With X-Wing Alliance, Totally Games and LucasArts have at last delivered the game that many players had hoped X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter would be.
X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter was one of the most anxiously anticipated and yet ultimately most disappointing games of 1997. While the addition of multiplayer features was welcome, most players were displeased that Totally Games and LucasArts focused exclusively on providing a multiplayer dogfighting arena and completely abandoned the plot-rich gameplay that made previous games in the series so addictive. The Balance of Power expansion pack responded to most of the complaints that gamers had concerning X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter, but by the time it arrived on retail shelves, most players had already moved on to other games. With X-Wing Alliance, Totally Games and LucasArts have at last delivered the game that many players had hoped X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter would be and in the process have created a suitably epic finale to their series of space sims based upon the first trilogy of Star Wars movies.
While the campaigns of the previous games in the series put you in the role of a relatively nondescript fighter pilot and let you participate in some of the key events depicted in the first two Star Wars movies, X-Wing Alliance features a more ambitious campaign. You play as Ace Azzameen, the youngest son in a family of merchant traders who are destined to become embroiled in the growing conflict between the Rebel Alliance and the Empire. Just as your character's family and associates have begun to embrace the cause of the Alliance, a rival trading clan, the Viraxo, has sought to ally itself with factions of the Empire. During the 53 heavily scripted missions composing the campaign, Ace Azzameen will heroically progress from being a neophyte pilot of his family's Corellian transports to playing a major role in the culminating Battle of Endor against the Empire's second Death Star. During a prologue lasting several missions, Ace will be limited to flying a couple of Corellian transports, one a kissing cousin of Han Solo's Millenium Falcon. While you'll actually get the opportunity to fly the Millenium Falcon in the game's final missions (one of X-Wing Alliance's favorite marketing jingles), you'll spend far more time in the of the other transports.