Wing Commander III. Major Success, or Dramatic Fail?

ExcalPilot1

1st Lieutenant
As the title implies, was WCIII A wonderful installment, or did it stray too far from the original concept of the WC Universe?
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Everyone likes Wing Commander III.

I'm not sure what you're thinking the 'original concept' is, but Wing Commander III pretty much achieves everything the series started out reaching for (to the point that we don't even remember that Wing Commander I and II were "interactive movies" in their day).
 

TCSTigersClaw

Greek Special Forces B' Company "Naoussa" 2007-200
Hehe , Its the first time I think ,someone is complaining about wc3 .:)

I will not post about how great Wc3 was you obviously know a lot about it.

Can you make it clear ? what exactly are you talking about ?

The only thing that Wc3 is "different" from the original Wc1 and Wc2 concepts is that its less "cartoonish"
 

ExcalPilot1

1st Lieutenant
Well, for one, I'm not complaining about WCIII. I started out with WCIII, and some of the people that I had talked to said that it was the worst because it was different from one & two. Aside from the main difference of the Interactive Movie bit, I think the game was still very different from the first two.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
There's a big jump between Wing Commander 2 and 3... but I think Wing Commander 3 is very much the game Chris Roberts wanted to make when he started the series. Very much a case of waiting for the technology to be available to meet the vision.
 

LeHah

212 Squadron - "The Old Man's Eyes And Ears"
I started out with WCIII, and some of the people that I had talked to said that it was the worst because it was different from one & two.

Theres are the same people who didn't like Prophecy because it wasn't as story-intensive as WC4. That said, everyone complained about WC4 being so cutscene heavy that they (rightly) decided to bring Prophecy back to a much more WC1 style of gaming (more flying, "simplified" plot).

Its cyclic. We're currently seeing this with the Force Unleashed jerks: the Internets and Kotakus were blase towards the first one - and immedeately took offense that the new one wasn't like the first one which somehow became this holy grail in hindsight.
 

Aube

Spaceman
Funny thing is, I DID like WC3/4 less than the rest of the series. Not to say I DIDN'T like WC3, I still played through it however many times, it's just the gunplay never felt 'right' for me. There was a certain something to the way WC1 and 2, hell even Armada and Prophesy flew that felt 'right' that WC3/4 didn't capture for me...which is funny, since isn't Armada more or less the same engine as 3/4? Guns didn't look/sound/feel powerful to me somehow, and I never felt a 'good' feedback from getting hits on a fighter.

Hard to describe, since that's all just impressions. To answer the original question, still a wonderful installment, I just liked the rest of the series that much more.
 

Jason_Ryock

Vice Admiral
Theres are the same people who didn't like Prophecy because it wasn't as story-intensive as WC4. That said, everyone complained about WC4 being so cutscene heavy that they (rightly) decided to bring Prophecy back to a much more WC1 style of gaming (more flying, "simplified" plot).

It's funny because I always thought the amount of story in WC4 was just perfect for the Wing Commander universe. It was (I feel) one of the richest WC games in terms of story.

And I didn't like the story balance in Prophecy as much (though I still very much like the game) because there wasn't as much as WC4. I think WC3 had the best Balance because you didn't have to wander around collecting bits of the story in order to keep flying the missions, but whole swaths of WC4 (and again, I enjoyed this part of it) were nothing but watching really long cut scenes that advanced the plot.

Its cyclic. We're currently seeing this with the Force Unleashed jerks: the Internets and Kotakus were blase towards the first one - and immedeately took offense that the new one wasn't like the first one which somehow became this holy grail in hindsight.

I hate the first one for destroying Star Wars lore, and I'm sure I'll hate the second for the same reason.
 

LeHah

212 Squadron - "The Old Man's Eyes And Ears"
I hate the first one for destroying Star Wars lore, and I'm sure I'll hate the second for the same reason.

The Force Unleashed didn't do any more damage than the Expanded Universe hasn't done already.
 

Farlander

Rear Admiral
I actually think, in some ways, Wing Commander III was a middle ground between I and II. In I, you could achieve ranks, medals, explore the ship, and talk to people (or not). In Wing Commander II, your rank was set by the story, there were no medals you could earn, and you couldn't explore the ship and talk to people individually - you instead just clicked a door and the whole cinematic played out for you. In Wing Commander III, your rank was set by the story and you didn't earn medals, like Wing Commander II, but you could explore the ship (with many more locations) and talk to individuals. This made it feel more interactive, like Wing Commander I again. Obviously the visuals are different between the first two and III, and I'd say this is a mixed bag. In III, I feel like the sets inside the ship, the uniforms, and the Kilrathi were cool, as well as the excellent cast of real actors, but the ship designs were inferior.

As for the gameplay, I feel like III is again between I and II, at least in quality. Sure III is different from I and II, but I think II was actually a step back from I. There were some cool new features, such as torpedoes and tractor beams, but in general the whole experience felt looser, and I did not enjoy the combat as much because of it. I also like the ships less than the first game. In III, I just enjoyed the gameplay more than II, but not as much as I. The ships I like more than II, and the whole thing "felt" better to play than II, but again, not as good as I. Also, some elements went back to being more like the first game, like capital ships not being impervious to all weapons except torpedoes.

Theres are the same people who didn't like Prophecy because it wasn't as story-intensive as WC4. That said, everyone complained about WC4 being so cutscene heavy that they (rightly) decided to bring Prophecy back to a much more WC1 style of gaming (more flying, "simplified" plot).

I like that each game did something different, though I may have my favorites. I enjoyed the high-quality cutscenes in Wing Commander IV, though I also enjoyed Prophecy's streamlined story and superior gameplay. Which I like better may depend on what I am in the mood for at the time.

Its cyclic. We're currently seeing this with the Force Unleashed jerks: the Internets and Kotakus were blase towards the first one - and immedeately took offense that the new one wasn't like the first one which somehow became this holy grail in hindsight.

I thought that argument was that the second one was TOO much like the first, except it was missing some options from the first, was shorter, was more imbalanced from the standpoint of your progress in acquiring abilities, and had a worse story. So, even if the first one sucked (and I thought it was OK, myself), the second one failing to even stack up to the first is a legitimate complaint. It certainly seems like a different thing from the Wing Commander games, which may have changed focus, cut and added elements, etc., but all remained very high quality products.
 

LeHah

212 Squadron - "The Old Man's Eyes And Ears"
I thought that argument was that the second one was TOO much like the first, except it was missing some options from the first, was shorter, was more imbalanced from the standpoint of your progress in acquiring abilities, and had a worse story.

I've heard all sorts of angry awful things from the internet about it. Then I realized that these are the people who also like cats with non sequitur captions about cheeseburgers.

These are not the kind of people you should keep company with.

To put fine point on it, one of the best games I've played for the Xbox 360 is Quantum Of Solace. Its a fun, fast paced 007 shooter where you shoot bad guys and Daniel Craig is all sauve and sometimes you brutally beat the shit out of people. It got really lame reviews for some reason and all the reviewers said it was good, that nothing was broken, that it was fun... but they still gave it a 5 out of 10 or something.

You know what though? A game that makes you feel like James Bond is awesome no matter how you cut it. And I had fun with Force Unleashed, so why should a sequel that follows the first game so closely be any different?

So, even if the first one sucked (and I thought it was OK, myself), the second one failing to even stack up to the first is a legitimate complaint.

The problem is that you can't say that the second game is too much like the first ... and then say the second one failed to do what the first one did, if they tread the same ground. Thats trying to have it both ways.
 

Bob McDob

Better Health Through Less Flavor
It's probably always been like this.

Richard Garriott once said in a 1996 interview "There's been an interesting pattern ever since around the time of Ultima III, and whenever I talk to people about the series, they always say that their favorite Ultima is not the current game, but the one we did a couple of games ago. And for a while I was really paranoid about that, like during the periods of Ultimas III, IV, V, and VI when people would tell me that Ultima II was their favorite because that was the last one where you could kill everybody, without having any of this ethics stuff on top. "

I don't know what popular opinion towards Ultima Online was at release (well, in one case I do: PC Gamer was especially hard on it for the amount of bugs at release time, though it was all pretty tame considering Battlecruiser 3000 was reviewed that same issue). Twelve years onward, though, and dozens of MMOs later, it seems a lot of people have fond memories about the early days, and grumble about whatever it is that's being done with the game today.

And of course, you hear the same thing about Legend of Zelda or whatnot. When you've got big jumps in technology every couple of years, they make the small incremental jumps feel like a new era every game. Another thing Garriott said, when asked about Ultima's longetivity: "If you look at movie series, like Friday the 13th, the problem is that after a few iterations of the story people start to lose interest because you're dealing with the same characters and environments, but using essentially the same technology to show them, so it's difficult to make it fresh. With computer games, it's easy to keep it fresh because the technology's moving so rapidly. Ultima IX and Ultima I are so night-and-day different there's no overlap in their appeal. If the technology evolution continues at this pace, we'll be able to sequel forever."

That was 1996... Garriott'd been in the business since 1980 and running the series for almost as long; a fairly uninterrupted period of massive changes, though fans then weren't able to communicate (and groupthink) among themselves nearly as much, and the video game market was a much smaller place then.

Or, to put it another way: every jump makes the earlier folk feel like geezers, and we're the old men now, ace.
 

Farlander

Rear Admiral
The problem is that you can't say that the second game is too much like the first ... and then say the second one failed to do what the first one did, if they tread the same ground. Thats trying to have it both ways.

I think it's possible to try to rehash something but then come up with a worse execution of it the second time around, and that's the vibe I'm getting from the negative comments on this game. I have yet to play the second game much, but I intend to, so I'll have to wait until I'm finished with it to see whether or not I agree with that.
 

NinjaLA

Alex Von T.
While I didn't dislike Wing Commander III and IV, they are the weakest games in my opinion. This is entirely due in my mind with the fact that they didn't fly right for me. I liked how the combat engine worked in WCII and privateer. WCIII and IV were just sort of choppy somehow. that said, the visual styles, and movie style cutscenes still make me giddy to this day.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Like NinjaLA, I must say that while I don't dislike WC3 & 4 (that honour in mind goes only to one WC game - P2), I did enjoy them the least.

My reason for not enjoying WC3 & 4 as much as the others could basically be summed up in one corny phrase - they were "ahead of their time". Which is to say, they tried to do things that technology didn't allow, and suffered because of it. Looking back now, I find that I still like how WC1 & 2, or Priv, look and feel. I love how WCP looks and feels. But WC3 & 4 are rather uncomfortable - they came at a time when it was necessary to switch to 3d, but before the time when 3d could honestly claim to look as good as 2d (or, more specifically, where realtime 3d could claim to look as good as pre-rendered 3d). Though, of course, crashing into a horridly pixellated Concordia in WC2 is extremely lame compared to flying through a low-poly but fully 3d Victory in WC3.

It's the same for cutscenes. WC2 in particular could claim to be a peak achievement for 2d cutscenes - when you look back now, you smile at the limitations of that technology, but you appreciate how well it was all executed. On the other hand, WC3... well, just compare the cutscenes in WC3 with the ones in WCP - done on a much higher budget, they look worse (though they're also much more extensive - there's more of them, there's more varied locations, and more actors).

I would have loved to see what Origin could have done with a WC3-like budget after WCP - by that point, they really knew what they were doing...
 

Jason_Ryock

Vice Admiral
The Force Unleashed didn't do any more damage than the Expanded Universe hasn't done already.

I don't really understand this post. The Force Unleashed destroyed the Expanded Universe. How can the Expanded Universe somehow have done more damage?
 

LeHah

212 Squadron - "The Old Man's Eyes And Ears"
How can the Expanded Universe somehow have done more damage?

None of the EU stuff follows the basic Star Wars formulas: myth, legend, archtype characters, mystery of faith, youth leaving the farm to find adventure, etc.

And I'd say about 98% of the EU stuff I've experienced (which is certainly a huge chunk of it) is badly written crap thats more interested in technobabble or superweapons or continuity than characters or dramatic ideas. Its come down to fans being more interested that some background Jedi with no lines in Episode II is a super-master of Type L saber fighting that could beat anyone that isn't a Type 7 master in the rarest form of Force powers.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I don't know what popular opinion towards Ultima Online was at release...

Oh, it was the same as anything today--loud people screaming about it with one hand while making it the most profitable game ever with the other. The big difference, I suppose, was that UO in 1996 was still largely broken for the 'right' reasons instead of simple design oversights--the internet wasn't ready for the scale of the dream yet.

I think oddly that there is a lot worth romanticizing, too, that we didn't recognize at the time. We had no way of knowing that future MMOs would strip all but the action out of UO... which makes it, in retrospect, this great quiet world that you really lived in compared to a series of constant fights to get the highest level mage.

I think it's possible to try to rehash something but then come up with a worse execution of it the second time around, and that's the vibe I'm getting from the negative comments on this game. I have yet to play the second game much, but I intend to, so I'll have to wait until I'm finished with it to see whether or not I agree with that.

I haven't played it yet either (it's sitting on my table staring back at me...), but I think the whole point is that you can't trust that vibe at all--people were going to be ceaselessly negative about anything.

I do agree with LeHah that all the 'professional' reviews I've seen have been idiotic, whether they're right or not--they talk about how much they loved the original game (which they certainly didn't!), how this one is exactly the same with the gameplay bugs fixed... and then how it's terrible because this time the story is so over the top? (As opposed to, what, the subtle nuance of the super mega Jedi who we'd never heard of who is actually responsible for starting the Star Wars story from the original game?)

That's exactly the pretension that's the problem here, the universal claim that the game before this was the good one regardless of what you said at the time.

I don't really understand this post. The Force Unleashed destroyed the Expanded Universe. How can the Expanded Universe somehow have done more damage?

This is the problem with... everyone. Nothing destroyed anything. Your favorite Star Wars novel, film and game continues to exist.
 

Zelvik

Rear Admiral
Just wanting to throw my two cents into the debate. With the exception of WC1 I probably played every WC title up until P2 when they were released starting with WC2 - and only after that getting my hands on the WC1 PC version. So my start was with WC2 and I was stunned by its cutscenes and the mission feeling. I still prefer it to the WC1 missions which somewhat feel less involving. I particularly liked the bombing run missions. That said, I loved WC3 when it came out but havent realy looked back to it. It had a great story, it had interesting mission designs that involved you even further in the story etc.. I somehow never felt the same for WC4 which I played in a rather speedrun way when it was released and never touched it afterwards (just didnt give me the same feeling I had with WC2 and WC3) - and therefore never got Prophecy (which was mainly due to beeing heavily disappointed by Privateer 2).

None of the EU stuff follows the basic Star Wars formulas: myth, legend, archtype characters, mystery of faith, youth leaving the farm to find adventure, etc.

But then, you cant repeat that pattern over and over again. The original trilogy by itself (at least EP IV and V) are great movies that dont give away too much about the surrounding universe - simply becaues they are movies and movies normaly cant ever give you that information in a meaningful manner without getting bogged down by either technobabbel or artifical sociology/politics (which can be even more annoying - a reason why the prequel trilogy fails so much at delivering). You hardly can have the pacing of an action oriented adventure movie and at the same time handle the big questions of society (except if you realy concentrate on one aspect like Total Recall or Running Man do). If you try to do that you need another format like the first movie Dune (which partially failed due to the film not beeing able to translate the complexity of the novel).

The EU on the other hand is capable of doing many of those things and some books were capable of delivering that part of the SW universe that the films were not able to shed light to. I concurr in your view that much of the EU became senseless superweapons and recurring supervillains against Jedi and Solo repetitiveness. But there were good parts too, that tried to flesh out what was seen in the original trilogy, make the universe come alive, show politics and intrigues. But thats mainly limited to 1 or 2 series of books, the original Thrawn trilogy and the original 4 X-Wing books. The assorted rest can mainly be discounted as repetitive rubble that realy did not add anything meaningful to the original movies. But then again, the new trilogy didnt do any good too, so its not just a failure of the Expanded Universe.
 

Gamer8585

Spaceman
I thought that WC3 was great. Very immersive and entertaining cut scenes. The ability to walk around the ship, talk to people, influence their morale, and choose your own flight loadout was great. It continued to have a great story and even branching paths. Also, it had a porn star.

The only problems I had with it were:
1) There was a jump in time from the end of WC2 SO2 and the interim events were never really explained in game (or even hinted at). For someone that just had access to the games it felt strange from being on the verge of winning the war to being close to loosing it. Plus, all the stuff that happend between WC2 and 3 were really pivotal moments. I wish they had found a way to include it in game. I thought Blair's locker would be a perfect place to put some recent history holovids or good old fashioned newspaper/magazine articles.

2) They did a weird thing with Blair in that everyone called him by name, but everyone else was referred to by callsign. Even on his uniform was the word "Blair." I don't know why they were so stuck on having the player choose the callsign since it can never appear anywhere but the killboard. Since they had already taken away the name customization for sake of cinema why didn't they just do the same for callsign? Were people really that stuck on their nickname that they were going to riot if they couldn't use it?
 
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