X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter was the sequel to both X-Wing and TIE Fighter and was first released in 1997. Though the game lacked a comprehensive campaign mode (like the well fleshed-out, highly praised story-based campaigns of its predecessors) it included a series of non-connected single player missions. Its main selling point, however, was that it would allow online play for players to hone their interstellar dogfighting skills against fellow wetware-based intelligence. In this sense, it perhaps could be best compared to Electronic Arts' Battlefield series or other games focusing strictly on online play.That said, critics and gamers alike were disappointed by the lack of a single-player campaign mode, so LucasArts released an expansion pack, Balance of Power only a few months afterwards. The expansion contained a campaign each for the Rebellion and Empire, and greatly expanded the playability of the game.
This work includes examples of:
- Dummied Out:
- One keybinding activates the SLAM, which is used for the Missile Boat. This craft doesn't appear in any mission.
- The X-Wing collector's edition included a cut-down version of X-Wing Vs. TIE Fighter, known as Flight School. This demo only shows 14 missions across the rebels and imperials - however, there were additional mission files included with the game which may be accessed by modifying a text file.
- Gang Up on the Human: Possible tactic used by AI - one mission has three fighters specfically target human players. In addition, humans can do the same by pressing 'P' to target the next human craft.
- Hitbox Dissonance: As long as your cockpit doesn't slam into enemy containers, your craft doesn't take Collision Damage (especially with the B-Wing). Lasers and other projectiles work as expected.
- Old School Dogfight: Standard use of space-sim dogfight games. This installment adds a feature that reduces turning rate if throttle is not at 1/3rds power.
- Spoony Bard: The Z-95 Headhunter. Also the TIE Fighter, TIE Bomber, and TIE Interceptor. Once you get the expansions, the Y-wing is pretty useless compared to the B-wing.
- However, while these ships are very weak, you do get more Extra Lives and wingmen (under the "default" setting) in most scenarios for using them, while a more powerful ship like the TIE Advanced might give you just one ship, period. Bypassing this entirely with the infinite lives option would restrict you to earning only the lowest grade — adequate — regardless of score.
- Sprint Shoes: Tractor Beams can be installed on Imperial craft, and have all their power redirected to engines for a massive speed boost. For multiplayer, most players loaded them entirely to take advantage of the power boost.
- The Missile boat doesn't appear in missions, but is supported by the game engine. The Missile Boat contains a SLAM system to double speed.