Star Wars: TIE FighterTHE GOOD: For once, you get to play as the Empire! Excellent graphics. Fast-paced gameplay featuring missions and starfighters from the movie trilogy and craft new to the Star Wars universe.
THE BAD: Some missions are more difficult than intended partly due to bugs (not as serious as X-Wing). Subpar music.
SUMMARY: The sequel to the critically acclaimed X-Wing does a complete and welcome about face...instead of siding with the Rebels as you do in most Star Wars titles, this time you get to serve the Emperor and fight for the Empire! You'll find yourself in the cockpit of 7 different Imperial craft, including a handful made just for the game. Graphics, especially in high-resolution mode, are excellent. Detail is higher than in X-Wing and frame rate is smooth despite some slowdown when there are a lot of objects on the screen and some issues with large ships at very close range. There are also options to toggle on and off some of the optional details, which can help speed up the gameplay on slower PCs. Sound effects are realistic and authentic, especially the sounds of lasers and warheads being launched and ships exploding when destroyed. The music is fine but gets repetitive and annoying after a while, despite being appropriate, like good-sounding music when friendly craft enter, a "despair" theme when a friendly heavy ship is lost or a litle victory tune upon killing a Rebel cruiser. Controls are responsive if you're playing with a good joystick but can be configured for a mouse or other peripherals. The keyboard gets extensive use too but it's not too difficult to learn-simulator missions which also double as tutorials will help you pick up the finer points. The gameplay spans over 100 Campaign-style missions plus 28 "historical" missions and you can replay any completed missions as well for improving high scores. Like X-Wing, there are a few missed bugs that make late missions difficult, but not to the point of being impossible. Compared to X-Wing, this is the game to get and despite it being 10 years old now, it still has lots of replay value and is a must-have for any Star Wars fan or any gamer looking for a good space combat shooter/simulation. It's definitely worth scouring bargain bins for this one.