Tie Fighter Collector's CD-ROM

Lucas Arts has had terrific success with their Star Wars flight sims. Tie Fighter CD is an excellent addition to the series. The CD version of Tie Fighter is a definite improvement over the original version. A lot of the animations have been cleaned up using rendered ships instead of drawn ones. All the briefings and inflight orders are now spoken. It's an odd feeling to hear Darth Vader give you new orders in the middle of a mission. Of course the story is concluded with the final installment "Enemies of the Empire". The musical score is as fitting to the game as ever. The new installment is full of new ships such as the dreadnought, passenger liner, and many more. A new addition to the game is a 640x480 high resolution mode, which is very similar to Wing Commander 3's SVGA flight mode. If your machine is not capable of handling the High res mode well, you can always play it on the 320x200 resolution mode. The one thing that has always been great about Tie Fighter is that the missions are long and varied especially if the difficulty is set on hard.

I wouldn't play this game on anything less than a 486-50 with 8-megs of RAM and a 2x drive, because the later missions contain 3 or more capital ships in very close quarters, which means allot of choppiness for any lesser of a machine. Needless to say it has to be played in the 320x200 res mode with this kind of machine. A high end Pentium, preferably with 16-megs of RAM will be able to run the high res mode smoothly. We had problems getting the game running with the new Diamond Edge 3D card in high-res, and the tech support solution was to simply "Run it in low resolution." Other cards like the #9gxe, and ATI cards worked fine.

Last Notes
This version of Tie Fighter has another little feature such as laser turrets that track your ship and rotating communications dishes. Basically a lot of detail has been added, unfortunately that takes up more power on your machine. You no doubt need a high end machine if you want to get the full benefit of Tie Fighter CD. Even if you can't run the SVGA mode, I think it is still worth getting, especially while the rebate is still good for those who own the original version. Overall an excellent space combat simulator.


* Graphics : 24/25
The graphics are very crisp and realistic when run under high res.

* Gameplay : 23/25
The TIEs handle like you would expect them to, light and fast.

* Longetivity : 22/25
The storyline is very involving and when you step the game up to a higher difficulty more enemies are present and use different strategies to complete their goals.

* Compatibility : 18/25
With the addition of the low res mode, the game is fairly compatible, however if you intend to run the high res then you need a monster of a machine to do it.

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