From the opening full motion sequence I knew I was in for something special with Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger. Whether it was the appearance of Mark Hamill, the movie style dialogue or just the thrill of seeing Luke Skywalker with a moustache, I'm not sure. It was likely a product of all three. But in any event I had found my newest addiction, the fix for which I would spend hours pining and then many more hours strapped to my chair with a bucket over my head and a badly painted starscape mounted over my monitor. The third installment in Chris Robert's Wing Commander series, Heart of the Tiger was released way back in 1994, arguably the golden age of space sims and chronicles the story of one Colonel Christopher Blair (Mark Hamil). Having been raging for the past thirty years the war with the Kilrathi Star Empire is going from bad to worse as the Confederation is pushed to the breaking point. Stationed aboard the TCS Victory, you and your rag tag band of misfits, lunatics and xenophobes must help to stem the tide and turn the tables on the Kilrathi, while forming lasting friendships and animosities, all of which are rendered in full motion video. Now I know what you're thinking. FMV's are bad. They're awful. They're the product of all that is evil in the world, they may even have links to Fascism. But to this I say, you're right, just not this time.
|"I'm an actor, a real actor. I'd give that Red Alert Tanya a go mind you."|
|The Arrow: A need for speed!|
|Kilrathi Strakha: Stealthy SOB's.|
|Prepare to die... Again.... And Again.|
As always with any review you have to straddle the line between being informative and giving away every detail which defines what you're reviewing. It can be hard, for how else are you to get people to understand exactly how amazing or truly terrible something is without being specific? In such a vein I can say only this about Wing Commander 3: Heart of the Tiger. In my humble opinion it is one of the greatest games I have ever played, and I don't say that lightly. Granted the only other game I've played is Cricket Revolution, but I learned a lot from that experience. Some of which can only be properly analysed with the help of a seasoned mental health professional. So there you go, slow starter, excellent game play, movie style cutscenes. It's an instant classic. Now play it.
And just in case you're still unsure, heres a trailer that will blow your socks off. Or at least mildly impress you.