. This looks so freakin' fun!!!
Things are certainly looking up aren't they! Looks like I may just have to get me a 360... :)

And cheers to the staff at the CIC - I'm sure the existence of this site helped make that light go green.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
It's great to see some media so soon after the leak through the ESRB.

The largely 2d plane is interesting, it certainly looks nice, with big background ships and colourful backdrops.

Yeah, and I would encourage people to seek out the videos of the game in motion. They are even more impressive than screenshots. WC fans are so used to seeing nebulas just be blobs of color in the background, that we don't realize how detailed certain aspects of WC Arena actually are at first. When you watch the video, you see that things that look like semi-muddy textures are actually rolling dust clouds that aren't part of the far-off starscape at all. There's even a cool ripple effect (like behind an airplane engine) that warps the space near high powered weapons that are fired in Arena.

And cheers to the staff at the CIC - I'm sure the existence of this site helped make that light go green.

It's not the site's existence that got EA's attention, it was the thousands of WC fans who continued to visit every single day for nearly ten years in anticipation of the next Wing Commander game.
 
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