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Star Trek Legacy Review

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the all-hands-brace-for-impact dept.

XBox (Games) 242

Since late last month, I've been playing with the Xbox 360 title Star Trek Legacy. The fact that it is not a great game should be no surprise. Despite some entertaining plot elements, the title's gameplay leaves a lot to be desired. What is confusing, and troubling, is that this is just the latest in a long line of disappointing Trek games. Looking back on the history of Star Trek gaming, games like Elite Force or A Final Unity stand out from a disturbingly large field of titles that over-promise and under-deliver on the well-loved Trek universe. Why is it so hard to make a good Trek game? Why do developers keep trying and failing? Why is there a Vulcan leading the Borg? Read on for consideration of each of these questions, and a review of Star Trek Legacy to boot.

  • Title: Star Trek Legacy
  • Publisher: Mad Doc Software
  • Developer: Bethesda Softworks
  • System: 360 (PC)
Like a lot of the titles that have explored the final frontier, this latest offering from Mad Doc offers the promise of an amazing adventure in the Star Trek universe. What it delivers is a muddled experience that will only truly satisfy a Trekkie desperate for a taste of the final frontier. For the rest of us, it's a merely adequate title that offers moments of entertainment broken up by long periods of dullness or frustration. Kind of, I imagine, what actually serving on a starship is like.

As so often happens with a Trek title the premise, at least, is compelling. Commanding a task force of up to four ships, you follow a fairly coherent plot from the "Enterprise" era all the way through to the time of Jean-Luc Picard and Benjamin Sisko. You can choose between a number of ship classes to include in your fleet, and gameplay consists of real-time ship-to-ship battles. The actors who portrayed the captains in the various eras make a return, offering their vocal talents and a feel of authenticity to the proceedings.

What sounds like a can't-miss formula, though, inevitably flies past the target at full impulse. Ship and fleet control is the most notable failure, and results in individual combat moments requiring more effort than feels right. I found fleet combat most frustrating, as it is so variable how your actions are interpreted. When you begin a mission, all four of your ships are taking orders from you at the same time. Selecting a enemy for combat (by hitting the right shoulder button and cycling through the available options) is intuitive and quick. When all four ships are following your orders, this results in a focused barrage that effectively neutralizes targets. The problem comes when ships begin 'thinking' on their own.

It was never clear to me what prompted this, though I know that giving individual ships orders via the overhead tactical display (available via the 'select' button) always 'broke up' the fleet's command. This is problematic, as the 2D overhead display is the best way to keep track of the action on the sometimes dauntingly large 3D space maps Legacy uses. Indeed, the z-axis is used in the game (unlike in the show), making it hard to keep track of enemy ships on occasion. These are challenges, though, to be overcome: the frustration sets in when order-less ships choose to sit dead in space and absorb phaser hits without retaliating. That's some extremely poor decision-making on the part of the AI, and can mean the difference between success and failure in a large and frantic naval battle.

Another, subtle frustration is the pathing your friendly ships use when circling a target. While sometimes ships do 'the right thing' and orbit their prey at an appropriate range, trying to keep weapons locked on the target at all times, that's not always a given. Often, ships locked onto a target attempt something I can best refer to as a 'strafing run', where they move directly at a target, allowing firing on the enemy for a brief period of time, before overshooting and swinging around for another pass. Overshot on targets can sometimes be quite some distance, resulting in a long delay between assaults on enemy ships. This style of attack is particularly frustrating when attacking immobile targets like space stations and asteroids, as AI-controlled ships tend to fly right into their prey and sort of bounce off. Given the finicky targeting you're allowed to use, this greatly reduces an AI-controlled ship's effectiveness against such a target. In a pitched battle, which is almost all of them, it just becomes frustrating to have to keep so many balls in the air.

That's a shame, too, because combat is actually a lot of fun when things are moving in the right direction. It's extremely easy to jump from ship to ship within your fleet, simply by pressing one of the four directions on the D-pad. This can (generally) allow you to keep all four of your ships active and flying straight. Weapon use is as simple as right trigger for phasers, left for photons. The game does a good job of informing you when weapons can be used, both via visual HUD elements and vocal alerts. Legacy also does a great job of switching up who you're fighting, and what exactly you're doing in combat. Sending away teams onto a space station in the middle of a pitched battle, for example, or using a sensor scan to detonate an explosive keeps you on your toes and stops things from getting overly monotonous.

The plot that strings these combat elements together is all the Trek you can stand, and more, crammed into a disappointingly short timespan. There is time travel, Klingons, Romulans, Borg, and one very weird Vulcan. The plot itself is explained in detail in a comic included as an 'extra' on the game's main menu. To give you a horrible taste, it mentions V'ger, from the first Star Trek movie, in connection with the Borg's origin. Looking back on the whole story from the last mission gives you an 'ohhh' moment, but it's not that great a payoff for the amount of time you spend in the dark. Just the same, overall the story is coherently told and entertainingly written. The dialogue written for the captains is especially entertaining; even the stuff written for Shatner (who, predictably, gets the most 'screen time') is enjoyable in a scenery-chewing kind of way. Getting to hear Avery Brooks intone new lines as Benjamin Sisko was especially enjoyable, and the role DS9 gets to play near the game's end allowed me to forgive a lot of smaller oversights.

Visually, Legacy is a competent 360 title. It's certainly not Gears-pretty, but the ships are all well modeled, and it's hard to make space look ugly nowadays. Ships and stations explode nicely, though larger objects tend to look a little odd when breaking apart. Audio effects use official FX from the show, and the score consists of forgettable Trekesque tracks that back the game's sometimes-tense moments adequately.

Star Trek: Legacy, then, allows the dedicated Trek fan to experience ship-to-ship combat in a way that's never quite been captured so well before. Trekkies are sure to appreciate that new experience, as well as the vocal work of the actors-turned-captains. As a game, though, Legacy leaves a lot to be desired. Gamers are going to find the inexact fleet control and inept AI frustrating, with some missions being bang-your-head-against-the-desk annoying. The first Next Generation-era mission, Revelations, is particularly hair-pulling, and makes the lack of in-level save points sorely missed. If the lack of a new Trek show on TV is leaving you anxious, I would readily recommend Legacy as a balm to your Trekkish needs. Likewise, the game might be worth a rental of you're a 360 gamer who has already tired of Gears of War. It's just not that great a game otherwise, and can readily be given a miss for other, better games.

This leaves us with the question I posed above, though: Why is it so hard to make a good Star Trek game? It could be the difficulty of making licensed games satisfying to players outside of the 'fan' population ... but Star Wars titles like Knights of the Old Republic and Jedi Academy transcend fandom as truly great gaming experiences. Heck, even Spider-Man 2 is a better game than any Trek game I've played, and Spidey's history with gaming is a lot shorter than Star Trek's. Given the dialogue and narration-heavy storytelling that Star Trek uses, it is possible that the Trek universe just isn't a good fit for videogames? What does the lackluster performance of these latest Bethesda titles mean for future trek games? Star Trek Online, specifically, seems to have a Herculean task before it. How do you bring a license that's never seemed to be quite right for gaming to one of the most finicky of all genres, the MMOG?

What do you think? What would it take to make a great Trek game? Are there any Trek games that you think have really succeeded? What will Star Trek Online need to include in order to satisfy you?

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Kirk (5, Funny)

aedan (196243) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513018)

You need Kirk in a fist fight with a torn shirt and some scantily clad lady aliens. It's that simple, defy authority, destroy property and take people's clothes off.

Re:Kirk (1)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513152)

And a potential love affair with Spock. ...

I apologize for this post. :)

Re:Kirk (1)

First Person (51018) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513484)

And a potential love affair with Spock. ...

That requires the 'Hot Tranya [wikipedia.org] ' mod.

Spokish (2, Funny)

fm6 (162816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17514306)

What's to apologize for? When TOS series was still on the air, everybody (audience, writers, critics) agreed that Spock/Nimoy was the #1 babe magnet for the show. Women found the whole supercool hyperlogical scientist schtik thoroughly sexy. And when they started do scripts where he had to battle his inner illogical human, it just got more intense.

Or maybe you're apologizing for the image of Kirk with the torn shirt. Well, most video games with benefit from a little honest homoeroticism...

Re:Kirk (1)

jkusters (323299) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513396)

Well, in many ways, I think you're actually right. Too many Trek games are all about starship combat, and ship-to-ship combat has generally been a relatively rare thing in Trek. They prefer to solve problems with character interaction and stuff like that. Trying to shoehorn a starship combat simulation into the Trek universe is just not a wise thing to do. You start to have to try and make sense of Trek ships, classes, capabilities, and so forth, when the writers never really did.

JOhn.

Re:Kirk (1)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 7 years ago | (#17514170)

They prefer to solve problems with character interaction and stuff like that. Trying to shoehorn a starship combat simulation into the Trek universe is just not a wise thing to do.
An interesting point. I remember playing a Star Trek adventure game a LONG time ago (in the style of King's Quest 5-6), but I don't remember if it was any good. Maybe an RPG/FPS like Deus Ex or VTM: Bloodlines would work.

Re:Kirk (3, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513550)

Kirk in a fist fight with a torn shirt

Twenty bucks says the torn shirt takes him.

KFG

Re:Kirk (1)

Saige (53303) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513718)

There are a few characters in DOA that my friends and I have moves that we've taken to calling the "Kirk" - his trademark double-fisted downward slam that he always did in any fist-fight in Star Trek. Add that to the scantily-clad ladies in that game, and all you're missing is the painful method of dialog delivery that Shatner always managed...

Obligatory (1)

fishdan (569872) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513924)

<yell>
kiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrrkk!
</yell>

( lower case to avoid yelling :P )

DESU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17513044)

DESU DESU DESU

Succeeded? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513072)

Are there any Trek games that you think have really succeeded?

There's only one I can think of: Star Trek [klov.com] ... Courtesy Sega.

Starfleet Command series (1)

CaptKilljoy (687808) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513430)

The only real success I can think of in the Star Trek gaming world would be the Starfleet Command series. It's only slightly less complex than flying a 747, but it's as close to operating a real starship in combat as anyone will ever get.

What, no Netrek? (3, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513456)

If by success you mean longevity, Netrek [wikipedia.org] has been around since the early 70s.

Re:What, no Netrek? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17514040)

Well, by success I'd mean they are great - and a lot of people would argue that nettrek qualifies, but I found it to be somewhat impenetrable. Then again, elite has the same problem, but in spite of that I've become an Oolite junkie.

Re:Succeeded? (1)

ccandreva (409807) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513498)

I'll second that. If you've never played it, download MAME and grab the ROMS .

Or if you are nuts, buy your own machine [westnet.com] . (No, it is NOT for sale.)

Re:Succeeded? (1)

FunkLord84 (838348) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513644)

The Commodore version of this seemed pretty sweet, not that I got to play that much of it. Fun ship to ship battles were as far as I got.

Re:Succeeded? (1)

Redlazer (786403) | more than 7 years ago | (#17514300)

I played an FPS in the Star Trek universe a while ago, and i remember it being a lot of fun. It dealt a lot with the borg, and i believe was in the Picard timeframe.


I wish i could remember the name > -Red

Why is it so hard to make a good Star Trek game (4, Insightful)

wiredog (43288) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513082)

Same reason it's hard make a good game, period. Game creation is difficult. It has to have a good plot, a fair amount of flexibility in the plot, good graphics, good AI, and be fun to play. This all requires a large amount of creativity.

It also has to be delivered on-time and on-budget.

Re:Why is it so hard to make a good Star Trek game (4, Insightful)

cliffski (65094) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513218)

it helps if you don't blow half the budget on licensing voice actors though. I don't give a damn if modern games have no vocals whatsoever. If I wanted to hear Patrick stewarts voice I'd put a DVD on. I want to 'interact' and have 'fun' in a 'game'. More effort is required on the game, and less on ticking the marketing boxes like "all 5 star trek captains voices". I found the game dull and uninspired long before getting to hear more than 1 of the celebrity voices.

Re:Why is it so hard to make a good Star Trek game (0, Troll)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513326)

In their defense, there is no way anyone would consider Scott Bakula a "celebrity."

-Eric

Re:Why is it so hard to make a good Star Trek game (1)

Flentil (765056) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513642)

Someone please mod the parent a troll. Bakula was star of the long running highly regarded sci-fi TV series "Quantum Leap", and has starred in a few feature films, asside from his Enterprise experience.

Re:Why is it so hard to make a good Star Trek game (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513900)

Paris Hilton is a celebrity. Scott Bakula is a low-rent syndicated TV also-ran (and a wash-upped one at that). Hard, harsh reality.

Re:Why is it so hard to make a good Star Trek game (1)

minvaren (854254) | more than 7 years ago | (#17514596)

One could consider him so, but it would be a Quantum Leap in logic...

Re:Why is it so hard to make a good Star Trek game (0, Troll)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513514)

I'd actually pay double if ti came without Janeway's.

Re:Why is it so hard to make a good Star Trek game (2, Funny)

Saige (53303) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513762)

That's what multiplayer mode is for - watching the USS Voyager explode into little bits, knowing Janeway and company are all nice and dead. Too bad Archer commanded one of the early ships, since nobody chooses that one in multiplayer - it deserves destruction even more than Voyager.

Re:Why is it so hard to make a good Star Trek game (4, Funny)

misleb (129952) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513688)

I imagine it is a lot like making a good movie.

"Why is it so hard to make a good Trek game"? (4, Interesting)

popo (107611) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513086)

Because Trek is ultimately about dialogue and not action.
Tension is created through plot devices and not physical violence.

And because Trek is about large (non-nimble) vessels.

Add fast action and its no longer "Trek".
Keep it "Trek" and it's just not that fun as a video game.

Re:"Why is it so hard to make a good Trek game"? (2, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513140)

Because Trek is ultimately about dialogue and not action.

You haven't been watching Trek since TNG have you?

Re:"Why is it so hard to make a good Trek game"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17513322)

Even in the later series, where there was a lot more action, the series was still defined by it's strong drama and character developement. Star Trek has always been, and always will be a drama first, and sci-fi second. (We don't talk about Enterprise)

Re:"Why is it so hard to make a good Trek game"? (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513424)

Star Trek has always been, and always will be a drama first, and sci-fi second. (We don't talk about Enterprise)

I'm sorry but I don't feel like it's been that way since TNG. DS9 might make an honorable mention and it still holds a special place in my heart because it was the first Trek I ever saw. But the more I watch and start to like Babylon 5 the more it feels like DS9 ripped it off.

Classical Trek for me ended when TNG ended. And I'm glad TNG ended when it did -- because certain Season 7 episodes bear an amazing resemblance to Voyager and if TNG had stayed on the air it would have jumped the shark in Season 8. Look no further then the TNG movies if you doubt this.

Re:"Why is it so hard to make a good Trek game"? (4, Funny)

popo (107611) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513352)

You haven't been watching Trek since TNG have you?

Them's fightin words, son.

Re:"Why is it so hard to make a good Trek game"? (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513632)

Eh,

I don't see how "dialog" exists in the Voyager or Enterprise world. DS9 had dialog but it also had a much heavier emphasis on action then TNG so it's a wash at best.

Re:"Why is it so hard to make a good Trek game"? (2, Insightful)

pla (258480) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513408)

You haven't been watching Trek since TNG have you?

Since none exists after TNG, I'd say you have that correct. ;-)

Actually, in fairness, DS9 lasted another five years after TNG, but started a year before TNG ended, so gets a pass.



But you make a good good point, if accidentally - Voyager and Enterprise both threw away everything that made the franchise great, and they managed to all but ruin Star Trek for a generation. Analogously, most games try to make Trek into something more like the style of Voyager and Enterprise, and almost ubiquitously fall flat.


Mark my words, when a new Star Trek series eventually comes back in a decade or three, they will pretend those two never happened (or at best, give a not to Voyager for opening up the Delta quadrant, but basically ignore most of the episode development).

Re:"Why is it so hard to make a good Trek game"? (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513518)

Actually, in fairness, DS9 lasted another five years after TNG, but started a year before TNG ended, so gets a pass.

I'm torn on DS9. It feels like Bab5 meets Star Trek. Obviously it has Star Trek themes (DS9 did some pretty cool stuff with the Klingons -- a nice build-out from the groundwork laid by TNG) and undertones but the overall story has quite a few similarities and one has to wonder how many of those you can write off to "coincidence".

Mark my words, when a new Star Trek series eventually comes back in a decade or three, they will pretend those two never happened (or at best, give a not to Voyager for opening up the Delta quadrant, but basically ignore most of the episode development).

The day I stopped taking Star Trek seriously was the day that Patrick Stewart had to utter the line: "Admiral Janeway". I like to pretend that nothing after "All Good Things..." happened.

Re:"Why is it so hard to make a good Trek game"? (1)

CaptnMArk (9003) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513732)

DS9 was great with the Klingon story arc...

But everything related to Dominion IMO sucked.

Re:"Why is it so hard to make a good Trek game"? (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513844)

But everything related to Dominion IMO sucked.

Including quite possibly the biggest anti-climatic letdown of a story [memory-alpha.org] in television history.

"The Prophets made them disappear"

*sigh*

Re:"Why is it so hard to make a good Trek game"? (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513338)

### Keep it "Trek" and it's just not that fun as a video game.

I think the adventure genre would disagree with you.

Re:"Why is it so hard to make a good Trek game"? (1)

Erwos (553607) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513400)

It's not hard to make a good Trek game. Armada, 25th Anniversary, Elite Force, Star Fleet Command III, and A Final Unity were all good games. I think that the _quantity_ of Star Trek games causes this to be forgotten - but Star Wars really does have much the same problem.

Also, I think your basic thesis is wrong anyways. The two big dialogue games (Borg and Klingon) both didn't do very well when they were released back in the mid-90's. What makes a good Star Trek episode may not make a good Star Trek game.

Re:"Why is it so hard to make a good Trek game"? (1)

Wilson_6500 (896824) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513634)

I dunno. "A Final Unity" was an adventure game that I thought was actually not half bad.

Then again, nobody makes adventure games these days. Maybe they could take a cue from Sam and Max--if EVER a series cried out "episodic content" it's one where the original source was... episodic.

Re:"Why is it so hard to make a good Trek game"? (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17514176)

So don't do an action game. The Trekverse would be a good place to set an old-fashioned adventure game [rr.com] .

Alas, CBS Paramount will never back such a game. Like all the big media companies, they have no faith in any entertainment that requires actual thinking by the audience to think.

Because... (1)

Wandering Wombat (531833) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513088)

... it's so much EASIER to make a game that everyone will dislike, than one which 10% will love and 90% will outright hate! It's a fine line between fandom and idiocy, so the game-makers straddle it equally.

The old DOS era adventures rocked (2, Insightful)

Werrismys (764601) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513092)

Star Trek: 25th Anniversary was _excellent_. It felt like playing episodes of the old series. The puzzles were logical and TREK STYLE. The best Star Trek game I've ever played. The sequel, Judgment Rites, was not nearly as good but still, shares the place of second best Trek game with Elite Force.

Re:The old DOS era adventures rocked (1)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513440)

It felt like playing episodes of the old series. The puzzles were logical...
Stop right there! There's a parallel universe where episodes of the old series were logical?

Re:The old DOS era adventures rocked (1)

kc32 (879357) | more than 7 years ago | (#17514196)

Do I suck at this game or is the last level impossible to beat?

welll (1)

popisdead (594564) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513098)

Kinda moot to create a game based of bringing peace to the galaxy.

Trek Gaming Formula (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17513136)

Why is it so hard to make a good Trek game? Why do developers keep trying and failing?

Maybe if they made a game based on Kirk banging green chicks, they would succeed.

"Hot Tea" scandal brewing (1)

Wilson_6500 (896824) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513676)

Did Kirk also like Earl Grey Tea, hot? Darn. I don't think the joke works, then.

i don't get it (2, Interesting)

macadamia_harold (947445) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513142)

Why is it so hard to make a good Trek game? Why do developers keep trying and failing?

What's odd is that it is possible to make a good, licensed game. Take KOTOR for xbox, as an example.

However, most studios seem to see a content license as a "get out of work free" card, and expect that the game will sell on name recognition alone, regardless of whether or not it's any good.

Re:i don't get it (2, Insightful)

stubear (130454) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513454)

"However, most studios seem to see a content license as a "get out of work free" card, and expect that the game will sell on name recognition alone, regardless of whether or not it's any good."

Oh, it will sell well. What game publishers truly hope for, however, is the license to make the game play well on name recognition alone.

Re:i don't get it (1)

calderra (1034658) | more than 7 years ago | (#17514146)

Take KOTOR for xbox, as an example. And what an example! KOTOR and Jedi Knight don't even need to be Star Wars games- even if you're not a fan, they're still great games. As some have said here, the real problem is that a license like this is a Free Money pass according to the studio. Look at the film industry- how many big licenses get screwed away into titles that barely make a profit, if at all? And even if they make money, it's usually more from the "holy crap you have to see how bad this is" factor than anything else- and that even hurts the source material. Example: DOOM, or as its known to most of the populace, "That crappy space movie starring The Rock". And Star Trek isn't alone, although it's a bigger name suffering from the problem. The Gundam series is my favorite example- talk about an easy premise for a game! Take lots of giant robots, and make 'em fight. With really, really cool weapons. The result? Basically not a single good game ever, unless you wanna count the so-so 2d fighters back on SNES. I mean come on, GIANT FIGHTING ROBOTS! An 8-year-old can dream up a great game based on that line alone. Gundam even has plasma swords (re: "sabers made of light"), yet they still can't get it right. I don't get it. We all know studios license out movies and shows because they think it's easy money, but virtually every time they do it, they disgrace themselves, disgrace the material, and usually only break even- assuming they don't lose. What's the point?

Action & Adventure vs Philosophy (4, Interesting)

KalvinB (205500) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513150)

Star Trek would probably translate better into an adventure game series (like Space Quest) since the shows revolve far more around talking (philosophy) than battling foes (action). Star Wars and Spider Man involve a lot more action. There's no shortage of villians that need to be killed in those series where in Star Trek it's all about negotiation/talking with very little death.

In short, if you want a good Trek game they're going to need to switch game genres to match the show genre more closely.

Re:Action & Adventure vs Philosophy (3, Insightful)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513776)

Another game which I enjoyed THOROUGHLY that is not of the genre you speak was Birth of the Federation. It has bugs but as a 4x game was probably the most fun I ever played. It was in the Star trek universe and had all of the characters, ships, and destinations. And I've never seen a 4x game with the Borg-style element done so well.

Galactic Civilizations has some cool elements, but it lacks the artistic style and coolness and, in some ways, the intelligence of BOTF.

Or at least make the damn fights easier (1)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 7 years ago | (#17514106)

Legacy wouldn't have been half as bad if all that combat was a bit easier. I am not some kind of a super-duper mouse twiddler, and I suspect most normal people aren't either. So why is it that you have to fight forty something Romulan ships in the second mission? The mission that is supposedly still a part of the tutorial when people are just learning the game, and yes, I'm on the easiest difficulty level. Yup, I can get eight kills there after three days of practice. I might try it one more time, but it is really such an incredible turnoff. Come on, game designers! Give us some slack! An average person ought to be able to play the game, if only on the easy level. Especially the average person who wants to hear the story more than just fly around endlessly shooting enemy vessels arriving from some inexhaustible source. At the very least, give us cheat codes or something, because as things are now, I have very little desire to die yet another time for no good reason.

Dialogue and narration heavy videogames (4, Interesting)

TrekkieGod (627867) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513172)

Given the dialogue and narration-heavy storytelling that Star Trek uses, it is possible that the Trek universe just isn't a good fit for videogames?

That's not the problem. As the submitter mentioned himself, although most Trek games are horrible, there were some winners, such as A Final Unity. It might, however, restrict it to some genres. You take the Star Trek universe, and make a game where you just take ships back and forth and shoot at each other, and you're eliminating 90% of what makes trekkies like Trek. I can say the same thing about making a shooter out of it, which is why I for one didn't like Elite Force.

The problem is that no one seems to like adventure games anymore. Why can't we have more games like Judgment Rites and Final Unity? Star Trek episodes, although they do contain some action which should not be ignored, are mostly about solving puzzles and making choices that influence the outcome of some event. That's what gamers do in adventure games, and that's why every trek gamer remembers A Final Unity as being so great.

Super Star Trek? (2, Interesting)

petro6 (989039) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513178)

Super Star Trek [wikipedia.org] anyone?
God I loved that game from the moment I checked out the floppy from the local library...

dogfights in giant fighters (1)

sammy baby (14909) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513194)

Another, subtle frustration is the pathing your friendly ships use when circling a target. While sometimes ships do 'the right thing' and orbit their prey at an appropriate range, trying to keep weapons locked on the target at all times, that's not always a given. Often, ships locked onto a target attempt something I can best refer to as a 'strafing run', where they move directly at a target, allowing firing on the enemy for a brief period of time, before overshooting and swinging around for another pass.


Oh, I dunno. I seem to recall tons of starship combat sequences from the movies and various series which involved exactly that kind of maneuvering. I couldn't tell you why it seemed appropriate to have spacecraft the size of cities dogfight like they were just slightly clunky fighters - maybe those inertial dampeners work better than you'd think.

Or maybe the firing arc of the weapons isn't as wide in the game as it is in the series? The Galaxy class phaser arrays could fire with a pretty wide arc.

Rather than say that this is a defect in the game AI, I'd say that it's an accurate representation of the odd combat sequences from the entire series.

(Hey, know what would have been cool? Port and starboard mounted photon torpedo launchers, so we could have heard Riker saying, "Give 'em a broadside.")

(Hey, know what else? I'm a big dork.)

A game that succeeded (4, Informative)

Chairboy (88841) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513208)

The article asks for an example of trek games that succeeded. The best, or at least, most enjoyable and replayable one I've found was written 20 years ago.

It was a PC game called 'Begin:Tactical Starship Combat'. It ran first in 80x20 text and later in EGA, but unlike most trek games of the time (which were variants of the old "You're in a 'sector' with 12 quadrants. Press P for phaser" theme from the PDP-11 days, this one put you in charge of a ship (or a fleet) with detailed systems, a need to excercise tactics (instead of just pounding on a 'Fire all' button), and clever (or at least difficult) AI.

You gave it commands using a quasi-english that you could shorten. "Pursue Krager at warp 6" could become "purs kr 6" for instance, as long as it was distinct enough.

Phasers, torpedos, warp engines that could overheat, especially when they had taken damage (limiting your performance or making you sacrifice repair times for temporary speed), power systems management, shield management, all sorts of details but you weren't FORCED to micromanage 'em.

Ship battles could be 1x1, or massive fleets. You can play hide & seek with a Romulan warbird, or escort a convoy and protect it against Orions.

I made a web page about it a couple years ago, and there's a Yahoo groups with a few hundred people that STILL play it today. Someone has even hacked together a multiplayer version with clever use of assembly and a debugger.

THIS is the kind of game that works with trek. It puts the player in the game as themselves, not as Kirk or Archer or Picard. The original Toy Story didn't have Barbie because Mattel was worried that Barbie on film wouldn't match the Barbie that kids have in their imagination. The same thing applies to Star Trek games. If the game doesn't let someone really feel like they're in control of things, or uses so many graphics that it gets into uncanny valley territory, then it'll disappoint at some level.

Keep it simple while keeping it flexible. Configurable complexity, less graphics, more monkey.

Here's a page I made about the game, with screenshots and downloads.

http://hallert.net/misc/begin/begin.html [hallert.net]

Re:A game that succeeded (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17513548)

Two words: Starfleet Command.

You're welcome.

Re:A game that succeeded (4, Informative)

CaptnMArk (9003) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513678)

There's also a more gooey-clicky alternative available: VTREK.EXE (google it)

Works nicely under dosbox.

Probably the most played trek game for me.

(Although the suckiness of 'Legacy has made me discover the ST Bridge Commander which is okay).

Re:A game that succeeded (1)

CaptnMArk (9003) | more than 7 years ago | (#17514034)

Vtrek is a simpler game than BEGIN, but still has things like power distribution, damage control/repair, mining for dilithium (energy), stealing the romulan cloaking device, etc.

And Tribbles :)

Of course, it also has non-real-trek stuff, like the death ray or beaming the Enterprise to the nearest starbase.

Re:A game that succeeded (1)

dcray2000 (969850) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513820)

BEGIN was a shocking amazing Star Trek game. I had almost forgotten how many hours of my life were flushed away on it.

Re:A game that succeeded (1)

Mogomra (654796) | more than 7 years ago | (#17514288)

I don't believe it, someone else out there other than me remembers BEGIN, the first shareware package I ever registered.

Does anyone remember a DOS-based Trek-type game called UNIVERSE? It was a more complex version of Vtrek with crew management, derelict vessels, and tons of other races like Kzinti and Lyrans. It ran in yellow ASCII text, and you could view a map of the entire galaxy if you had a Hercules-compatible graphics card.

They make you play Archer first... (1)

aapold (753705) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513254)

for the first I don't know how many missions, more than I was willing to wait through. You really shouldn't lead off with a weak spot, even if it was chronologically first...

Why it's so blasted hard (1)

Phoenix (2762) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513256)

That's the part that saddens us hardcore gamers/star trek fans. The fact that you have a rich palette to work with, but it never seems to work. The games either sound really nifty but suck when it comes right down to gameplay, or the game play is excellent, but they use a lackluster plot and/or poor storytelling

The gameplay side of it seems to stem from the fact that the designers love to put in all the bells and whistles of life on a starship, but they put in way too much. They make you micro-manage every last living detail. Sure, it's fun to have to have the challenge of re-routing power to keep the shields up, or to do triage in sickbay, or to try to get the ship to fly between the enemy ships in order to get them to shoot each other, but all at the same time during the same combat? Seriously, a game that "puts you in the center seat" as Captain shouldn't make you do your job and Scotty's (and Chekov's, and Uhura's, and Sulu's, etc) as well.

The opposite side of this is where they get the game play right, but bore you to tears with the story. Star Trek Voyager Elite Force is a great example. It's Quake 3 Arena with phasers...how could they screw up the gameplay? But the story was repetitive. Beam over and shoot this, beam over and shoot that, stay here and shoot the funky thing with all the eyes. Rarely was there something other than "Shoot, Collect, and flip the switch" missions.

In fact the one that was really fun was the mission where you had to sneak past all the Klingons without letting them know you were there...and even then you had to get the isodesium and blast your way out.

If they could do something akin to the later Wing Commander games where there was a story (a real honest to Goddess plot) and a wide array of missions where you play different roles, you'd be a step or two in the right direction

Phoenix

The best Trek game (2, Interesting)

zenderbender (663373) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513306)

I've played hundreds of hours of a little known turn based Trek game called Birth of the Federation. I wouldn't say it was successful, (the company went out of business), but my friends and I have had many long nights battling as the different races. It is by far my favorite trek game.

Re:The best Trek game (2, Interesting)

nharmon (97591) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513782)

I really enjoyed Birth of the Federation and I think it is the best Star Trek to be made yet. However, my biggest complaint was that it lacked a real storyline. But at the same time, that would make it a lot like Armada, which was okay but the story made the game quite limiting (same goes for Starfleet Command).

Give me BOTF with tons of side-missions (maybe patterned off of real Star Trek episodes like "The Chase"), and I'd be a happy camper.

Re:The best Trek game (1)

dcray2000 (969850) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513950)

Well said, bravo! I got this game for my birthday in '98 (I think). I played one game through for 56 hours straight. It's still the best.

I've read a couple of reviews... (1)

DarthChris (960471) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513314)

...for the PC version. The view appears to be that the game was forced out the door by the publishers before it was ready, and as a result it's full of bugs - but if it weren't for that, it would be a good game. Unfortunately a lot of games seem suffer this fate. I would assume the 360 version is in a similar position.

Re:I've read a couple of reviews... (2, Informative)

Erwos (553607) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513452)

The 360 version is actually _not_ as buggy as the PC version, from what I've read. It just doesn't fix the fundamental design flaws.

KOTOR vs. Trek Games (1)

Minimum_Wage (1003821) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513324)

What they keep getting wrong is that as a player
  • I
want to be the one in command of a starship or a battle group. I don't care about hearing Kirk or Picard have an original adventure - it's my game, not theirs. That's why KOTOR was fun - it put you in the center of a unique Star Wars adventure, not a re-hash of the movies using the characters we all know. Most Trek gamers would be happy with an updated version of Starfleet Command that doesn't suck.

Re:KOTOR vs. Trek Games (1)

rhavenn (97211) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513414)

Yeap. It's call Space Rangers 2 :)

Re:KOTOR vs. Trek Games (1)

Minimum_Wage (1003821) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513464)

Ugh! I couldn't get into that one. Sorry...

Star Trek is a goldmine (1)

pkcs11 (529230) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513354)

Geeks spend a few million in a secondary market for Star Trek stuff(I wish I had numbers to back it up). So I suspect they figure it's a "build and they will come" sorta thing. Except no one has come since A Final Unity, and no one plans on coming.
Star Trek games probably have some off curse like even (or is it odd) numbered Star Trek movies. Except this curse uses like mod1 or something.

netrek for the win :) (2, Insightful)

rhavenn (97211) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513370)

I dunno, I always thought the best Trek game was Netrek [netrek.org] :) It definitely made time in the computer lab go by much faster.

Interesting questions... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17513376)

Why is it so hard to make a good Trek game? Why do developers keep trying and failing? Why is there a Vulcan leading the Borg?

While these certainly are pressing questions, a more important one may be this. What kind of knuckle-dragging retard gives a fuck? Get some perspective FFS!

Publisher vs. Developer (1)

ScratchDot (212666) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513378)

The game was developed by Mad Doc Software and published by Bethesda Softworks according to MobyGames. [mobygames.com] (The review has the roles reversed as of this posting.)

PC version stinks and what about a MMORPG (1)

TheChacal (588505) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513382)

Like a fool I got Legacy for the PC. Yes, I am jonesing for some Trek, so I picked it up. Sucks. I bought an Xbox 360 controller to play it, and it still sucks. The controls are unusable and the space battles make no sense -- the AI is moronic at best and you have to love a space sim where you BOUNCE off solid objects. Anyway, what about a Trek MMORPG. Think of the base of players you would have right off the bat. You have the class system already set up (Command, Medic, Engineer, Communication and Red Shirt) and quests would lend themselves more to the Trek style than these big fighter Trek games. Just a thought... now all I need is to learn how to program and $15 million in development costs. :)

The background to this game (4, Informative)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513398)

Is that it's effectively a modification of the developer's existing flight sim engine, and it really shows. Torpedo weapons have to be "locked on" by bearing on a target for a period of time, just like in a flight sim. The strafing passes are very much flight-sim based. Pull up, and you'll go up... until you "stall" at some sort of universal ceiling. It feels like flying F-86s and B-52s in 2.5 dimensions. What it doesn't feel like is Star Trek, unless you ever thought that Trek really needed to be more like Top Gun.

And that's the 360 version. The PC version is just appalling, and barely usable out of the box. At least wait for them to add configurable controls. Yes, you read that right.

Re:The background to this game (1)

Saige (53303) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513912)

Actually, from what I've read, the game engine is actually based off of a previous Star Trek game - there are apparently a few bugs present in it that are dead-on matches with bugs in the previous game, and they're some strange little rare bugs.

Succeeded in Gameplay, failed in Everything Else (1)

Evangelion (2145) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513438)


One game series that I fondly recall was the Starfleet Command series. While based off of the Starfleet license, which is distinct from the main Star Trek line (mainly due to the presence of Mr. Niven's Kitties), it did a god job of implementing Starfleet Battles gameplay in a modern PC game. Yes, there were differences (it was realtimeish, while SFB is anything but), but it was quite an enjoyable game.... if you could actually get to the game to begin with.

Everything about the game was buried behind a ton of buggy, useless, and invasive menus. Trying to play LAN Multiplayer with a friend was *excruciating* due to the menu system in the first two games.

It's really reasons like this that highlight how hard it is to make a good game -- in the case of SFC, the gameplay itself was great, and it could have truly been something special... had it been easier to actually, you know, get to the game.

Rating: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17513508)

8/10

Success! (1)

dcray2000 (969850) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513654)

- Are there any Trek games that you think have really succeeded? I tend to define the success of a Star Trek game by how many times I've gone back and played it over the years. I feel like Birth of the Federation succeeded, although Microprose died. It's a real shame, for such a great, complex, and true to trek game to have not been followed up. However, I'm afraid if it is ever followed up, as we've seen once again with Legacy, the bottom line will be more important than quality of the game. Other trek game I like to re-visit: Armada II SFC III Away Team (don't laugh) Bridge Commander Now, if someone could just merge Birth of the Federation, Master of Orion II, Bridge Commander, Away Team, add in a good story line about the Iconians, allow all known trek races including minor ones, great cut scenes, dynamic star systems, ships, and heavy mod capabilities... then I could sleep at night.

Genres (1)

meta-monkey (321000) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513656)

As others have pointed out, the problem is that they're using the wrong game genres. Star Trek the series was about exploration, diplomacy, and solving problems. Combat was limited and used a last resort. Therefore, it doesn't make much sense as a flight sim or FPS. Star Wars translates well to combat games, because it was about WAR. Trek doesn't translate as well because it was about TREKKING. That is, exploration and discovery, not so much with the fighting.

My favorite space-sim game of all time was Starflight [wikipedia.org] , originally for the IBM PC, but I didn't play it until it came out on the Sega Genesis. I think a Trek game using the same concepts as Starflight, updated for 2007, could be great. The game was 90% exploration, solving puzzles, and managing the resources of your ship and crew, it behooved you to handle encounters with different alien races diplomaticly, and there were lots of puzzles to solve and an intriguing plot to uncover.

This could make a great Trek game. You're the captain of a ship, you're given a puzzle to solve, and sent on your way. Through the course of the game you encounter a myriad of worlds and races as you gather clues to help you solve the big mystery. In the meantime, you solve other, smaller, Trek-like problems, sort of like in an RPG fashion. An open-ended game like this sounds much more like a Trek game I'd like to play.

If I just want laser blasts and dogfights, I'll play a Star Wars game.

easy to answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17513680)

The reason it feels so unfulfilling is because the whole industry is making a mad dash to the "Looks great, less filling", 7 hour game play, maximize profit while minimizing creativity effort product. There MBA's, PHD accountants and marketing analysts have refined your demographics to an angstroms width of profit maximization vs loss and are laughing all the way to the banks at your expense.
This is why so many games being produced are pretty much rat scat!

Could a minor patch be the cure? (1)

WidescreenFreak (830043) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513708)

Maybe I'm reading too much into the review, but it seems to me that the problems are issues that might be correctable by an appropriately implemented patch. (I don't have a 360, but from what I'm told it can download patches and install game patches.) With the exception of some frustrating level design, as Zonk mentioned, it sounds like the primary source of frustration comes from AI. AI logic can be tweaked. Game companies have been releasing AI modifications in game patches for years.

I understand that reviews should be "out of the box" reviews, which this is, and I wish more games were rock-solid right off the shelf; but I wonder if this is a game where those who are hesitant to purchase, particularly on the PC side, should just wait a little while until patches are released and the game is no longer "bleeding edge". I don't appreciate the "release-and-patch" approach, but it is unfortunately a common practice in gaming any more. I'm just wondering if this is a situation where an AI patch and minor level adjustment might be what could help to cure this ailing game. Of course, that all depends on Bethesda understanding this and releasing a patch.

In fact, does the PC version suffer from these same AI bugs? I would assume that both versions are based off the same code base.

Re:Could a minor patch be the cure? (1)

kitsunewarlock (971818) | more than 7 years ago | (#17514244)

"Wow dude, you just got a new game! Put it in!" "Hmm its just an empty box...no CD...not even a manual...just...sand..." "Eih. Wait for the patch."

Re:Could a minor patch be the cure? (1)

WidescreenFreak (830043) | more than 7 years ago | (#17514326)

Boy, talk about an extreme exaggeration... :/

But it sort of reminds me of that dad who put coal in his son's XBox 360 box for the expensive, audio equipment. Don't know if that patched the son's attitude, but it probably adjusted the brat's AI not to mess with dad again. :)

Rushed out (1)

GreenEnvy22 (1046790) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513764)

I played the PC version and finished it. The game felt rushed out the door, as others mentioned the space flight did not seem to be like the space flight shown to us on Star trek over the years. The ships colliding, going at all sorts of weird angles when attacking, and the regtangular prism universe (x and y have tons of space, but Z axis has not much). The story to me felt like it jumped around too much as well, going from one area to another with little explanation. It was great to get to command the ships and have Picard, Kirk and Sisko's voices responding or narrating. The ships looked good and sounds were good. The photon weapons lock was horrible, definetaly nothing like in the show. It felt like a flight sim getting a missle lock.

SUSTAR (1)

paulxnuke (624084) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513816)

I remember SUSTAR (SUper STAR trek) with a lot of fondness. It was especially cool when I got to college and could play without going through a 300 baud modem and printing the entire board on a teletype for each turn. A friend got an $5 / hour (under the table), 84 hour / week summer job at a local greasy spoon to buy a 48K TRS-80 with a cassette drive: porting Super Star Trek from DEC to Radio Shack BASIC was my first "group" project, and still the most fun.

Birth of the Federation (1)

goofyheadedpunk (807517) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513860)

I was/am addicted to Star Trek: Birth of the Federation [wikipedia.org] . It's pretty much MOO with some improvements, but in the Star Trek universe.

One great star trek game (2, Informative)

CrazyTalk (662055) | more than 7 years ago | (#17513914)

The one great star trek game I've seen was the one I planed in high school and in college - on a VT100 terminal connected to a mainframe, with the little tic-tac-toe like grid showing you where your ship was.

Trek ships are wrongly represented (2, Interesting)

DeeDob (966086) | more than 7 years ago | (#17514052)

Star Trek was always more about naval battles, but in space, than a star fighter games like Star Wars.

Can anyone name a good naval game where you controlled destroyers and battleships? There are next to none and what do exist are almost always bad.

What i think could do a good Trek game for naval combat would be to focus on the more "fighter"-types ships of the latest shows. We would have more fun maneuvering some kind of shuttle that can only fire in front of itself than maneuvering a huge and slow ship that can fire anywhere it faces because the guns/phasers are mounted on turrets.

If you want to focus on story, do an adventure game, or a game that focus on the characters themselves and not the "ships" like Legacy does. Or put BIG cutscenes between missions, like Origin did with their Wing Commander series.

Re:Trek ships are wrongly represented (1)

CaptnMArk (9003) | more than 7 years ago | (#17514140)


>What i think could do a good Trek game for naval combat would be to focus on the more "fighter"-types ships of the latest shows. We would have more fun maneuvering some kind of shuttle that can only fire in front of itself than maneuvering a huge and slow ship that can fire anywhere it faces because the guns/phasers are mounted on turrets.

But that's not Star Trek. That kind of ship would be scrap metal as soon as it entered the firing range of the Enterprise. (except maybe once, as a terrorist strike, if Picard forgot to raise the shields).

All downhill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17514128)

It's been all downhill since trek73...

Go back to the roots: Netrek (1)

maynard (3337) | more than 7 years ago | (#17514144)

Now, I haven't played Legacy on my 360. I was hoping to download a demo last weekend, but it wasn't available. Still, it's getting bad reviews all over the place. So... *shrug*. But there is a free alternative.... I know, nobody cares about netrek [netrek.org] any longer. But I remember first seeing this game on a Sun 3/60 back in 1987 or so and was *very* impressed. It's still a fun game... probably a whole lot more fun than this 360 Trek game. Especially if you're into military strategy gaming.

IMO, that's what a lot of these recent trek games is missing. They focus on the characters, interior imagery of the ship, and blah blah blah. I would love a game that focused on presenting a realistic 3D galaxy with various groups fighting over borders and resources. A kind of MOO Axis and Allies in space, if you will.

Just - please - no FPS type stuff set in Trek-Land. Feh.

There's are two major problems (4, Insightful)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 7 years ago | (#17514184)

As far as the difficulty of making a decent Trek computer game goes, there are at least two major problems. The first of these also had a hand in sinking the show itself.

a) The single most overwhelming problem (which has also hamstrung *every* series and film after TOS) is the question of how much you should try and simply appeal to the established fanbase vs. how much you should try and do outreach to new audiences/go in new directions. Rick Berman's inability to balance this issue was, more than anything else, the single main thing which killed Voyager and Enterprise in the end. With Voyager to a large degree he simply ended up adopting an attitude of, "screw the base," and focused purely on trying to draw new audience, whereas with Enterprise he tried to appeal more to the base at times, but was still unable to balance the issue. I think also the problem is that a balance isn't really possible...you basically have a scenario where the earlier/more conventional series had a philosophical basis of fairly heavy pacifism on the one hand, but where there was a transition period during DS9 in particular where violence started being incorporated more and more as a regular part of the show, until you got to the level of around fifth to seventh season Voyager which regularly had episodes that played like low-budget versions of the Lethal Weapon movies in space. Elite Force in particular was able to use that to its' advantage, and that alone is probably the main reason why that's been one of the only two Trek games (the other having been A Final Unity) that could be called an unqualified success.

Looking at it now, I think the lesson is that because each series had such a fundamentally different approach to the issue of violence, in a game or movie you can't mix series. If you're going to do a Voyager game for instance, you can make an FPS and have it as violent as you want. A Voyager game also wants a heavily postmodern, gritty, and also fairly multi-ethnic feel, with adolescent sexual angst between Tom and BE'lanna, comic relief from the Doctor, Chakotay doing his stereotypical Red Man schtick, and lots of Janeway's trademark moral ambiguity and gleeful abuse of authority.

A TNG game on the other hand *has* to be something like A Final Unity; an almost entirely non-violent puzzle-solver. A TOS game could have some degree of violence, but it has to be 60s oriented and cowboyish in nature, which means unarmed fisticuffs for the most part. The Utopian/"universal peace" vibe doesn't have to be as strong for a TOS game as for TNG either, but a certain amount of it doesn't hurt. I thought Starfleet Academy got it right in terms of having an Andorian as one of the students, as well. That sort of unobtrusive in reference helps to keep the autistic geek base happy, and won't upset normal audiences *too* much if it isn't overdone. Of all of these, DS9 is probably the trickiest to get right, which probably also explains why it hasn't been done successfully in a game. A DS9 game could have a certain amount of violence, but it needs to be kept restrained a subtle way. (Odo's restrained use of martial arts with carefully and clearly performed hand strikes are a good example of what I'm talking about, here) The idea with DS9 is that of a society which has traditionally been pacifist, but which is in the process of discovering that violence is something of a necessity on the basis of self-defense. The seventh season episode, "The Siege of AR-558," is probably the best example of what I'm talking about, there.

b) I get the feeling that in some cases, game design houses possibly (if only subconsciously) had the attitude that because they were doing a Trek game, it probably wasn't going to achieve more than cult popularity anywayz, and so therefore there wasn't much point in making sure that it was a truly quality game. If you're going to do a strongly character/story oriented Trek game, then yes, there is a fairly strong possibility that you're not going to hold much appeal outside the base. However, I'm unsure why that in itself necessitates a defeatist attitude. The base are extremely vocal; not only that, they have a lot of money and have demonstrated infinite willingness to spend it on quality material. If you make a quality game for them, they'll buy it and you'll make money. There is also a strong possibility that if the game is truly good, you'll also get at least marginal mainstream interest as well.

Thing I hated most about this game... (1)

Kawolski (939414) | more than 7 years ago | (#17514202)

...was that damn asteroid mission. Picard gives the order to use the tractor beam to toss chunks of debris into the path of a huge planet-killing asteroid, but the AI of other ships kept automatically attacking the debris I was towing! To make things worse, there wasn't enough time to do it using only one ship. The solution I found eventually was to send the AI ships to different areas of the map simultaneously so they'd be out of weapons range of each other, have them each pick up an debris chunk, and one by one, place the chunks in front of the asteroid.

Of course, there were no in-mission saves, so having to do this part over and over was pure torture. I don't know if they patched this later or not. As soon as I finished the game, I couldn't uninstall it fast enough.

On a side note, did anyone else notice Janeway sounds like she did her voiceovers over the phone?

Starfleet Battles (1)

CrazyTalk (662055) | more than 7 years ago | (#17514276)

The best Star Trek game I ever played was in the pre-PC era - Starfleet battles, played with chits, pen, and paper, with diagrams of the ships to mark off areas that were damaged. Used to play this in study hall back in 1980.

Armada & Elite Force (1)

srqhivemind (907530) | more than 7 years ago | (#17514490)

The first two major Trek games that I played on PC were Armada and Elite Force.
Armada was a decently made RTS, though the single player was far stronger then the multiplayer, but even MP had its moments.
The game tied together many elements from the series, The dominion war aftermath (DS9), Insurrection, The Omega Particles (VOY) and the Borg. The voice acting by Patrick Stewart (Picard and the cloned Locutus), Denise Crosby (Sela) and the dynamic duo of Michael Dorn and JG Hertzler was top-notch. The four campagns tied together reasonably well.

Elite Force (made by Raven (SW:JKII)) was its sister game, set in the Voyager 'verse. Again, single player was unique (the first real Trek shooter), with a storyline that actually 'fit' Voyager (the opening 'mission' was a clever bit IMO), and actually made more sense then what happened in the show itself in the later years (sad, sad). multiplayer was the only downside, as the game used the Quake III engine, MP was basically Q3 with Trek skins.

Since then, meh.
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