Could it be? After five years, the team behind The Point of Origin has learned how magazines are numbered! Vol. V, No. 1 of the company newsletter starts off 1995 in style -- with more positive comments about Wing Commander III than you can shake a cat at. We even have the first mention of Wing Commander IV...
Meanwhile the war between the humans and the Kilrathi continues and Wing Commander III appears to be everything that reviewers expected. In the latest issue of Computer Gaming World, Martin Cirulis gave WCIII a grade of five out of five. "A classic space combat game is mated with a competent movie -- and a new breed of gaming beast is born." Cirulis wrote.
In its February issue that was out for the Winter CES show in Las Vegas, Computer Game Review graded WCIII at 94, "Wing Commander III is obviously the biggest release of the year for ORIGIN; it also happens to be its best," wrote Kevin Perry. Ted Chapman summarized it this way, "The acting talent is nothing shy of stellar, and the sound and music are truly superlative. A must-have."
In the same issue the magazine named WCIII as the Simulation Game of the Year and also gave it an award for Best Full Motion Video of the Year. The only head scratcher game was when the magazine named X-COM as its Game of the Year. Go figure.
In Europe the early reviews show that WCIII is starting to mop up the competition. The magazines and their scores: PC Games (UK) 92%, PC Review (UK) 9 out of 10, PC Gamer (UK) 95%, Generation 4 (France) 93%, Games Machine (Italy) 96%, OK PC (Spain) 96%, PC Games (Germany) 96%.
Meanwhile, Wing III has been getting a lot of notice in the entertainment and general press in this country. It was included in a December 26 Newsweek article about new CD-ROM games. Adam Rogers wrote, "Even when the idea is to blow up bad-guy spaceships, as in the new Wing Commander III, the graphics still look better than the special effects on some current television shows."
USA Today listed WCIII third in its list of "Most Wanted Software Titles." It was listed behind Microsoft Bookshelf and Grolier's Encyclopedia and stood ahead of Iron Helix, Journeyman Project and Myst.
WCIII has been no stranger to television in recent weeks. It's been featured on VH-1's Flix, Entertainment Tonight, and CNN's Tech Guide. A feature on the game will air on Sci-Fi Buzz, a special segment that can be seen on the Sci Fi Channel. You can catch it when it hits the airwaves on January 22.
WCIII also has been featured in the New York Daily News, the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Chicago Tribune, Billboard Magazine and of course the Austin American-Statesman. Harley Jebens wrote in the XL Entertainment section, "It's $4 million worth of interactive battles, stunning graphics and live action. Austin's computer game juggernaut is on the move again!" If they could just have done something better with the picture on the front.
... Let's hear it for Wing Commander Armada. Scott Wolf gave Armada a B+ in his review. "And the hits just keep on comin'," he wrote. "Multi-player is the option that kicks this baby in the butt."
Martin E. Curtius also wrote about Armada in Computer Gaming World, "Armada is at least the graphical equivalent of any space action game on the market, if not the best-looking starfighter sim around these days. Beautiful to behold and a hoot to play head to head.
Dean Evans liked what he saw of Armada. He writes for PC Games in the UK. "Not just split-screen, but network, modem and serial cable options. A round of applause for ORIGIN at least."
Finally, some awards and honors. Wing Commander II was rated 13th among the 36 top entertainment CD-ROM titles according to CD-ROM World magazine, and the editors of Games magazine listed Privateer among their top 100 board and electronic games. We've already mentioned the award for System Shock from Strategy Plus. That magazine also gave runner-up status to Ultima VIII for Single Player RPG of the year, Pacific Strike for Flight Sim Game of the Year and Armada for Fantasy Simulation Game of the Year. So who cares about what some editors think, it's the readers and gamers who really count. That's exactly what PC Gamer thought, so they asked their readers for their 40 top computer games of all time. ORIGIN game in with four titles in the list. Ultima VII: The Black Gate was 38th, Ultima VIII: Pagan was 28th, Ultima Underworld II was voted 15th and Wing Commander came in as the 4th favorite game behind Wolfenstein 3-D (3rd), X-Wing (2nd) and Doom (1st).