I think the missions are so suspenseful that in some ways they surpass the original Wing Commander series. Or at least until you get the final ship and are reduced to grinding down wave upon wave of bombers. There are so many memories to cherish here – [spoiler:5lpbx7nd]the hopelessness as your wing is ordered to stand down and watch an allied cap ship beg and plead for your assistance, the seemingly undetectable Kilrathi Ace picking off your spooked squadron one by one, and diving into a planet’s atmosphere with classical music pounding through the comms. At times it really captures the cost of war. However, the rainbow sunshine endings for every single character raised an eyebrow. Not to mention the fact that none of the regular characters seem to die. I don’t want the dev to constantly pull a George R. R. Martin, but it would’ve driven home that sense of loss all the more if someone were cooked in their cockpit apart from redshirts. “Our squad will be me, Sandman, Ninja, and Cannon Fodder Rookie no. 201.”[/spoiler:5lpbx7nd]
The banter over the comms is often hilarious, and I expect everyone will have a favourite character (Psychopath). Again, towards the end the dialogue starts to drop (House MD), but for the most part it’s great across the board. I love the medals. No idea if they’re all optional or part of the story. Speaking of optional, the missions apparently don’t have multiple paths, yet if I weren’t told that I wouldn’t have figured it out until my second playthrough. They’re so flawless you’d swear you could change the outcome at numerous points.
Veteran Wing Commander’s will have no problem difficulty-wise once they’ve refreshed themselves on the keys (so many keys!). The vast majority of missions took only one try. There are a couple of annoying ones though, whoever thought up the idea of stealth skipper missiles should be pelted by stale doughnuts.
personally I was alright with the bomber grinding it made me appreciate when they cut me lose and said "kill all the fighters and be back before dark" like in the battle where you kill deathfang I'm in the atmo thinking "gotta protect the dropships" and then i look around and they are not there then I look at my mission objective and "kill kilrathy fighters" is highlighted :shock: and I'm like "OH YEAH! IT IS ON! DIE FURBALLS!!!" then deathfang shows up and venom says "it ends here" and I'm like "best day ever!"
as for skippers they only used them twice and sure they are tough but that just means all the better to kill in an awesome fashion
[spoiler:1zcxawy2]To be honest, I'm NOT a big fan of killing main characters just for dramatic effect. I think that is incredibly cheap, too easy and very overused. There are far better ways to do that. Or did you think the original Star Wars had been better if they had killed Han Solo? I don't think so. Also we DID kill a main character. Panzer died in the prologue. Codiene died, Eight Ball got badly wounded and had to leave the service... That's enough killing of good friends for my taste.[/spoiler:1zcxawy2]
[spoiler:23x0qx0p]And let's not forget Icefire, Problem Child and many many others. Killing a character just for the sake of it feels very cheap (give ME3 a try and you'll now why I am so upset with the game.)[/spoiler:23x0qx0p]
The second skipper sequence is fine because at that point you have some idea of how to deal with them. [spoiler:3jc3wbmu]The first time you encounter them is tricky though, because it's near the end of a mission and you practically have to fail once in order to learn their pattern. Only then can you choose a strategy - Hit the afterburners or stay near the cap ship? Guns or missiles? Auto-target and lower difficulty? I ended up coming to the forum for help.
As for the other issue... was Icefire or Problem Child around for more than two missions? The only people I noticed were those who talked often. Ninja, Asassin, Venom, Viking, Avatarr, etc. I'm not saying kill em all, but my pessimistic brain found it hard to accept that every one of Sandman's friends (except the one during the prologue) made it through 50 gruelling missions and had the happiest endings imaginable.[/spoiler:3jc3wbmu]Anyway, these are all minor points in an otherwise stellar game. The only problem now is I'm desperate for more.