Wing Commander: Armada
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|Wing Commander: Armada|
Denis R. Loubet
|Artist(s)||Denis R. Loubet|
|Platform(s)||PC (MS-DOS), FM Towns, PC-98|
|Genre(s)||Space combat simulation, Strategy|
Wing Commander: Armada is a computer game set in the universe of Chris Roberts Wing Commander franchise. Created by Origin Systems and distributed by Electronic Arts in 1994, Armada was the first, official game of the Wing Commander series to feature multiplayer mode. This game was released shortly before Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger and features a new graphics engine, capable of rendering fully three dimensional ship models, which is more powerful than that used in Wing Commander II: Vengeance of the Kilrathi.
Armada features single-player and multiplayer modes. In single player, the player fights the computer-controlled opponents in a number of different game types, whereas multiplayer mode allows two players to play the various game modes head-to-head or cooperatively.
Available only in multiplayer mode, this game type consists of a head-to-head dogfight between two players. Each player chooses one of the fighters available between those of the Confed and Kilrathi inventory, then the fights begin. The player who is able to destroy his opponent is the winner.
This game type is very much like the "Gauntlet" feature from Wing Commander: Academy and is available both in singleplayer as well as in multiplayer, where it enables two players to cooperatively fight the computer-controlled ships. The player chooses to side either with the Terran Confederation or the Kilrathi Empire, then he will have to face off 15 levels each consisting of three separate waves of enemy fighters; as the "Gauntlet" progresses the enemy ships' strength, number and skill increase. The game ends when the player is able to beat the last wave or his ship is destroyed (in multiplayer whenever one of the player is destroyed the game ends). Unlike Academy, where the player could choose which fighter to fly in the "Gauntlet", in Armada the player starts flying either the Arrow or the Dralthi light fighter, then moves to medium and heavy fighters as the game progresses.
A feature which was not present in the retail version of Armada could be enabled by installing a patch released by Origin on their website: the new feature provided each level with a code, enabling the player to restart the "Gauntlet" from the level corresponding to the code, without the requirement to play through all the previous waves.
This is the main game type featured in Armada, available both in singleplayer (player vs. computer) and multiplayer (player vs. player). Armada is a strategy driven game type taking place in a randomly generated sector of space which is depicted in the game's main screen: dots indicate star systems connected through one or more line representing the available space lanes for starships. The players choose a side (Confederation or Kilrathi) to play with and start playing with their forces placed on the opposite sides of the sector. Since both sides start with a carrier and a complement of two light fighters, players can build mines on the planets they visit to gather resources with which to build shipyards for more fighters or fortresses to defend specific planets. Action takes place in turns: during a turn one player can move his ships or build mines/shipyards/fortresses, while the other has to wait for his own turn. The game ends when one player is able to locate the opponent's carrier and attack it with heavy fighters: if the assault is successful a cinematic of the carrier blowing up is displayed and the game ends.
The "Campaign" mode is very much like the "Armada" game type and basically consists of 11 scenarios which are played following the same rules of the "Armada" game type. To progress to the next level one of the two sides must be defeated (its carrier destroyed). At the end of the last level, depending on the points gathered during all the matches, one side results the overall winner and a cinematic of either Earth or Kilrah blowing up is shown. The "Campaign" can be played both in singleplayer and multiplayer.
Next Generation reviewed the PC version of the game, rating it three stars out of five, and stated that "If you've been looking to play - with or against a friend - a title worth owning, wait for Wing Commander 3."
- Paul Pettengale "Wing Commander: Armada", PC Format magazine, September 1994
- Paul Galancey "Wing Commander: Armada", PC Review magazine, November 1994
- Wing Commander: Armada Play Guide
- Wing Commander: Armada "Voices of War" manual