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Raxxman was kind enough to type us up a copy of an article which appears in the November issue of the UK PC Gamer. It appears that this article reveals the title of the next Wing Commander game... read on! (Another cool UK PC Gamer note... the October issue's Top 100 Games (as voted on) list includes the WC series at #42... anything's better than nowhere!)
The Wing Commander series has spawned a huge number of looky-likeys over the years and formed its own genre. The combination of compelling story line, cinematic cut scenes and space battles has been emulated - no, downright copied - in LucasArts' X-wing and TIE fighter, MircoProse's X-COM Interceptor and interplay's Conflict Freespace.
   But Origin were there first, developing a continuing story throughout the various episodes and employing a number of well-known actors, including Mark Hamill, Malcom McDowell and John Ryhs-Davies.
   The very latest episode, Wing Commander Secret Ops, breaks taboos and traditions by being freely downloadable from the Internet (http://www.secretops.com/main.html).
   "Wing Commander Secret Ops is an entire Wing Commander game that is available as episodes over the Internet," explains Producer Rod Nakamoto. "Origin is giving away the game free of charge (except for standard Internet service fees) as a way of saying thanks to all our Wing Commander fans who've supported us since the series began in 1990.
   "Wing Commander Prophecy Gold is a compilation of Secret Ops and the original Prophecy so it covers a much broader range of exciting missions than Prophecy did on its own - approximately twice as many missions in fact."
   The events in Secret Ops take place directly after those in Prophecy, setting the scene in readiness for the next instalment, Wing Commander Strike Team. The Wing Commander Prophecy missions include all the stars and live video sequences that were in the original release of Prophecy, but because Secret Ops is also available on the Internet, it uses real-time films rendered by the game engine rather than live action video. However you still play the part of Casey, and many of Prophecy's characters return.
   And what of all that competition?
   "Wing Commander is the product that defined the space simulator market and has inspired many, many clones over the years," says Rod Nakamoto. "Wing Commander has always provided the most exciting missions weaved into the most compelling stories set in the richest sci-fi universe imaginable. Combine that with lightning-fast graphics performance and audio-visual effects and you have the best space combat experience on the PC.
   "Ultimately, we let the fans speak for themselves and they have made it clear that Wing Commander Prophecy is their favourite of the recent crop of space sims."

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