This post is a bit out of date, but when it comes to sharing stories of Wing Commander enjoyment, 'better late than never' always applies! Together Retro Game Club chose Wing Commander for one of their group playthroughs last spring, and they even whipped up a nifty Arrow Scout graphic to kick things off. Their adventure was very much like the community replay that the CIC conducted a few years back, but in our case it took over a year to get through the main story games in the series! If you'd like to read about the fun that they had, check out the Racketboy forums here. Dundradal's CIC replay is also summarized here.
Wing Commander is the first game in the Wing Commander series of science fiction space simulation games, released on September 26, 1990 for the PC. It was designed and directed by Chris Roberts and produced by Roberts and a pre-System Shock/Deus Ex Warren Spector. Origin Systems was the developer and publisher. The company would later be bought out by Electronic Arts in 1992, and EA would go on to publish future Wing Commander titles, as well as use the Origin name for their future digital download service.
Wing Commander was conceived to bring the space combat genre to a level as high as the Star Wars films. What made this game ahead of its time was its revolutionary 3D graphics and simulation elements. The player is able to give themselves a callsign as the name they will use, the player can interact with their fellow pilots aboard the ship, fly many different types of space fighter craft, issue commands to their wingmen and assume complete control of the space fighter’s functions.
The actions in battle and the decisions made by the player will affect the course of the game’s story through special “winning” and “losing” branches, and reaching the end of one of those arcs will determine your ending. The game also uses an extensive amount of cutscenes, a feature in PC gaming that was starting to gain traction around the time this game was released. If the player performs well, they can gain promotions, and if the player dies in-game, an elaborate space funeral scene will send them off.