Wing Commander: Armada is Origin's answer to the wishes of many Wing Commander fans: a blend of multi-player head-to-head action and strategic elements in a race to conquer the whole galaxy. Beginning with just a single carrier in an unknown part of the universe, each player must explore the system, seeking planets rich in resources with which to build either a mining station, a defense fortress, or a ship construction facility. The player mines materials from planets, transports stockpiles by cargo ships or redirects materials for use in the same planet's shipyards. The cycle of exploration and combat continues as each player strives to build and maintain a fleet to take and hold territories. The universe is randomly generated for an infinite variety of paths to reach that final showdown.
The multi-player has three different options: modem, network and a new split screen view that allows two players to compete on the same computer. New features include the "Invisible Cockpit" that gives the player a larger viewing area, actual 3D shields that protect your ship, an intuitive "Starmap" navigation/deployment interface, and a "TauntMaker" option that lets users customize digital taunts. The game also boasts an improved 3D engine, with fully textured, light-source shaded spaceships. Finally, it's also the first Wing Commander game that offers you a chance to play the formidable Kilrathi. Overall, it's a great addition to the famous series that appeals equally to action gamers who like some planning in their game, and strategy gamers who don't mind some arcade skirmishes. Two thumbs up!Reviewed by: Underdogs