I am definately the type of player the developers made the game to attract. I love the Wing Commander series, and have played all of the games. Recently I just randomly was looking up info on Wing Commander and stumbled across the info that a new game had been released, and that it was made by the fans. I love flight sims, space shooters, and challenging fast paced games. But enough about me... I have some feedback on this labor of love.
I was absolutely blown away by the crisp look of the graphics in WC Saga. It just goes far past anything I remember in previous games. It really gives you a sense of nostalgia being back in the Wing Commander universe... especially one so finely detailed. The special effects such as the explosions are the best I have ever seen. For once you REALLY don't want to be too close when one of those big ships cook off!
The space combat is fantastic! You get into some really intense furballs, but the game runs smooth through it all. This game gives you the feel of being in a real space dogfight like no game I have ever played before. You can really have an edge by using your head and thinking fast. The game also pushes you to the maximum of your ability, and keeps you on your toes by never allowing you to be comfortable with what you may find at the next nav point. Best part of the whole game... jumping into the ambush. The feeling that mission gives you is exhilerating. It gave me a flashback of what the book "End Run" was all about. That was my favorite book because of the desperate odds the Tarawa was up against. That mission really brought out that desperate fight type of atmosphere.
The story was absolutely awesome and well done. I have also read all of the Wing Commander novels, and this is on par with that storytelling. The developers did a stellar job of getting the player aquainted with, and attached to the other pilots and crew. I have to say some of the chatter really had me laughing out loud, and gives the game a very detailed sense of depth.
I have seen some other reviews complaining about the lack of checkpoints in this game. To this I say, it does have a purpose. It does give you the urge to REALLY try to stay alive, as if you were really there. If I were able to restart at a checkpoint I would have missed out on the real adrenaline rush I experienced in some of these missions. Some of them are VERY challenging, but I like it that way. I still kicked the Kilrathi's butt, and got some real accomplishment and satisfaction out of doing it. As far as any other complaints... the game is FREE. I think some are just in the habit of complaining about things they have paid for. The makers of this game deserve nothing but thanks for this product. 10 YEARS???? Yes, you have a thank you and no complaints from a dedicated Wing Commander pilot.
Overall, I had more fun in Wing Commander Saga than in any other Wing Commander title. I really enjoyed the movie style of WC3 and 4, but Saga made up for this with absolutely killer graphics and voiceover work. It is am amazing piece of work, and considering how much time the development team put into this on a volunteer basis, they deserve nothing but true praise.
So, as a devoted Wing Commander fan since the series came out, I sincerely want to bestow the honor to the makers of this masterpiece they so much deserve. You guys have really gone above and beyond the call of duty in making this title and I could not be more grateful. Because of you I have been able to enjoy another Wing Commander title. I could not be more impressed with what you have done. I am thankful that you made the game very challenging targeted towards more advanced players. It really has that feel to it. I am about to go through the entire game a second time, just to have that experience again.
For anyone wondering if you should download this game, don't waste any time thinking about it. You simply have to play this game. It's better than any other space shooter I have ever paid to own. You won't regret it.
Thanks again development team! No game is perfect, but this one is extremely well done for a free title. You have my kudos and heartfelt thanks. A true fan salutes you!
This game is way above everything the space-genre has seen in the last...10? years.
-The graphics are really good considering the old engine, the backgrounds are beautiful.
-The Voice-Acting and Music are generally very good
-The writing is good and in some parts very good. Some missions really give you a thrill. The story and characters are compelling and keep you engaged until the very end.
-Game-mechanics are very well done. It's always challenging and the player is required to develop skills in a steep learning-curve to keep up with the progression of the games difficulty.
-The balance is very good in most parts. There are some minor things that could be tweaked for the better, but they are not a necessity.
Some negative aspects:
-Some mission objectives become very repetitive in the end. Having to defend cap-ships against bombersquadrons for about 50 times in the last part of the game is...well, it get's repetitive.
-Some missions are partially frustrating, that's where balance-changes could improve the overall experience. They all can be done, but sometimes you have to play it over and over again to learn where enemies spawn and which enemies to take out first in order to succeed.
-Some things are a bit intransparent. It would be nice to know when and for what you get ribbons/medals and promotions. It would be good if the game itself gave clues about that, like in the recommendation-field in the debriefing. I guess Freespace did this, giving recommendations how to succeed in secondary objectives, would be a nice-to-have.
-Although it's a design-decision I would have liked more freedom for the player-character. Ship-selection for instance, as more missions where you can actually command your wingmates (the player does know best how to beat the enemy, sadly he can't tell his wingmates what to do...).
All in all I would say this game competes easily with triple A titles, besides the graphics, and is by far the best space-combat game in a very long time. Thanks a lot to everyone engaged in the development process.
I have just finished this great game. I just wanted to add my thanks also to the intense action and immersive narrative you guys have given us. Like the posters above I would also happily pay for this game as a regular AAA title.
It's very impressive that the project came to such a high quality conclusion after such an extended period of ten years. I very much hope that you guys will continue to do related stuff in the future!
I have never played a wing commander universe game before, but this definitely makes me want to look into this series!