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Released in 1997, Balance of Power is an expansion to Lucas Arts' X-wing vs. TIE Fighter. It follows the pattern of the previous two X-wing and TIE Fighter games by adding additional campaigns and vehicles to the stock game.

Most notably, the expansion adds the heavy-hitting and versatile Rebel B-wing as a flyable craft. The B-wing's powerful shields, heavy warhead load and potent beam weapons make it a threat to Imperial capital ships.

Imperial pilots can strap themselves into the warhead-pregnant Missile Boat, whose copious missile armament turn the single laser cannon nothing more than a afterthought.

Non-flyable additions include, as the cover art suggests, the Imperial Super Star Destroyer. The Imperial fleet is further bolstered by the Modified Corvette, Modified Nebulon-B2 class frigate (as seen in TIE Fighter,) and Carrack class anti-starfighter cruiser.

The Rebels flesh out their arsenal with the MC40a Light Calamari Cruiser and the Modified Strike Cruiser, which features gravity well projectors stolen from an Imperial Interdictor. Rebels, as always, will wind up using whatever stolen Imperial ships they can get their hands on, so the B2 and M/CRV will be showing up on both sides.

The other major change to game play is the inclusion of two single-player missions to round out stock XvT's focus on multiplayer. In what may have been a concession to the hit-or-miss state of Internet gaming in 1997, XvT: BoP allows solo pilots fly a sequential series of missions in a single campaign from either side's perspective. As the player progresses, cutscenes are unlocked which highlight key points within the campaign, as is consistent with the other games in the X-wing series.


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