Just months removed from bringing the beloved X-Wing and TIE Fighter space combat simulators to digital storefronts for the first time, CD Projekt’s GOG.com pulled back the curtain on the masterpiece of the franchise: X-Wing vs TIE Fighter. One of the greatest games ever made is available as a digital download for the first time ever.
The move is part of a major partnership with GOG.com and Disney Interactive, which absorbed the Lucasarts historical library as part of the Lucasfilm acquisition. Also making their digital distribution debut is X-Wing Alliance, Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds, Rogue Squadron 3D and Star Wars Rebellion. It is a massive project for GOG.com as they have added a slew of LucasArts branded games to their library and many exclusives that not even Valve’s Steam has access to.
GOG.com has built a fantastic reputation as a sort of historical catalog of games that are difficult to find on modern digital distribution services. Where Steam has major gaps in its historical offerings, often related to publishing deals and rights restrictions, GOG.com has quietly amassed a large library of games made over the last 25 years. The games themselves are a piece of history, often merely tested to run on today’s modern processors and graphics cards. Keep in mind that the original TIE Fighter released as a special edition CD-ROM some time after its initial floppy disk first print.
Personally, I can’t wait to dust off some of my old equipment and hop into the cockpit of my favorite A-Wing for some simulator runs or finally finish the campaign of X-Wing Alliance. If this release does well, maybe somebody will be able to back a remaster of these games.
X-Wing vs TIE Fighter and X-Wing Alliance both carry price tags of $9.99 and are unaltered versions of their past lives, built to run on current hardware. As always, games purchased through GOG are DRM (Digital Rights Management) free, so purchased copies can be moved without additional security measures. So grab your serial port flight stick, fire up your monitor at 800×600 and hop into that combat simulator. Those TIE Defenders aren’t going to shoot themselves down.