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Review by: Jim Brumbaugh
Published: May 18, 1997
The depths of outer space can be a cold, dark, and lonely place. Of course, that is until a half-dozen enemy fighters appear in your craft’s sensors. At that point, it is your mission to either destroy or be destroyed in LucasArts’ latest Star Wars combat simulation, X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter.
Anyone who has played either of LucasArts’ previous entries in this field, X-Wing or TIE Fighter, will immediately recognize the look and feel of this title. In Single-player mode, the purpose is still the same as it has been in the past. The player must first learn the subtleties of piloting his craft, charging its shields and firing its weapons. In order to accomplish this, a number of training exercises are provided which guide the player through his craft’s systems, one-by-one.
After training is complete, it is time for the budding pilot to begin fighting for his chosen cause. Depending upon his battle preferences, there are a number of different types of missions from which he can choose. Melee missions occur within an interstellar arena, and allow pilots to test their skills against one another. There are different types of Melees, from missions involving two-man and four-man teams, to free-for-alls in which the purpose is to destroy as many targets as is possible. Tournament missions are a series of three or five melee missions, the winner being determined by the highest point total at the conclusion of the tournament. Combat missions are situations in which the pilot must achieve specific “goals” in order to succeed. These goals can be as diverse as escorting convoys, assisting in boarding operations and conducting raids and attacks on enemy vessels. Finally, Battle missions are a series of either three, five or seven combat engagements, and the pilot who wins the greatest number of engagements is declared the victor.
Once Mission selection is complete, the pilot is provided with a detailed briefing of the task that is ahead of him. In addition to a Mission Map which identifies the starting location of the pilot and the approximate location of his targets, a text description appears which specifies the actions that are expected to be taken. If the player is flying a mission in which his craft is but one in a group of vessels, it is also possible to change the other pilots that are assigned to the flight group.
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