For years, I've been dreaming of an updated version of the mid-'90s X-Wing space sim. I loved the original, and I bought the updated, Windows 10-friendly GOG version when it was released a couple of years ago. But imagine for a minute a version of the game that keeps all of the original's charm and challenge and original missions, but wraps it in updated graphics, running in Unity. That's XWVM.
The first tease of this ground-up remake of X-Wing — using the original missions and resources of the 1994/1998 title that GOG currently sells — appeared in the Good Old Games forum a couple of years ago now, but as of last week, XWVM now has its very own ModDB page. Lead developer Azrapse's mission statement says that the team isn't trying to do anything new to X-Wing, but just wants to bring it forward into the 21st century and revive it on a modern platform.
The video above shows the current state of play for the XWVM team's development prototype. And it looks good, despite not using any of the final art or texturing — to the point that Azrapse says it's "art made by a guy that can code, but that can't draw". If this is current progress, I can't wait to see what it's like in a finished state.
And when they're good, mods can be great. Black Mesa was actually one of my favourite games of this year (I know it didn't come out this year, but that's when I played it), because it faithfully recreated — and improved on — so much of what made the original Half-Life awesome. I'm hoping that XWVM can do exactly the same for X-Wing.
To be brutally honest, I was always an X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter fan before I was an X-Wing one, but love is love, and I'm not going to get in the way of anyone that thinks the original is better. Let's all just be happy that there's someone out there working on keeping the magic alive.
P.S. If reading this made you nostalgic to play the originals, bad luck — you just missed out on a GOG sale where all the X-Wing games were 50 per cent off. Sorry! [XWVM]