X Wing Alliance (1999)
Platform Played: PC
Developer: Totally Games
Price: $9.99 on Gog.com and Steam
Space sims weren’t really my forte ever. Although, when I read more about this game on GOG and Steam, the more curious I became. Giving in to my curiosity was a good move as so far I’ve had an intense single-player experience that is challenging, immersive, and most importantly well written. The story, the dialogue, the game play, and the whole experience has been completely worthwhile.
The player character is Ace Azzameen, a son of a space trader/pirate. Azzameen’s family runs afoul of a rival family and this creates an imperial entanglement.Azzameen joins the rebellion and quickly finds that his piloting skills are a valuable asset to the rebel fleet as he trades his YT-2000 and YT-1300 for X-Wings, Y-Wings, and even the odd Z-95 headhunter at times. The ships are obviously varied so are the missions. The player will undertake hit and runs, assaults, escort missions and search and destroy missions.
These missions will be played over and over again at some times. This is not an easy game. Like Dark Forces (1995) there are no save checkpoints. The odds at time are overwhelming. It is difficult to complete mission objectives when a Star Destroyer, either Victory or Imperial Class is bearing down on you with turbolasers. This only adds to the challenge and the fun though in the grand scheme of things. This game is a must play.
I loved the details in this game. When you lock onto a ship you see its systems, hull, shields, and if there’s cargo or not. I had to replay the first mission over and over due to the fact that I had not paid enough attention to the mission briefings. I ended up picking up the wrong cargo container. Details like this require thinking. And there’s not enough of that in modern, mainstream gaming.
There are plenty of battles, yes. You’ll see nebulae, galaxies, imperial and rebel battlegroups, and starfighter squadrons. In the hubs between levels though you’ll be seeing the insides of Mon Calmari cruisers and YT-2000 freighters. Inside you’ll be awarded medals for your bravery and acquire trophies after some of your missions. These will clutter up these rooms, but they all have an interesting story. The email function as well is an added booster to the game and ties up the loose end of the backstory.
What are you waiting for? Buy this game.