Wing Commander II: Vengeance of the Kilrathi Review

Wing Commander II Featured

Wing Commander II: Vengeance of the Kilrathi Boxart

Developer: Origin Systems
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platform: PC – DOS, GOG*

Wing Commander II picks up where the first game left off, with one slight problem… The Tiger’s Claw, which served as your home base, has been destroyed. Despite commendable efforts in the past, everyone thinks you were a traitor and blew it up! As such, this game picks up with your pilot completely disgraced, forced to work dull ferrying missions.

As the Kilrathi step up their attacks, everyone is needed in the fight – even you. As the game progresses, you’re able to show your worth to the crew although some still harbor their suspicions. Things only get worse once a murder occurs and everyone knows there is certainly a traitor aboard. Still, missions are passed down to you to complete, in much the same fashion as the last game.

What’s different this time around is how much attention is paid to story. In the past, story segments were mostly unveiled by talking to pilots in the cafeteria. This was good for getting a feel of each character but not so much for stringing together a truly interesting narrative. Now there are story segments between each mission (alongside mission briefings) which do much better at involving the player in Wing Commander’s world. There were definitely times I was surprised and saddened over events that took place.

Wing Commander II Featured

Gameplay has changed little. The biggest change is some new ships to pilot with their own special abilities. Beyond that though, everything is much the same. Using either the keyboard or mouse you engage in dogfights with the Kilrathi and try to make it out alive. It’s still as hard as ever, but Wing Commander II retains the ability to “lose” fights and still continue the story. There are only a few occasions where ejecting causes a game over. Unfortunately, when there are a lot of fighters on screen (or meteors), the game slows tremendously.

All in all, Wing Commander II is a great improvement over the original game in the ways I most wanted it to be. It has a deeper story, some improved graphics, and is still a fun experience. The GOG release includes Special Operations 1 and 2 expansion packs as well, although it lacks Speech Accessory Pack which patched in far more voice acting. It’s amazing how well this game still stands up as an action packed and entertaining ride.

Score: 4

4 out of 5 alpacas

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  • maverynthia

    Now for Wing Commander…. III! Starring Luk– I mean Mark Hamil!