It's time for the Rebel Alliance to once again take the fight to the Galactic Empire, now that Star Wars: Rogue Squadron 3D is available on Steam.
Originally released in 1998, the title charged players with a mission to take on the Empire and assist the Alliance with escort and rescue missions by controlling five spacecraft: an X-wing, Y-wing, A-wing, snow speeder and V-wing. Each level requires a specific spacecraft and if a player is really skilled, bonus levels become unlocked.
Rogue Squadron 3D picks up shortly after events seen in Star Wars: A New Hope and just before The Empire Strikes Back. In the game, players take on the role of Luke Skywalker.
"It is a time of great rejoicing in the galaxy," the game's official Steam page reads. "Luke Skywalker, with the help of Wedge Antilles, has blown up the Death Star. But there is little time to celebrate. The mighty Empire is gathering strength for a determined, all-out assault on the Rebel forces."
After its release, the game promoted itself as something ahead of its time with "astonishing 3D details including real-time lighting and special effects (explosions, smoke, engine glow, tracer fire and more)." Of course, a lot has changed with game technology since then, but it's still fun to step behind the controls of a Star Wars spacecraft.
Star Wars: Rogue Squadron 3D originally released for PC and Nintendo 64, and by the end of 1999, the N64 version became one of the top selling video games of that holiday season, with over 1 million copies sold in the U.S. It also received critical praise for its advanced graphics and technology.
"The 3D ship models are absolutely gorgeous and even put those seen in previous PC and arcade Star Wars titles to shame," IGN wrote. "From the accurate decals and Rebel markings down to the R2 units, realistic 3D cockpit views (you can even look around) and exhaust flames - everything looks so authentic, even the pickiest Star Wars fans should pee their pants with delight."
Rogue Squadron 3D arrived on GOG earlier this year, but that version does not always run well for players. Unfortunately, the Steam version also still has some issues, and does not include full controller support or an alt-tabbing capability. There's also occasional wacky camera behavior.
At just $9.99, though, Star Wars: Rogue Squadron 3D certainly a chance to step back into the nostalgia of the original Star Wars trilogy and is likely a must for fans of the franchise.