Some things I like about Wing Commander 4

LarkInFlight

Rear Admiral
I've replayed the Wing Commander recently. I like it because of a few things. The actors play very well, Malcolm Mc Dowell and Mark Hamill did their best to fill us in the thrill of Wing Commander battles. IMO WC4 was meant to be the last of the GREAT SAGA. I treat it this way, anyway. When I replay all the Wings I always finish at Wing4.

Anyway. I've always loved the Dragon Fighter. I feel in in it just like I felt in X-wing flying against TIEs in XWING or in Raptor against the Dralthis in Wing1. There is no chance they can win other than ram my fighter, you've got the advantage for once for a change (one has to shoot and avoid collisions, that's all :) ).

Have you noticed that the Dragon is at least twice as big as Hellcat or Vindicator? I only noticed it recently, it was a kind of shock to me..

It's only about 2 weeks when the game takes place so the gameplay is so intense.. Imagine, it's only two weeks between the start and the end of Wing 4!
 

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ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
I loved those scenes so so much because they revealed a brief glimpse at the super detail of what was on the flight deck. That's something about old games that we don't have today. Nowadays the actual environment that you play in is detailed, and most videos are either engine rendered or use about the same graphical assets. But for many many games in the 80s and 90s, you'd have engine/gameplay graphics and then you'd have brief scenes like this that were so much more elaborate. They were a great bridge that boosted the imagination when you were flying around in low-poly/detail space.
 

criticalmass

Vice Admiral
I agree. Even after having become a little bit jaded about the game industry, replaying WC IV (or any in the series) and seeing the amount of detail, the little things that don't matter but make the game world come alive is amazing. The crowd scenes in the bar or during the house meetings show people that have fun to play their parts without making it hammy, and things like the guy just winning his game of chess in the background of the "Meet Vagabond" clip just make me smile. And the inconsistencies that I never noticed as a kid (like: some pilots have their name on their flightsuit, some their callsign, etc.) only make it more fun.

The ships? Well, after learning to fly passably well with the other craft, the Dragon's a breeze, but just a bit boring. I liked the feel of some of the others, of experiencing that the hardware has its limitations, that others may be quicker or heavier than your boat, and that you had to think to make the right use of your equipment.
 

LarkInFlight

Rear Admiral
Fortunately for the Dragon, the missions you fly in it are quite challenging.. My personal favorite is defense of the Intrepid from Ella super base. The attack is well prepared. A frigate with escorts, than cruiser and destroyer with bombers and fighter escort. It really shows how powerful the fighter is.. I wish I had one of these during Firekka campaign :)
 

Farbourne

Rear Admiral
I agree with this post, mostly, but I always found the Dragon boring, too. It was too powerful. And it wasn't really a "flyer's fighter"...it required no fancy tactics.

One of the things I loved about WC4 was that the game made you fly BW fighters, which were the equal of Confed fighters if you were clever, but each had a critical flaw and a secret talent. The Banshee had poor pitch, so you had to learn to "ro-yaw", and the scatter gun was your friend. The Vindicator was underpowered and slow relative to its armor and shields, but it had three torps and was the best fighter to choose when you needed agility and capship killing ability (like the defense against capmiss mission). The Avenger was powerful, but slow and unmaneuverable.

Even the Bearcat fell into this category...it was fast and maneuverable and a joy to fly, with powerful guns, but they were wingtip-mounted so you had to learn to engage at a very specific range to be effective.

Then along comes the Dragon, and you can blow everything out of the sky without a second thought. Booo-ring!
 

razgriz21

Spaceman
I loved the usage of physical sets.

Surprising to see a video game use sets as opposed to a video screen. Made it seem more movie like.

The acting was good too and so was the writing.
 

ExcalPilot1

1st Lieutenant
The game was fantastic! The acting and the sets were fantastic! The only thing that I had a problem with was that the story was not nearly as good as Heart of the Tiger. Other than that, it was great!
 

FekLeyrTarg

Rear Admiral
The game was fantastic! The acting and the sets were fantastic! The only thing that I had a problem with was that the story was not nearly as good as Heart of the Tiger. Other than that, it was great!

Well, if you ask me, I think that WC4's story is better than WC3's.
 

ck9791

Rear Admiral
I really liked the intro movie and conclusion of the game. The intro really drew me in with the attack on the medical transport. I love that secne where you have the Dragons decloak and destroy the three Hellcats and the transport issuing a mayday. One of the Dragons puts the flashpack on the transport and then you hear the woman's screams over the channel as the flashpack detonates. I also like the scene in the bar where Maniac tells Blair that he is being recalled.

In the conclusion I enjoy the part after the vote not to go to war where Tolwyn is on trial and there is the short clips of people testifying against him with events that took place during the game.
 

LarkInFlight

Rear Admiral
but I always found the Dragon boring, too. It was too powerful.

It suppose to be powerful.. It was the ultimate fighter of WC series. Wing commander always had superfighters in offer. Remember Rapier from Wing1? Despite the guns were weaker than the Raptor's salvo, it was also overpowered: strongest shields, 4 guns, lots of good missiles, it was as manoeuvrable as salthi, very fast, it had a good profile. Everyone loved it.

I think the reason of Dragon gripes is.. The fighter is not too manoeuvrable.. How could it be? It has shields and armour as tough as Longbow, it's big. It weapon loadout is impressive (two torps and some other things)

But no, every one loves Bearcat.. Fast and agile, it’s guns suck, it has very few missles and it’s rather front line fighter easy to replace. It flies well but it wouldn't last long in a longer battle.

Imagine yourself fighting the kilrathi in Wing3 with the Dragon (good AI). The battles were longer, you had to engage multiple fighters, corvettes and some capships from time to time.. It would be a perfect fighter for the job.

Unfortunately "Dragon" missions in wing4 are very easy, short and you rarely engage cap ships (only at Ella).

Everyone loves agile fighters, but they suck in other things..

Dragon reminds me the Raptor: not very agile but well armoured and with heavy punch (but only in few volleys). It could take severe punishment and it still was operational. You could rely on it..
 

Wojo

Rear Admiral
Something that made me a little sad when Prophecy came out... you didn't get to see much behind the scenes (i.e. flight deck etc. etc). Just the bar, locker room and briefing room (like wc1 I guess). I missed the feeling of wandering around the whole carrier, especially since the midway was brand new and huge compared to anything that came before it.
 

Wedge009

Rogue Leader
That was partly due to the reduced budget for the FMV component. No point in have extra rooms just for the sake of it, if it's just going to increase the costs.
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
That was partly due to the reduced budget for the FMV component. No point in have extra rooms just for the sake of it, if it's just going to increase the costs.

This is only sort of true... they already had a debreifing room (that one where rachel congratulates Casey... the one where Casey and Maestro first meet Stilletto). There's even background CG looking out into the flight deck... The assets already existed, so why not have it a location you could go to?
 

Wedge009

Rogue Leader
That's why I said 'partly'...

I don't know. Keep things simple, maybe? I remember reading through the archive documents and seeing things like discussions on keeping things locked down in place, so you wouldn't have chairs, glasses, etc, moving all over the place between takes.

While these extra things would be nice, I don't mind the return to simplicity. A mirrors the Rec Room + Barracks + Briefing Room combination of the Tiger's Claw.
 

Prometheus

Spaceman
This is only sort of true... they already had a debreifing room (that one where rachel congratulates Casey... the one where Casey and Maestro first meet Stilletto). There's even background CG looking out into the flight deck... The assets already existed, so why not have it a location you could go to?

Easy: Why would you "go" there when there's nothing for you to do?
Sure, you would take a look the first time you play the game, but once you know there's nothing there, that's it.

Even in Wing Commander 4 there are no "empty locations", every place you can go has something for you (with the exception of Eisen's cabin, but you just get a short FMV clip of Blair knocking at the door with no answer). In Wing Commander 3 some places are empty sometimes, which might get a little tedious wandering around, looking if there's someone to talk to... That's propably why they included that map in WC4.
 

Wojo

Rear Admiral
Actually, yeah, I do remember in WC3 all that tedious walking around - the map in WC4 did make that much better.

I guess what I'm really aiming at is that I really want to know more detail about the internals of the Midway... We just get some out-of-focus shots at the beginning of Prophecy... Really need one of those cut-away illustrations, like the Star Wars universe has a plethora of:

http://www.stardestroyer.net/Empire/Tech/Beam/ISD_Cutaway.jpg

Nice. Imagine one of these for the midway...

Maybe I should get off my ass and do one...
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
Easy: Why would you "go" there when there's nothing for you to do?
Sure, you would take a look the first time you play the game, but once you know there's nothing there, that's it.

Even in Wing Commander 4 there are no "empty locations", every place you can go has something for you (with the exception of Eisen's cabin, but you just get a short FMV clip of Blair knocking at the door with no answer). In Wing Commander 3 some places are empty sometimes, which might get a little tedious wandering around, looking if there's someone to talk to... That's propably why they included that map in WC4.

But we do get conversations on the flight deck. It's all about flavor. People complain (though It's my favorite game of the series) that you couldn't go to the different rooms on bases like you could in WC1... Sure there's not really any reason to have to, but having to click on pilots at the bar and using the barracks as a save area made a lot of sense aesthetically. It added alot to the atmosphere of the game. Even if you couldn't go there after, why not have you on a screen of the midway flight deck after mission review or a commendation by rachel after which you could check the terminal for your mission stats? It's not a big deal, and at least that way it's not tedious and just adds to the immersion of the game.
 

LarkInFlight

Rear Admiral
It's not a big deal, and at least that way it's not tedious and just adds to the immersion of the game.

I agree. I've always liked Wing 3 traveling through rooms.. I just felt that the Victory is more real that way..
 

Wojo

Rear Admiral
Whatever happened to that Wing Commander based fan mod for the quake/unreal engine a while back?

Imagine motoring around the inside of a carrier as a Kilrathi, taking out the crew with your claws and fangs etc. etc. Ace. I guess kind of like playing as Alien in Alien vs. Predator... Or a left 4 dead mod...

But this is a space combat sim forum! Shame on me for branching into FPS-ness!
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
But we do get conversations on the flight deck. It's all about flavor.

I can see though that there's not enough to justify the room on the gameflow part. I'd want the flight deck way more than the ready room, but there weren't enough scenes on the flight deck to make it worth including.
 
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