The outer reaches of space are occupied by pirates, miners, mercenaries and Kilrathi vermin, all trying to make a quick buck. The only rules on the fringes of the galaxy are your own. Not only is battle an important part in Wing Commander: Privateer but trading in cutthroat circles on the galactic frontier is also a part of gameplay.
You have a strict budget with which to work when customizing your ship but you can modify weapons, armor and ship systems as you desire. Wing Commander: Privateer is a single-player adventure in which you fight, trade and explore for your own survival! Gameplay includes Righteous Fire, an extension of the Wing Commander: Privateer game that adds different ship enhancements with over 24 additional missions. Righteous Fire takes place a year after the end of the initial game so finishing the Privateer missions first is suggested.
The entire universe in Wing Commander: Privateer consists of more than 50 bases and planets in almost 70 systems. The frontier is completely open for exploration but you can only go as far as your money and earnings will take you. Ships cost from 75,000 credits (Orion-Class) to 200,000 for a Centurion-Class fighter. View the action from several different perspectives including chase, missile and theater cameras.
Wing Commander: Privateer offers full, digitized speech for every character encountered in the galaxy. Buy and sell items to gain money so you can customize your ship, destroy enemies and assert your position in the galaxy above all others!
The year is 2669. You are an experienced space crewdog who has just inherited an obsolete Tarsus scout/merchant ship from your grandfather. With it and your few remaining credits, you decide to seek your fortune in the frontier Gemini Sector near the borders of human and Kilrathi space. Before your first deal, you are attacked by roving pirates. Being the hotshot pilot you are, you turn the tables on them. One of your missile shots goes awry, hitting a dormant object. It comes alive with an eerie green glow, and moves silently off....
So begins Wing Commander: Privateer, one of the best mercenary space combat games ever made. You are free to explore the Wing Commander universe by taking on the roles of merchant, mercenary, smuggler and/or pirate. There are always many missions you can choose from, and you can ignore the main plotline as long as you please by taking on less important jobs. The action takes place in the Gemini Sector, each quadrant in which is teeming with solar systems, Kilrathi and Confed ships, pirates, asteroids and other hazards. In turn, most solar systems are dabbed with their own planets, space stations and jump points to other systems. There are over 64 star systems you can explore, all adding to dozens of hours of sheer entertainment.
The space combat engine used in Wing Commander 2 was greatly improved in Privateer. While still relying on bitmaps, images are now sharper, details are much more abundant, and pixellation is greatly reduced in comparison to the WC series. Because Privateer takes place behind the front lines of Kilrathi/Confederation conflicts, ships you will encounter are also more colorful and varied, and loose-floating cargo items reveal a surprising amount of close-up detail. You will also see some stunning space station interior renderings and planetside city views; Origin evidently had a lot of fun with its in-house 3D rendering software.
The combat interface and flight model carry over from Wing Commander games and are very effective, although they still blatantly ignore the laws of physics (banking is impossible, for instance). Power management features borrowed from Lucasfilm's X-Wing have been added, adding a nice dimension of challenge. And as if all that isn't enough, the game also has a very interesting main plot that combines elements of political intrigue, backstabbing surprises, and sci-fi cliches into an absorbing space drama. My only gripe with the game is that the ending is rather disappointing, especially considering that the last battles are very difficult. However, the plus side is that the game is still playable afterwards, by accepting missions from the mission computer or Merchants/Mercenaries Guild.
With amazing graphics, strong "you are there" atmosphere, excellent plot, and best of all, a great sense of freedom in the vast gameworld, Privateer is a must have for every gamer's collection. It may have a flight model as realistic as Elite, or a trade model as captivating as Starflight, but at two o'clock in the morning, all you can think of will be how to roast that damn pirate ship to make nice salvage operation afterwards.
One of the best Sci Fi computer games of all time, Privateer puts you into the Wing Commander universe as a freelance character with the freedom to peruse any career path you wish. Be a pirate, a merchant, a bounty hunter, a smuggler, a patriot of the Confederation or even a Kilrathi sympathizer!
The game takes place in the Gemini sector along the frontier, about one year in the Wing Commander timeline before the destruction of Kilrah. Profit is the golden rule and morals are strictly optional. When not pursuing fortune your own way, the game offers an extremely compelling storyline for you to follow. Don't fail to download the "Righteous Fire" expansion to this game once you finish it for a whole new storyline and a heavily modified Gemini sector.
People who downloaded Wing Commander: Privateer have also downloaded:
Wing Commander Privateer (CD-ROM), Wing Commander 1, Wing Commander: Privateer - Gemini Gold, Wing Commander II: Deluxe Edition, Wing Commander 3: Heart of the Tiger, Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom, Wing Commander: Academy, Wing Commander: Prophecy - Gold
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