Star Trek: Invasion Review

By: John Doe

Console players who are also Star Trek fans have been only able to sit idly by and watch as Activision produced PC game after PC game based on the Star Trek universe. Well, the wait is over. A Star Trek game has come to the consoles and it is surprisingly good. Lovers of 3D shooters like Colony Wars and Wing Commander will eat up this offering, just be warned that it is extremely repetitive and not a walk in the park.


I was never a big Star Trek fan but I can certainly sympathize with Trekkies who have never really had a great game to play starring their favorite characters. Star Trek Invasion doesn't exactly star the crew of the Next Generation series (you play as Ensign Cooper) but it does feature Worf and Picard (at least their voices) which will delight most of you. Needless to say the acting is topnotch. The game itself, as mentioned, plays a lot like the Colony Wars series, although much more linearly. You won't find branching paths or free roaming gameplay, rather you'll be in for 20 levels that play out almost like the mission based objectives of G-Police. You know, escort and protect type missions.

The missions themselves start off interesting, but the longer you play, and the more you enemies you have to shoot, shoot and shoot some more, the more you will be wondering how much of this can you actually take. Perhaps the story involving the Borg, Cardassians, Romulans and a new PITA (pain in the @$$), the Kam'Jahtae, will keep you interested. But the repetition and the tough difficulty level honestly made me stir crazy after the first hour and a half. The inclusion of Michael Dorn as Worf, the commander of your fleet, and Patrick Stewart as Picard help to add some depth to the overall experience, but it didn't mean much to me. Star Trek fans on the other hand will love that these two vets are involved in this game.

Control for the most part is really good. All of the buttons are used on the controller to really give you a solid playing experience. And even though there is a lot to remember in the control department, you'll be flying like a pro thanks to the intuitive controls. Not once did I die because I couldn't find the right button. I did die because of the insane difficulty of a few of the missions however. And besides the repetition, that is Invasion's biggest black eye.

Graphically Warthog has done a splendid job here. This game looks as good as any of the Colony Wars games, and the framerate remains solid even with a ton of asteroids, ships and movement on the screen at once. Although you'd think that the backgrounds would be fairly nondescript as this is a space game, Warthog threw in enough color and some "over the planet" missions, that the final result is very impressive.

In the aural department, the acting, music and sound effects are all 100% bang on. This is a great sounding game from beginning to end. Being able to snag Worf and Picard was a feather in the cap of Invasion as too many games end up coming off like "cousins to the original licensed property". They don't star the main characters and all too often the game reeks of cookie cutter design. Of course, it's true that Warthog could have easily made Invasion into a Star Wars, Jetson's or Muppet Babies in Space game, but there is enough here within the CG cutscenes and the production to truly make this a Star Trek experience.

If you don't mind some mind-numbing repetition, without other intriguing aspects of shooter games like Colony Wars or Wing Commander, than by all means Start Trek Invasion could be just the game you have been waiting for. It certainly plays, looks and sounds like a million bucks, but it is as tough as a wounded bear on occasion. Fans should definitely check it out, and others may approach more cautiously, perhaps with an evening or two rental.






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