X-Wing Alliance

Join the Rebel Alliance and fly your favourite X-wing, A-wing or Corellian Transport to take on the Galactic Empire, all the way to the Battle of Endor.

Release Date

February 1999.

Pros

This is the best Star Wars space combat simulator to date.

They say “In space, no one can hear you scream.”, but it did not apply “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…” Thank goodness for that, because X-Wing Alliance gives wonderful and authentic Star Wars sounds just like the movies. The laser cannons, explosions, engine rumble and of course the lengendary TIE Fighter all sound great.

The original Star Wars Trilogy soundtrack has been edited to fit the game perfectly.

You get to fly the Millenium Falcon into the Death Star to destroy it. It is not as easy as they do it in the movies, but it is still awesome. One thing that puzzles me is who are you in the Millenium Falcon since Lando Calrissian is the pilot?

The graphics are fantastic. Although not as nice as the newer Star Wars games, they are still fantastic. All the cockpits, ships, space stations, explosions all look Star Wars great.

Right from the introduction sequence all the way to the Death Star’s destruction, the game breathes the Star Wars atmosphere. From the hangar of your family’s base to the furious space battles, all the presentations make you feel like you are a Star Wars pilot.

There are plenty of ships to fly. The campaign is geared towards the Rebel Alliance, but you can set up your own skirmish battles and fly Imperial ships too. Waylon’s X-Wing Alliance Mod has some mods including missions converted from the TIE Fighter game.

There is a historical missions feature where you can refly any campaign missions that you have already completed. You can also try different ships and loadouts for that mission.

The ships are scaled very well. The fighters are tiny, the capital ships are big and then there is the Super Star Destroyer. Just like the movies, the SSD makes other ships look like Micro Machines.

Cons

The speech in general sound only OK. Then when you reach the Battle of Endor, Lando Calrissian sounds terrible. There is a nice mod that adds to movie sounds for this bit though.

There is a film room feature where you can record your mission and play it back for viewing later. Unfortunately the camera controls are limited and terrible. The joystick controls the free moving camera but it never seems to move the way I expect it to.

Other Points

The campaign story starts off with you being a pilot for your family’s business. Things go wrong and you end up joining the Rebel Alliance and flying for them all the way to the destruction of Death Star II in the Battle of Endor.

There is force feedback in the game, but it is not that impressive.

Like TIE Fighter, X-Wing and the Wing Commanders before this, X-Wing Alliance is a space combat simulator. Like a flight simulator, you must learn the keys and how to work the ships. It is still far easier to learn and play than the realisitc flight simulators like Falcon 4.0 and IL-2 Sturmovik: 1946.

If you have played the first X-Wing or TIE Fighter, you will feel right at home with X-Wing Alliance.

The Logitech G35 is detecting that there is surround sound in the game but it sounds very stereo to me.

The game is quite difficult. I set the difficulty to easy and still I struggle to complete a lot of missions.

Biases

Reviewed version 2.02.

Everytime I play X-Wing Alliance, I bring out the movies to watch again.

I really liked TIE Fighter, X-Wing, Wing Commander I, II, III, Privateer and Elite.

I only played the single player parts.

Patches

2.02 – A few fixes as well as a film room feature.

Minimum Requirements (as stated on the box)

  • CD-DVD: 4x Drive
  • OS: Windows 95/98
  • Memory: 32MB RAM
  • Processor: P-200
  • Graphics: 2mb PCI
  • Input: Keyboard, Mouse, Joystick
  • Sound Card: 16 bit Compatibles
  • Internet: 28.8Kbps. 2-4 Players, 2PCs
  • Network: IPX compliant. 2-8 Players, 2PCs

Computer Played On

  • Windows 7 64 bit.
  • Intel Core i5 2.3GHz
  • 4Gb RAM
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 525M 1Gb RAM
  • Conexant SmartAudio with egg speakers or earphones. Or Logitech G35.
  • Graphics settings are set to whatever I feel comfortable with playing on this PC. They are usually not set to the highest settings. All screenshots are taken with my settings.

Handy Tips

X-Wing Alliance does work under Windows 7 64 bit but there is a bit of trickery involved in installing it. There is a new installer and set of instructions here.

The cutscenes play out of sync on a multi-core PC. To fix it, set the affinity to only use one core. One way is to change the game shortcut to something like C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe /C start “” /affinity 01 “C:\Program Files (x86)\LucasArts\X-Wing Alliance\XWINGALLIANCE.EXE”. I got this information from here.

If you are having difficulty reading stuff in the game, try this font fix.

The game was running very choppy on my PC and I had to set custom 3D settings in my NVIDIA Control Panel to fix it. I had to set vertical sync to force off and power management mode to prefer maximum performance.

Recommended Mods

Darksaber’s Ultimate Craft Pack – This mod improves both the graphics and sound for the game. It needs a pretty powerful graphics card to handle it though. On my PC it mostly runs fine, but there are some parts that gets quite jerky.

If you would like to upgrade the graphics of objects individually then check out X-Wing Alliance Upgrade.

Battle of Endor voice update – Changes the speech for the Battle of Endor to be the sounds from the movie. So Lando sounds much better.

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