(Photo: Alaska Works)
In an era where the closest we really get to Star Wars flight simulators is on Star Wars: Battlefront II's Fighter Squadron mode, it can be disheartening to look to the past and realize how good we used to have it. A new mod seeks to heal that sense of bitterness by reviving one of the absolute best Star Wars games of all time, X-Wing Alliance, with fresh graphic updates and a Battlefront feel.
Developed by Alaska Works, the mod cleans up some of the old in-air gameplay graphics, and even simulates some of the newer shadowing and art styles from the Battlefront series.
The mod is free to install, but players must already have X-Wing Alliance on their PCs for it to work. Here's how to do it once you've downloaded the game, which is currently available on Steam and GOG.
Per the website:
"Download + Install the 'X-Wing Alliance Upgrade Craft Pack' - The XWAU project has been upgrading the 3D models used in the X-Wing Alliance game for years. This is a link to the download page where a compilation of updated 3D models can be downloaded. Look for the "XWAU Craft Pack v1.3" (or newer)."
"Download + Install 'ReShade' - ReShade is an 'advanced, fully generic post-processing injector for games and video software'. It allows for the impressive shader effect described on this website. The shader configuration files provided on this website for X-Wing Alliance are designed for ReShade 3.08. Make sure to click on the correct download link! Install ReShade following its instructions. Make sure to select 'XwingAlliance.exe' as the game to apply ReShade to, NOT 'Alliance.exe'."
"Download + Copy the Config Files (from the *.zip) above to the appropriate XWA folders:
-> Download the *.zip file of configuration files (either above or via the button below).
-> Navigate to your XWA installation folder (e.g. C:\Program Files (x86)\LucasArts\X-Wing Alliance\)
-> Then move the "XWA_FX_Settings.ini" from the downloaded config *.zip file into the XWA folder.
-> Navigate to the "reshade-shaders\Textures" subfolder in the XWA folder.
-> Make a backup copy of the "lut.png" file.
-> Overwrite the original lut.png file with the lut.png file from the downloaded *.zip configuration package.
-> Run X-Wing Alliance!
-> Select the *.ini file via ReShade (you may need to press Shift+F2).
-> Use the Pause/Break key to toggle the shaders off when in the menu system (as it flickers heavily)."
If you're confident in your abilities, this could be a really cool way to play the classic X-Wing Alliance while feeling like it's new.