An Hour and a Half of Magazine Time Update ID

The May 2007 issue of the Official Xbox Magazine, on news stands now, includes a brief preview of Wing Commander Arena! It's strangely hung up on the Wing Commander movie, but it does offer a nice look at how the game's controls work:
Wing Commander Arena

Free Freddie Prinze Jr. not included!

Sixteen-player games on Live Arcade? We're listening!

At the height of classic PC space-combat series Wing Commander's popularity in the late '90s, a feature film was made with Freddie Prinze Jr. in the lead role. This proved to be the worst idea in the history of videogame movies until Uwe Boll was allowed to step behind a camera, but sadly, this is where the franchise left off.

So in what is perhaps an attempt to wipe the slate clean -- but more likely an opportunity to do something new on Xbox Live Arcade -- EA is reintroducing Wing Commander on a small scale: as an XBLA space-dogfighting shooter. Fortunately, we're not just talking about Asteroids with the Wing Commander name slapped on it. Famous ships (18 in total) from both the Terran and Kilrathi sides are available in different classes -- bombers, fighters, and so on -- and in fact, series veterans will note that this is the first time the Kilrathi have been playable.

Gameplay is straightforward: the thumbsticks control your ship (with the right stick also able to initiate barrel rolls and other special moves), while the triggers and shoulders unleash your weapons arsenal. Four single-player modes are included, but it's the 16-player online play that distinguishes Arena from the pack. And while we weren't able to get a confirmed price, we suspect it will run you 800 Microsoft Points ($10). Our suggestion: grab some Battlestar Galactica DVDs and prime yourself for some space-blastin' action -- just do yourself a solid and try to pretend the movie never happened.
- Ryan McCaffrey

Publisher: EA
Developer: GAIA
Live/Multiplayer: YES
Release Date: SUMMER 2007
For Fans Of: Asteroids, Gradius, Wing Commander

Recent Updates

Mark Hamill Premiering New Documentary at SXSW

It's a good week for Mark Hamill fans! In addition to getting his Hollywood star, Mr. Hamill will be returning to the birthplace of Wing Commander next month to help debut a new documentary, The Director and the Jedi, about his work with Rian Johnson on the new Star Wars film. (2018-02-23)

Mark Hamill To Receive Hollywood Star

Thanks in part to his recent success resuming the role of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, actor Mark Hamill will soon be getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The ceremony is set for March 8, 2018 at 11:30 am. I'd encourage Wing Commander fans nearby to go check it out, but the crowd will likely be substantial. (2018-02-22)

Banshee Kicks Off Flat Universe's Border Worlds Faction

The first Border Worlds ship for Wing Commander Flat Universe has been announced! The Banshee now joins the battle alongside four Confed and four Kilrathi craft. It's designed to be particularly effective against slower bombers such as the Broadsword or Grikath. (2018-02-21)

New 3D Prints Highlight Gemini Sector Hotness

Sonnich Johannesen has shown off some large scale and beautifully detailed 3D prints from Wing Commander Privateer. The Centurion and (not pictured) Galaxy are from Astrofossil and the Tarsus model was designed by DJFX, who posted some gorgeous pics of his own a while back. The size of each of these is impressive, and Sonnich has posted some neat pictures of these ships coming together on the printer. (2018-02-20)

Paper Cruiser Returns Stronger & Better Armed

Adm_Maverick's Tallahassee papercraft cruiser is back again in a whole new way. This second major iteration improves on the first in a number of ways, including how the main hull fits together. It also has interior components that form the bow-mounted capship missile launcher. (2018-02-19)

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