[Editor's note: Every two weeks, we'll pick a classic game to play and discuss. Then the choice of the next game will be made by a randomly selected participant from the current discussion. It's like a book club, but with videogames. We'd love to have you join us. Register for the forums and hop into the discussion! This week's choice, by CraigM, is Wing Commander 3.]
I grew up a huge fan of science fiction, I became obsessed with Star Wars as soon as I discovered it. When my family finally got a PC my first game was a flight sim. And when Wing Commander 3 came out, here was a game combining sci-fi flight sims with Luke Skywalker! It was tailor-made for 12 year old me. Unfortunately at the time the only computer I had access to was an old Apple IIE, and most of my gaming was done on the Sega Genesis. By the time I had the ability to play the game, it had already faded from its glory days. It is one of the greatest omissions in my gaming history, and it thrills me to no end to see if this game really lives up to its reputation.
There are other reasons to pick Wing Commander 3 other than reputation. Space sims are quickly gaining traction. Look no further than Elite: Dangerous and Star Citizen to see examples. The designer of Star Citizen is none other than Chris Roberts of Wing Commander fame. So now is the perfect time to see why his name can garner $48 million in crowd funding. That kind of cash is evidence of fierce loyalty that only could come from some truly seminal games.
Wing Commander 3 is also notable for its story. It might seem odd for a flight sim of any stripe to be heralded for narrative, since they often rank with strategy games for their perfunctory nature, but it remains one of the frequently cited strengths of the series. Full motion video, with live big-name actors, underpin the storytelling. The Kilrathi have managed to gain enough notoriety that even my complete absence of any experience with the series does not prevent me from knowing who they are.
Wing Commander can be found at Good Old Games for $5.99.