Wing Commander: Privateer
DOS - 1993
Description of Wing Commander: Privateer
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. Two thumbs up, way up!
Review By HOTUD
Captures and Snapshots
Comments and reviews
Mr 2018-12-14 0 point
I was so excited for part two and i was so let down. The original was a complete imersion game, one of the first true open world games. Today we think nothing of roaming in RDR2 or GTA but this was a first, and the fact you could play the same game as a merc, or a merchant, or pirate. I remember bringing dirty magazines to mining planets to make nice cash, to upgrade my guns and radar and engines. And the soundtrack was awesome. I really miss this game, it is a warm spot in my memory...
Hood 2017-08-03 -1 point
Privateer 2 is among the crappiest games I have played in my entire life, while the original one was awesome. I could not agree more.
kissKIZZkiss 2016-02-13 0 point
I never really got INTO this game probably BEEcause I played wingcommander3 heart of the tiger FIRST, so this game seemed like a downgrade seeing as the ships were not 3d, if I played this without ever playing wc3 then I probably would have liked it more?
JAY DEE 2014-10-22 0 point DOS version
a manual would be handy,the controls are complex.you dont get money if you use inf ammo or invulnerability,ALT-O brings up options,C comms,press C when docked to save load,G activates guns,W changes weapons,N for nav screen,A for autopilot,+/- for speed,[/] change screens.F1-F9 change views,T for targeting,L locks.and 30 minutes? sounds like he didnt upgrade weapons.buy two weapons and activate both.also you start with a missile launcher,buy missiles and use them.
falcon 2014-07-02 0 point DOS version
I love this game. Back in the last century i spend a lot off hours playing it. Especially the ingame music will i remember... tatata tetete ..... forget it....
Typical Overatted Old Junk 2014-06-07 -11 points DOS version
First game just ended up with me fighting this Talos whose shields neither of us could bring down. The battle just went on and on and on and on and on and on until I just force quit DosBox in frustration after 30 minutes. I couldn't even find the game's normal "Options" screen with any Load/Save or Quits on it.
Typical ugly VGA era game with zero intuitive controls
Gheld 2014-05-17 0 point DOS version
I had no problem loading and playing in dosbox. LOVE this game.
ick 2013-11-10 0 point DOS version
This version is buggy. Missions don't earn any money. Use a different version.
Valkyrie Star Knight 2013-06-25 -1 point DOS version
Galaxy on fire 2 on mobile and ios is great too!!
jk2010 2012-03-20 0 point DOS version
good thing you didnt warn me beforehand (about privateer 2) cause privateer 2 is among my top5 favorite games ever, its a 10/10 scoring games, privateer is ok, but the sequel is the most atmospheric and fun great game i have ever played
dwightk 2011-03-24 0 point DOS version
Privateer 2 was also awesome, Christopher Walken. Need I say more?
Paradigm 2011-03-06 5 points DOS version
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.
Whatever you do, do *NOT* under any circumstances play the sequel, Privateer 2: The Darkening. Believe me, I'm doing you a favor by warning you away...
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