Recent space sim Dark Horizon is here and hitting the review circuit. Naturally, certain comparisons will be made! Unfortunately, it sounds like they aren't entirely positive. GameZine.co.uk says:
A long time ago, this old timer loved to play Wing Commander and games of its ilk, even though the third one crippled his system and forced an upgrade.
Still, they were great days when men were men (with silly nicknames) and big cat people offered the greatest threat to mankind since the last one.
Those halcyon times are long past, with the poisonous influence of the diabolical Wing Commander movie having potentially snuffed out the series for good.
Then there came Dark Horizon (DH), a new space blaster that gladdened the hearts of silly old fools like myself and promised to bring the grandiosity back to the flimsy space combat genre.
Sadly, DH just doesn’t cut it. The whole thing is pretty average all round – nothing really grabs you and draws you into the universe, though it is clear the developer (Quazar) has tried its damnedest to create a fully fleshed out universe and story to get your teeth into...
...It just goes to show how important the cut-scenes in Wing Commander were, when you think about it. They provided an emotional link between the combat and the ongoing narrative.
You did genuinely care whether Iceman or Maniac got killed in a mission, because they were real characters to you, not just a collection of words on a screen.
I digress, though. Dark Horizon has everything you’d want from a space combat game – except a real reason to actually play it. A terrible shame.
It’s been quite some time since we’ve seen the last space simulation game. I guess it’s not as popular as it was during the glory days when Wing Commander, Freespace and Privateer first came on the scene. It’s a shame really as the space sim genre has a great amount of untapped potential. When first hearing about Dark Horizons, ironically when it was released as there was no press coverage at all, I had high hopes for the game, but sadly it wasn’t everything I was looking for.
Additionally, GamersHell.com has posted a trailer for the game; they call it "a stark and atmospheric space combat simulation which follows along the same lines of classics like Wing Commander and Freelancer." (And one slight fact check -- because of the massive differences between copies sold to make a hit game and tickets sold to make a hit movie, it's likely far more people saw the Wing Comamnder movie than ever bought the game. Go figure!)
This is the sixth set of Feng Zhu "concept" ships, commissioned for an unspecified Wing Commander title following the release of Secret Ops. These images' filenames classify them as freighters while their labels identify them as multiroles - supporting the earlier theory that multirole refers to Privateer-style spacecraft. Regardless, this is another set of clearly Kilrathi designs. It's also interesting to note that these ships are dated a month later than the unusual Confederation designs - August, 1998 rather than July (the same month this site went live!).
Thanks to Captain Johnny for both archiving and providing this material!