Escapist Pans FMV Wing Commanders
Escapist Magazine has continued its serial review of the Wing Commander series available on GOG. Wing Commander 3 and 4 are both covered in the latest article, and boy, the author did not like them! In regards to descriptions such as "awkward 2D ship animations and anemic audio utterly fail to generate any sense of excitement," Delance comments: "I wonder if he even properly played Wing Commander III at all, considering that the game is in full 3D and has (like all Wing Commander games) a great soundtrack. Oh well." [The 2D mention has since been fixed.] The author notes that he skipped FMV games such as WC3&4 back in the '90s, so there appears to be some lack of context. General consensus at 'neutral' sites like PC Gamer is that the WC games have aged pretty well, and the WC series is one of the few out there that stands out with good performances and production values. They'll be profiling Armada next, and unless they can get some good multiplayer games going, we could be in for another bloodbath!
I'm picking on the graphics in part because, as mentioned, Wing Commander 3 tries very hard to be a movie and, being from 1994, that means live-action FMVs and lots of them. As you might expect, it's awful in every possible way: The dialog is worse than a George Lucas first draft and it manages to make a reasonably talented cast that includes Mark Hamill, John Rhys-Davies, Jason Bernard and Malcolm McDowell look like an overly-earnest drama class. The only one who really sells it is Ginger Lynn (yes, that Ginger Lynn) who plays a sex-kitten technical chief who Blair - he finally gets a name in this one - has the option to romance.
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