Thursday, July 26, 2007

Xbox 360 - Wing Commander: Arena - A Half Hour Played

As a space fighter sim fan, I've followed the Wing Commander series over the years. I own in some form every game in the WC franchise except Privateer 2: The Darkening and Armada.

So when I saw that a new Wing Commander game - Wing Commander: Arena - was available on Xbox Live Arcade, I immediately ponied up 800 Live points and downloaded it.


This isn't a space fighter sim. It's a multiplayer 2D shootemup. It looks 3D at first and that's how it's advertised, but I soon realized the ships all move in a common plane, and there's no first-person view. There is a single-player mode, but even that lacks the mission structure of other Wing Commander games; it's just practice for the multiplayer action, against AI opponents.

Lip service is given to the WC universe in the form of a one-paragraph backstory and ship designs that look like ones from ConFed and the Kilrathi. It's a multiplayer arcade game (complete with powerups) in Wing Commander clothing. Some people may find that kind of game fun, but I'm afraid it's not my cup of tea. Now I'll have to go back and play Wing Commander: Prophecy to satiate my renewed WC jones.

Curse you, EA!

Recommended? For arcade multiplayer fans, maybe. I wouldn't really know. For Wing Commander fans? No.

Grade: D

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