Star Wars: X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter Review
By Brian Egan |
X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter may be a half-baked, flawed product, but it's one you just can't stop playing. It's as simple as that.
XvT is a single- and multi-player game of space combat in the Star Wars universe. Gamers can jump into any one of nine crafts: the imperial TIE Fighter, TIE Interceptor, TIE Advanced, TIE Bomber or Assault Gunboat, or the Rebel X-Wing, A-Wing, Headhunter, or Y-Wing. Where are the B-Wing and the TIE Defender? Good question. This is not the old TIE Fighter or X-Wing games: It's been redesigned from the ground up, with a new front end and an entirely new combat graphics engine. The front end isn't the slickest thing on earth, with a few too many buttons adding to the general confusion of simply picking a mission.
Melee and tournament missions are also included, but these are mostly dogfighting engagements geared toward multi-player play. You can pick your ship type, armament, and the number of ships in a melee, but only for your side: There is no custom mission creator a la ATF of US Navy Fighters. Plus, as you change ship types and armament, the AI opponents change to match forces, so you can't really set the engagement you want.
Of course, the real deal with XvT is the multiplay, and this is where it really comes alive. At the same time, it's the second area where it falls down. Multiplay is via LAN, direct connection, or Internet. There are a number of multiplay types, and most are simply a blast to play. One-on-one dogfights can be a bit boring since they quickly decay into turning battles, but there's even room for strategy here. XvT has a new flight model that puts more emphasis on the relation of turn radius to speed: Going slower allows for tighter turns. One issue is that you better make sure your ships are evenly matched and ground rules are clear, because the differences and ships and loadouts can lead to some pretty one-sided fights.
If you love Star Wars, this is a game to pick up. Additionally, while flawed, the flaws are mostly corrected in the available expansion packs, which are a must have if you are going to get this game.