Wing Commander III - The Heart of the Tiger
Written by Daniel Westerstal   
Monday, 16 May 2005

The Kilrathi race is threatening to overwhelm and invade the Terran Confederation. One last attempt to save the confederation is made, the operation to destroy the Kilrathi home world.

<pYou are greeted with a pretty standard story when you start Wing Commander III Heart of the Tiger. The game is one of those popular 90s productions dubbed interactive movies. This means that the game is packed with video material for you to interactive, something that was all the rage back in 1994 when Wing Commander III saw the light of day.

In the game you are Colonel Christopher 'Maverick' Blair, a hotshot fighter pilot. The actor Mark Hamill plays the colonel. Getting the game together with Hollywood actors and cut scenes cost Origin $ 4 million, which means that Wing Commander III is one of the most expensive productions ever made. Only beaten by the sequel, Wing Commander 4 (production cost $ 10 million).

So with all the money put into the production you reckon that you are in for a pretty good experience. Much of the time is spent in the cut scenes clicking through different options and doing different things. The interactive movies does produce an interesting story, which is very similar to Star Wars, Star Trek and all the other space related productions out there.

In my opinion the real fun part of the game is the fighting and missions that you have to perform in space. Virtually it’s like any other combat flight simulator but in space. However the story to back the missions up makes them more alive.

The space combat is actually quite challenging, you find yourself constantly twisting and turning your ship to try to get the enemy in your crosshairs. In the beginning you are usually ending up with the enemy behind you mocking you on the video screen and shooting you into little tiny fragments.

After a while you get the hang of how the enemy operates and the roles reverse. On each mission you have an at least one wingman. You can order your wingman to engage and do different things, and you have contact with him over the video link.

However your wingman can get you into trouble, sometimes he just runs straight in front of your ship when you are firing, causing kind of interesting situations. Also the wingmen interaction could have been greater, it’s not as good as in flight simulations such as USAF.

The graphics in the game are not that great. Watching the movies feels like watching an old VHS tape. Within the game itself the graphics are better, there are no real shadowing and stuff like that but it is bearable.

Overall Wing Commander III is a good game. I have never been much of a fan of the interactive movies from the 90s. They do provide a good solid ground for the missions in the game, but there is just too much yadayada and to little player interaction. Clicking doors and buttons in movies has a limited appeal. The space fighting is much more fun and challenging and that’s what saves this game in my opinion.


Developer: Chris Roberts, Origin Interactive Movies
Website for Game: N/A
Related Websites: Wing Commander CIC
Publisher: EA Games
O/S: DOS (we got it to run on Win XP)
Cost of Full Game: N/A
Year of Release: 1994

System Requirements:
486 DX 50 MHz, 8 MB RAM, 20 MB hard drive space, SVGA

Tested On:
Pentium 3 733 MHz Mobile, 356 MB RAM, Windows XP

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