Classic Articles Reveals 1995's Anticipation (September 23, 2006)

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Wedge has provided another set of magazine scans that feature classic previews of Wing Commander titles. The two pages come from 1995 editions of Hyper, Australia's longest running video game mag. Up first is an exciting preview of Wing Commander 4. It's from the "December" issue, but due to typical publication schedule, it was printed before the game's excruciating delay to February was announced. Although there's a few oddities within, the writers are very anxious to get ahold of the final game. The second piece is an announcement that Wing Commander 3 would be a launch title for the original Playstation (it actually arrived about six months later).




Wing Commander 4 features quite a few evolutionary enhancements to the game engine that's remained basically unchanged since the beginning. The most obvious is the shedding of the cockpit graphics, in favour of a full screen view with cool looking and highly functional HUD graphics. The full screen option has always been there in the Wing games, with its selection being the first thing most serious pilot do at the start of a mission.
Bzzzt! Serious pilots know that invisible cockpits didn't debut until Wing Commander Armada, which had barely been out a year when the article was written.

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Original update published on September 23, 2006
 
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Dyret

Super Carrot!
Why would *serious* pilots turn of the cockpit at all... The radar is so usefull you don't really need that extra field of view, anyway.
 

Dougly

Spaceman
I never turned off the cockpit when I had the option, and I really missed the cockpits when WC IV got rid of them.
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
Dyret said:
Why would *serious* pilots turn of the cockpit at all... The radar is so usefull you don't really need that extra field of view, anyway.

Turning off the cockpit doesn't turn off the radar.
 

Dyret

Super Carrot!
AD said:
Turning off the cockpit doesn't turn off the radar.

What I tried to say was that as long as you have a radar, you should be able to navigate and aim pretty well, no matter how small and narrow your "window" is.:)
 

hurleybird

Rear Admiral
It's kind of weird, but I didn't find myself missing the absense of a cockpit in Wing 4 that much. Same with the FS games.
 

Dougly

Spaceman
Originally Posted by hurleybird
It's kind of weird, but I didn't find myself missing the absense of a cockpit in Wing 4 that much. Same with the FS games.

Really, it just comes down to a matter of personal preference.

I can understand why some people wouldn't care about the cockpits, but I always enjoyed them because I felt as though they somehow helped pull me into the game a little more.

I'm not sure this is necessarily a good reason to advocate keeping something in the game, but I also thought the cockpits - especially the WC3 era cockpits - looked really cool.
 

Sgt_thomson

Spaceman
I realy liked the cockpits in the Wing Commander games. It gave you more of a feel for the ship that you were flying. I also used to like it when you were getting badly hit and then parts of the cockpit were being blown apart. For some reason that made me sit more on the edge of my seat when I was flying home with half of my cockpit guages destroyed preying I didn't run into a wing of Gratha on my way back to the Claw. :)
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Sgt_thomson said:
I realy liked the cockpits in the Wing Commander games. It gave you more of a feel for the ship that you were flying. I also used to like it when you were getting badly hit and then parts of the cockpit were being blown apart. For some reason that made me sit more on the edge of my seat when I was flying home with half of my cockpit guages destroyed preying I didn't run into a wing of Gratha on my way back to the Claw. :)

Yeah, it wasn't *just* the cockpits. The cockpits were great, but the damage you'd incur was also tremendously immersive. A lot of these things weren't even incremental improvements. Stuff like the hand on joystick were there all the way back in Wing Commander 1.
 

Lt.Death100

Spaceman
ChrisReid said:
Yeah, it wasn't *just* the cockpits. The cockpits were great, but the damage you'd incur was also tremendously immersive. A lot of these things weren't even incremental improvements. Stuff like the hand on joystick were there all the way back in Wing Commander 1.
This was one of the things that set apart WC1 from the rest. It had a very immersive atmosphere that many games don't have very often nowadays (they rely on graphics over art direction now! :( ).
 

Delance

Victory, you say?
Yeah, the cockpit damage was very real. Without some parts of the cockpit, it was that much harder to play. On WC2, especially with the Epee, a big dent on the cockpit window (with the effect of a lens) could literally cripple a ship during a mission, beacuse it'd make so hard to fly.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Even the cockpit-less WC games were cooler than invisible HUDs in other games. WC4 had those sliders on the side that added new information, and the glass front cockpit would still shatter when you took a lethal hit. Prophecy and Secret Ops had those struts that would independently move and sway in tune with the ship's inertia. The struts themselves look a bit dated today, but this was a really fantastic effect for the time.
 

Delance

Victory, you say?
Yeah, taking a missile head on on WCIV would mean a very damaged cockpit, if you survived. I hope that the next generation WC game can mesh all those aspects in new ways.
 
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