Escapist's Not Feeling Privateer
To coincide with the completion of the Wing Commander series on GOG, Escapist ran a series of reviews last year that covered almost the whole franchise. At the time they skipped over Academy and the Privateers, but they've circled back around with a Good Old Review for Gemini Sector pilots. It's the same reviewer that thought Prophecy was pretty good and loved WC1&2, but in this case, he just can't get into Privateer. The author finds himself noticing where it fails to keep up with Wing Commander 2, but that's kind of an awkward comparison since they're intentionally pretty different Wing Commander games. Maybe the writer who hated WC3&4 but wasn't nearly as harsh on Armada would've been the prime candidate for the Priv article. I appreciate that the author tried to grasp for some positive aspects towards the end, but "the game's faction system, in turn, was also a high point"? I like finally figuring out how to befriend the Kilrathi as much as the next guy, but that's a funny part of the game to single out. You can read the complete review for yourself here. Thanks to Matthew Khouzam for letting us know about this one.
For all their flaws, the mainline Wing Commander games hooked me by dropping me into the shoes of a hero that I found innately interesting. In Wing Commander 1 you're the rookie trying to prove themselves. In Wing Commander 2 you're a disgraced pilot trying to prove their innocence in the midst of a war that is going poorly. Playing as that person and in those roles motivated me. It made me want to kick more ass and see what came next. Playing as some guy trying to make a buck while searching for a random space object, just didn't do it for me. ...
For all my complaints, I will say that Privateer does do a good job of providing varied ways to play the game. You're given complete freedom from the word go to play as a law abiding citizen, a murdering pirate, or some shade in-between. You can make your money running cargo, taking on mercenary jobs, or blasting other trade ships out of the sky and stealing their goods. Doing that last bit will naturally make you enemies with the lawful authorities, but you can always just find a friendly pirate base to land at if the local militias become too much of a pest.
Follow or Contact Us