Wing Commander: Privateer

Good
  • Sandbox space experience with a wealth of activities across combat and non combat
  • Build your faction reputation as you push your spaceship with stronger equipment loadouts
Bad
  • Fairly high difficult bar and this won't be your best first experience to the Wing Commander franchise
8.5

Wing Commander: Privateer is a space simulation and adventure game that lets you create your own story in a dog eat dog universe of freedom. As part of the popular Wing Commander series fans and newcomers will both be catered for in this 1993 addition to the franchise which was further expanded in 1994 with the Righteous Fire add-on. While Wing Commander: Privateer is the fourth released game in the Wing Commander franchise it’s primarily a spin off set on the borders of Confederation space that the past titles have focused on.

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In Wing Commander: Privateer players will be travelling around the game world as Grayson Burrows a mercenary like character that travels around the Gemini Sector taking on work. Relieving the player from their past Wing Commander roles in the navy you’ll find much broader freedom in how you approach the game with options to engage in piracy, trading, fighting and other activities.

That isn’t to say there isn’t a broader underlying plot to direct your focus with this plot set after a mysterious drone attacks a ship in the system. In order to destroy this dangerous drone players must resurrect and power an ancient weapon that takes you across the galaxy to different locations with their own mystery. Ultimately with this ancient weapon developed by the advanced race of Steltek and some help from your familiar friends in the Confederation you’ll have a chance at destroying the drone before it can take over the entire sector. Of course with the open ended framework of the game players can still follow this adventure at their own pace as they explore and engage with activities as they please.

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Gameplay places you right in the cockpit of your own ship for much of the game although you will have to land on planets and interact with the inhabitants from time to time to sell your wares. To explore the universe and jump from system to system you’ll rely on the jump points which easily let you move around this sandbox universe of the Gemini sector that is split into several quadrants with their own selection of planets, bases and settlements. When behind your ship controls you’ll find Wing Commander: Privateer to be a first person view with the HUD being the screens of your ship that provide various information to the player.

Across the sector you’ll encounter the 7 core game factions which react differently to the player based on reset relationships from the start and in time your specific actions. The two largest factions are the familiar Confederation of humans and the alien felines of Kilrathi with lesser factions of bounty hunters, merchants, pirates, militia and retros.

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In working for these factions across combat or non-combat side missions players can earn money rewards to reinvest back into their ship before accepting more side missions or pushing through the main storyline. Working from one of the available base ship types that have different focuses you’ll be able to customise armour, cargo, engines, utility and weapons.

Summary:

  • Part of the Wing Commander series with a fourth game that pushes your adventure to a sandbox experience.
  • Play as a privateer and participate in many combat and non-combat activities to upgrade your ship for missions.
  • Jump right into the cockpit of your spaceship with a first person view of your ship HUD status.
  • Plenty of different systems to explore with countless planets spread across the Gemini Sector.
  • Released back in 1993 for Windows and Mac.

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Review Platform: PC

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Written by
Samuel Franklin
Samuel Franklin is the founder and lead editor of the Games Finder team and enjoys video games across all genres and platforms. He has worked in the gaming industry since 2008 amassing over 3 million views on YouTube and 10 million article views on HubPages.

Games Finder is a Steam Curator and featured in the aggregate review scores data of MobyGames and Neoseeker.

1 Comment

  1. It’s said to be difficult, but as a first-time experience in the Wing Commander universe, it was just the jump-start I needed to begin loving space combat sims. This was back in ’95.

    Reply
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