I got this game quite soon after release as a Christmas gift and it made me a Wing Commander zealot for the rest of my life :)
Back in the day, on my first PC, this game had wonderful graphics, a superb story line and, being the proud owner of a SoundBlaster back then, I still have memories of the tunes that were used in combat and in the cutscenes, which were nothing short of amazing. Coupled with the fact that there was or is an active online community (centered around https://www.wcnews.com/) which I took part in for many years, the Wing Commander series were a formative point of my gaming career. Also it helped me much with my english proficiency :)
The game is about space combat paired with an interactive story line, nothing more and nothing less. The result of your performance in your sorties advances the story on the winning or losing path. It is a space opera in the best sense and certainly respected as a milestone in gaming history, spawning four major successors, not counting the Privateer offshoot.
It is fair to say that the game has not aged well. I would not play it again (I did maybe up until 10 years ago) but rather watch a playthrough on YouTube to relive it.
On the technical side, this is one of the games that never crashed and did not have any bugs.
If any WC1 cracks read this, I did manage to beat the impossible Kurasawa mission once and could never repeat the feat.
«Blew my mind»