Star Wars: X-Wing 'XWVM' mod video shows off updated visual effects

I worried last year that the XWVM project, a long-running fan effort to port the great Star Wars: X-Wing space combat sim into an updated engine with all the bells and whistles, was coming along so well that it would soon be slapped with a cease-and-desist order by way of Disney and/or EA. But it doesn't look like that's happened yet, as a new gameplay video was posted to YouTube over the weekend, showcasing a number of lovely new visual effects. 

The video highlights new HDR lighting effects, new planets and suns, new explosions (which look really good), a mission selection screen, and improvements to AI that make computer-controlled pilots handier with things like photon torpedoes and the ion cannon. Eventually a full mission playthrough kicks off, although the audio is a bit out of sync: The video creator, David Esparza Guerrero, said he was having trouble with his editing software when he made it. 

The XWVM Facebook page says the project is "a mod for the commercial releases of X-Wing (Floppy, CD, Win98, GOG, Steam), so that the original assets are used by the reimplemented engine, without breaking any copyright held by LucasArts or Disney." That disclaimer notwithstanding, it still seems like a pretty risky undertaking to me, but I do hope they're able to pull it off. There's no word on when XWVM will be finished, but if you'd like to stay abreast of what's happening or maybe help out a bit, you can dive in on the GOG forums.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.