Old Hopes: Star Wars Rogue Squadron & Rebellion On GoG

Did anyone ever work out why they're called X-Wings?

Earlier this week, GoG exhumed the last remaining X-Wing games from Lucasarts; grave, and as promised they’ve now added more long time ago games to their good ol’ shelves. Most of them have been available from other download stores for quite some time, but it’s the first time on the digi-block for ponderous 4X Star Wars: Rebellion and spaceship shooter Rogue Squadron 3D.

Don’t expect any changes bar ensuring these all run on modern Windowses, but it’s nice to have them available, especially as the world moves into an age of pretending all that prequel bollocks never happened.

Also striking back on GoG today is the Empire At War Gold Pack. That’s the most recent attempt at a Star Wars RTS. My main memory of it is writing a sneery review of the expansion pack, in which I was particularly rude about the Star Wars ‘expanded universe’. This prompted a particularly passionate fan to declare on a forum that he intended to construct a wax statue in my image on my front lawn, then melt it in order to punish or terrify me. To this day, I remain bitterly disappointed that it never happened, and can only attribute this to the fact I’ve never lived anywhere with a front lawn. So maybe it’ll happen one day, in the unlikely even I ever own a big enough house.

ANYWAY. In five days’ time, we get three more Star Wars games, albeit ones you can already obtain elsewhere. These are Jedi Knight II (pretty good!), Starfighter (never played it, probably for a reason) and Republic Commando (surprisingly brillo). Those are due on the 27th.

There’s also Grim Fandango Remastered on the 27th, which I’m playing RIGHT NOW but can’t tell you about until next week. More Lucasarts games are promised later in the year, too.

69 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    distantlurker says:

    God I used to love Supremacy (that’s what we call Rebellion here in God’s Country). The AI was so immeasurably bad it wasn’t even funny but having Han and Chewie go on a special mission to destroy a VSD never, ever got old ^^

    • Moraven says:

      Or just going straight for a Death Star, then blowing up planet after planet as your method of finding the Rebel base.

      • Volcanu says:

        If I remember rightly that was about the most effective way of pinning the Rebels down. Otherwise searching for them was a nightmare. Which, to be fair, is how it should be…

        • ChiefOfBeef says:

          It took Vader so long between New Hope and Empire to find them that in the interval Luke had self-taught telekinesis, C-3PO’s mega-polish was all gone, Leia was gagging for it so bad she was oogling a man she totally despised before the battle of Yavin so it had time to sink in that Han really had changed and Obi-wan finally worked out the correct ghost broadcasting channel to talk to Luke with for longer than a few seconds.

          • Apologised says:

            Heck, you take expanded universe into account, and in between the two Han found the time to lose his money to pirates in a stolen Star Destroyer, lay low on a planet, end up in a passable Magnificent Seven sendup with him Buck-O-Hare, Concept Art Luke, crazed lunatic who thinks he’s a Jedi: Don-Wan Kihotay and some other less interesting people, and then get mugged by the same pirates AGAIN.

    • 8080 says:

      Rebellion was awesome! I played again for a while about 5 years back. Still holds up!

    • Volcanu says:

      I was about to ask if it was the same game as Supremacy.

      I had fun with it, even if it wasn’t necessarily ‘good’.

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      Agreed. Expanding your character pool through recruitment missions to see which character popped up next was another great pleasure in that game

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      Bluerps says:

      The only thing about Rebellion I remember is that Thrawn was for some reason better at doing research than being an admiral.

      • Rizlar says:

        Pretty sure that was every character. Wedge – research. Admiral Ackbar – research. In the meantime constructing shipyards everywhere, so that eventually I will have a huuuuuge fleet! Which immediately gets destroyed in the first big space battle.

        Yeah, I was pretty young when I was playing that. Remember taking the half-inch-thick manual with me on some sort of family holiday and not retaining any of it.

    • Cinek says:

      “God’s Country” – I presume Israel?

  2. Moraven says:

    Rebellion. Flawed game but fun due to the Star Wars world. Looks like the initial GoG ratings feel the same way. But it by no means deserves a 5/5 rating.

    There goes my weekend.

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      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      Nearly every game on GoG has a 9 or 10 rating because the only people who buy their games are people who already really like them.

  3. Laurentius says:

    These are garbage and always were, even back in the day. The only good SW game worth getting that left so far is Shadows of the Empire.

    • Volcanu says:

      I’d argue that a port of Rogue Squadron II would be worth having too. Did that ever make it onto PC? Probably not.

      • ansionnach says:

        Yeah, the first Rogue Squadron was crap. Backed up and packed away my games again recently and it occupies one of the darkest corners, next to Prince of Persia 3d and Ultima IX. The other Rogues never made it to PC. First one works in modern windows. Played it on win7 x64 for a bit last year. I’ve said it loads of times: big fan of gog but as far as I’m aware they don’t do anything that hasn’t already been done to get the games working. Seems the convenience is worth it for many but it really isn’t that hard. See no reason to re-buy games I already have, at least.

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      I disagree. While it was not on par with the XWing series, Rogue Squadron was an interesting and fun title (wrapping up an AT-AT with the cable was a memorable moment). Rebellion/Supremacy likewise was an incredibly interesting although not perfect 4X. Calling them “garbage” because they weren’t quite as good as some of the classic Star Wars games is unfair and just plain wrong to be honest.

      • Laurentius says:

        I played Rebellion back when it came out, and I was/am huge strategy fan and SW nerd, so I played it and had some fun out of it, but game is full of nonsensicaly stupid designs and a couple of cool ideas that are drowned in bad ones. Rouge Squadron is soulless game build on cool graphics and “that misson on hoth from SOTE”, except it turned out you can’t make good game on one idea and good graphics alone. Garabge might be too harsh word but back then they were medicore at best.

      • Jason Lefkowitz says:

        Rogue Squadron was also interesting visually, as a 3D game from just before dedicated 3D hardware became ubiquitous (on PCs, I mean). Gameplay-wise it was always pretty meh, but at the time it was released it really was impressive graphically.

        Rebellion was a very well-thought-out bundle of ideas that were all made meaningless by an absolutely incompetent AI. The computer opponent would alternate between long periods of doing nothing at all and sudden spasms of uncoordinated activity. Which was a shame, because otherwise its design had so much potential.

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      gritz says:

      Shadows of the Empire was straight up garbage, so…

      • Cinek says:

        +1. It was cool game when got released, mostly for showcasing some greats stuff with graphics and sound, but as soon as other games featured the same stuff it came out to be rather mediocre game with totally garbage saber fights. I completed it and struggle to remember any mission out of that game.

        • Laurentius says:

          Yup, you don’t remember it well, all right becasue it hasn’t any sabre fights.

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      Phasma Felis says:

      You thought Shadows of the Empire was good? After the awesome AT-AT fights in the first level, it turns into a half-assed platform shooter.

      Rogue Squadron 1 was basically LucasArts saying “let’s make a whole game out of just the good parts of SotE,” and there was much rejoicing.

  4. Tom De Roeck says:

    Yeah, Rebellion was nice in theory, but SW: Empire At War did those things so much better. Especially with mods and stuff.

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      distantlurker says:

      Ground missions were an awful slog tho, you just ended up auto resolving with massed cheap mooks. Or at least I did ^^

    • smisk says:

      Any EaW mods in particular you’d recommend? I loved the game years ago and it’d be fun to go back to one of these days. Tend to agree about the ground battles being a bit of a slog though.

      • Tom De Roeck says:

        There was one that cut the pirate faction, and added as much as possible of the extended universe as humanly possible. Im pretty sure youll find it easily enough, let me dig up a name..

        link to empireatwar.filefront.com

        ah shit, I just got the direct link anyhow :D

    • TWChristine says:

      I bounced off both. I wanted to like EaW because it seemed like it might be what I wanted to get out of Rebellion..but then it just felt too dumbed down almost. And Rebellion..despite having that huge manual, I just had no idea what was going on. I think I might have finally thrown it out a year ago after going through all my old games and trying to see what was worth keeping or not.

    • zaygr says:

      I wanted the space in EaW to feel like Homeworld, but that didn’t happen. Luckily I then found the Warlords mod for Homeworld 2. They moved the mod to Sins of a Solar Empire, but the Homeworld 2 mod is still the best. The biggest draw for me was that they placed every single gun, cannon and turbolaser on the ships and capital vs capital ship fights were AMAZING.

      • Cinek says:

        EaW never aspired to be anything like Homeworld. No idea why you had that clueless idea as since the very first screenshots and descriptions it was clear that they never aimed for anything alike.

  5. Kyle_Katarn says:

    I’ve got Republic Commando on Steam. Fantastic game, definitely recommend everyone who’s a fan of Star Wars and FPS play it. I went in with low hopes because hey, prequel game, and it completely blew me out of the water.

    Only thing I’d love to see there is Star Wars: Episode 1: Racer, another surprisingly fantastic prequel game.

    • Tom De Roeck says:

      Yeah, this has my support too, Republic Commandos is one of the best SW games around.

    • skulgun says:

      I was actually pretty disappointed by Republic Commando. The squad command stuff was well done, but as a shooter it seemed to mesh the worst aspects of a Quake and a Call of Duty. Limited, samey weapons, slow movement, but lots of bullet sponge enemies. And I don’t remember the level design being particularly great.

      • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

        It suffered from the Halo era “well that room was good, but we’re low on storage space. Copy and paste it a few more times, and add some corridors.”

        I liked the squad interaction you mentioned, and also the way the squadmates were given distinctive personalities. I found it worthwhile enough to replay several times over the years.

        • Cinek says:

          Yep. Squad commands and personalities really made this game. I don’t care about the rest. Infinite spawns of the enemies until you click F on a certain item, opponents that take whole magazine and a half to die, poor map design, I honestly don’t care. This game really made it possible to have fun as a special forces guy in an arcadeish shooter. Something no other game offered since.

  6. mashkeyboardgetusername says:

    I had a fruitless search for my old Supremacy CD a while back, may have to grab that. Never used GoG before, so a possibly stupid question, but are the games generally set up to work on modern OSs?

    • Volcanu says:

      Yes. As well as making old games available, they make sure that they work on modern machines. Which is why it’s even worth rebuying old games you still have the discs for on GoG

    • Kyle_Katarn says:

      To my knowledge, if it’s on GoG, then it’ll run on a modern PC, that’s the entire point of GoG.

    • mashkeyboardgetusername says:

      Awesome. Cheers all.

    • Premium User Badge

      distantlurker says:

      Yes!

      You wouldn’t have gotten that CD to work incidentally, some dodgy DRM. Ran mine last year but had to get a cracked exe to make it go.

      GOG sort all of those niggles out so they’re nearly always pain free. They even give links to any mods etc they think are essential, as in their Freespace 2 listing.

  7. mrwonko says:

    Ah, I remember playing tons of Rogue Squadron back in the day when I only had a few games and lots of time. Still have the disc, I wonder if the gog version is in any way superior…

    • Det. Bullock says:

      It probably doesn’t have the random crashes on the main interface screen that I get if I’m not quick enough to select a mission.

  8. Kaeoschassis says:

    Pretending the “prequel stuff” never happened would mean pretending Battlefront 2 and Republic Commando never happened. I will never do that.

    Seriously though, if anyone hasn’t yet played Republic Commando then please, for the sake of your soul, do it.

    • TheTingler says:

      And The Clone Wars, which from Season 2 onwards is utterly awesome, the best Star Wars since 1983.

      • Kaeoschassis says:

        Right, people keep saying this to me. Everytime I hear it I become more determined to watch it, especially given my love for Republic Commando. *Sigh* Someday.

  9. Creeping Death says:

    I never got to play the original Rogue Squadron. Didn’t even know it was on pc! Played the hell out of 2 and 3 on the gamecube years ago and loved them (3 slightly less so), so definitely grabbing this.

  10. Alexrd says:

    Starfighter is actually a very good game. Similar to Rogue Squadron.

    • djbriandamage says:

      Totally agreed. I had a great time with this third-person flight game. This is yet another example, including Republic Commando, of spin-off games transcending their unfortunate subject matter.

  11. Robert Post's Child says:

    I have fond memories of Rogue Squadron, but if we’re talking that era of Lucasarts PC games, Pod Racer is the high point. Hopefully we’ll see that pop up at some point too, it deserves more love.

    • brulleks says:

      Yup, was about to post the same thing.

    • Cinek says:

      Oh my god… Racer… this game was amazing. And unlike Rouge Squadron – it actually was difficult at a moments. Rough Squadron was really fun game, but Racer was one of these few games I regretted finishing… because I so very much wanted more of it! Someone really should make a sequel to that with a modern-day graphics.

  12. pepperfez says:

    Is this the same Rogue Squadron that was on the N64? Because if so my hype levels are off the charts.

  13. Graves says:

    Alec, if it makes you feel better, as a passionate fan of the expanded universe, being rude and sneery about the additions the Forces of Corruption expansion made to the the universe is a perfectly viable opinion. Tyber Zann and his consortium were invented for the game, and the whole conceit really didn’t work. A criminal organization with a fleet strong enough to fight the empire and control half the galaxy is pretty silly, and I’ve been rude about it in the past too. In the end, its just so gamey, which would be fine for something standalone but since until very recently everything that Lucas approved was canon, we were stuck with it.

    In fact, video games have consistently made some of the worst additions and changes to the existing canon. The Force Unleashed was a particularly egregious example.

  14. Eleriel says:

    Other Star Wars games that could be in the pipeline:

    Shadows of the Empire
    Rebel Assault I
    Rebel Assault II
    Force Commander
    Yoda Stories (desktop stories)
    The Phantom Menace
    Battle for Naboo
    Episode 1: Racer (usually called Podracer)
    Republic Commando
    Droid Works/Pit Droids?

    then there’s the vector graphics arcade games for A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back… as well as the isometric arcade game for Return of the Jedi.

    • Kempston Wiggler says:

      Well, Republic Commando is mentioned in the article above, so yay, but the rest of that lot can really just go join the Christmas Special in fiery oblivion. All the good stuff is out already.

    • TWChristine says:

      I loved the hell out of Rebel Assault 2! I played that over and over! Yea looking back FMV was cheesy, but at the time it was amazing! (Loved it in Red Alert as well) I never got around to trying the first one though. And Force Commander I actually booted up a few months ago..the tutorial slogs on for ages to the point I finally gave up because there was no way to skip past it that I could find.

      • Eleriel says:

        Ditto on that.
        Rebel assault holds a heck of a lot of nostalgia for me… But I fear the games has not aged well.

        Semi-random trivia: Rebel Assault 2 was the first time since there was any live action filming for a star wars product since the holliday special (or return of the jedi if the special and ewok movies do not exist to you.)

        More than rebel assault though, I want to play Podracer again. Cause that freaking rocked!

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      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      Are the TIE Fighter and X-Wing on GoG the ones that have the updated graphics? They originally came in a box set with several Star Wars games.

      • Eleriel says:

        There were three versions of Xwing and TIE Fighte.
        Original diskette version, CD version, and updated XvT graphics version.
        Buying it on GOG gives you the first and third vesions.
        (I could have just said ‘yes’, but considering the missinformation out there, I felt being verbose was better)

    • Gormongous says:

      The Phantom Menace was exceptionally bad. A game made entirely of fetch quests and ropey combat, it was my first hint that maybe the prequels wouldn’t be the life-changing moments that they definitely weren’t, except in the negative.

  15. ZPG Lazarus says:

    Are we just gonna pretend they’re not releasing Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast?

    Those lightsaber fights were, besides Unreal and Quake II, THE definitive deathmatch experiences of my gaming education. The delicate, tense dance of two equally skilled players, with only a subtle touch of a lightsaber separating victor from victim, was one of the best 1v1 experiences I’ve ever had. The map design of maps like Bespin Streets and Death Star was fantastic too.

    Anyone know if server’s are still active? Could GoG players play with Steam players (and with the few who still have the game installed from CD)?

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      I don’t know, but given that Jedi Academy’s official servers seem to have gone down recently, I wouldn’t get your hopes up.
      Of course, there are still other ways to play online. (My brother and I just play over a virtual lan but there are still plenty of independent servers for JA, at least)

  16. snowgim says:

    This is great, I love Rogue Squadron. But can anyone tell me why the original Star Wars Battlefront isn’t available anywhere (digitally)?
    I personally liked Battlefront I far better than Battlefront II. Is there some legal issues going on that’s stopping it?

    I still have a copy of ‘questionable origins’ somewhere, but I’d really like an official one.

  17. TheTingler says:

    Alec: I just want to correct that it’s NOT Jedi Knight II (aka Jedi Outcast) being released next, it’s Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II.

    Since GOG are pretending like the next three games are a surprise it’s an important correction, as I’ve had to tell a lot of people on the GOG comments section otherwise who came here for the news.

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      That actually made me MORE excited and not less. Hot dang.