Like its predecessor, Wing Commander 2: Vengeance of the Kilrathi is one of those games which left its mark. A very worthy sequel, it has everything that Wing Commander had.
Released only a year after the first success in the series, this game recounts the epic war between the human race and the Kilrathi, a race of felines. The struggle has been dragging on for quite some time now, and after the player’s efforts in Wing Commander and its expansions (Secret Missions 1 and 2), it is believed the tide has turned. However, the Kilrathi have developed a secret cloaking device which renders their ships invisible on radar and to the naked eye. Our hero (who would go on to be named Christopher Blair in the following installments, presumably because of the bluish tinge of his hair) is the only pilot to have sighted and destroyed these cloaked ships. Unfortunately, as he chases these vessels, his carrier, the Tiger’s Claw, is attacked by these mysterious ships. With no survivors and no tangible proof of the existence of these cloaked ships, the pilot narrowly avoids a court-martial, as he is deemed responsible for the Tiger’s Claw’s demise. He is demoted and sent to a remote space station, doomed to pointless patrols.
Wing Commander 2 picks up the story ten years later. What was supposed to be just another boring patrol becomes a source of excitement and trepidation as the Kilrathi attack! Prove yourself in the defense of the space station, and you just might get reinstated on the flight roster, and transferred back to the Concordia carrier. It is there that you will be reunited with friends from the past: pilots Angel, Spirit, and Paladin among others. Once again, it will be up to you to do your utmost to save humanity! Oh, and to spice things up, a traitor will cause untold mischief aboard the Concordia.
The storytelling is what makes Wing Commander 2 stand out. Where so many flight simulators are simple shoot-'em-ups like TIE Fighter and X-Wing, this one tells the epic tale of a struggle that spans entire galaxies. Of course, game play also consists of patrolling different areas and destroying enemy ships, but there are also missions in which you are asked to escort larger ships or place mines in enemy territory. As in Wing Commander, there are briefings and encounters between each mission which enhance the gaming experience.
The graphics are pretty much the same as in Wing Commander: this is not a 3D game. Enemy fighters and friendly pilots are depicted by sprites, but don’t let that deter you from playing this game. In an age in which every game strives to keep up with technological advances, here is a certain simplicity which is both refreshing and straightforward. The only major difference between the first and the second installment in this series is that the player now enjoys digitized voices in certain cut scenes as well as in the cockpit, a novelty for its time.
All in all, Wing Commander 2 promises and delivers an immersive experience, and if you enjoyed the first game, there is no doubt that you will enjoy this one. Also included are the expansions Special Operations 1 and 2, which will allow you to keep blasting Kilrathi kitties above and beyond the call of duty. Happy gaming!!
Use "loadfix -32 wc2" in the command line to run the game in order to avoid crashing during the second mission!
Part of the Wing Commander Series