Wing Commander was to space-based combat flight simulators what StarCraft was to the RTS genre. There'd been many of them before Wing Commander ever saw the light of day, but it was so well done that it helped forge a future for the entire genre. It was so good, in fact, that Dragon magazine gave it six stars. Dragon magazine used a five-star system.
So big was the Wing Commander fad that, after its debut in 1990, it was released to SNES, Sega CD, 3DO and PlayStation, among others. Wing Commander was also one of the first video games to be produced by now-renowned Warren Spector. It even featured some of the branching plot lines that Spector is so well known for. If a player performs poorly, the missions turn defensive, eventually resulting in the retreat of the player's mother ship, Tiger's Claw.
With Oculus VR technology on the horizon, it's no wonder that games like Star Citizen and Elite: Dangerous are looking to bring us back to space. A three-minute demo of EVE Valkyrie illustrates brilliantly just how well this genre lends itself to an immersive VR experience, and the future of space combat sims will almost certainly be played with a headset.
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