|System: Wii, PS2||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: 4JStudio||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Bethesda Softworks||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 20, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The mixture of real-time strategy and turn-based gameplay is a fun combination, but it's not quite enough to offset the overall lack of content. Campaign mode is actually a misnomer. There's little campaigning to be had; you'll simply play out a single galactic war until you've crushed all of the other races into dust. Then it's just a matter of starting over and playing as a different race or with different specifications. There are a few minor differences between the races, but it's nothing that warrants replaying the same map over and over again. A skirmish mode is the only other gameplay option, and it essentially boils down to a single arcade battle which will last a few minutes. Multiplayer options could have greatly extended the game's limited entertainment value, but none are present.
On the visual front, Conquest is rather disappointing. Most of the game features 2D sprites with little to no animation. The galaxy map is equally uninteresting. At the most, some of the small ships may be visually pleasing in a nostalgic way for anyone who's grown fond of the Star Trek series. The arcade mode visuals are an improvement over the rest of the game, but the awkwardly close camera angle makes it tough to keep up with the faster enemy ships. A few brief cut scenes simply depicting fleets of war ships approaching the battle serve as transitions. Much of the audio is forgettable except for the unintentionally funny voice-over battle calls which are repetitive.
The only discernable difference between the two console versions of the game is use of the Wii Remote and Nunchuk instead of the PS2 controller. The Wii controls work well, but not enough to justify having to pay $30 for the Wii version versus $15 for the PS2 version. It's a bizarre anomaly. For only a mere $15, much of the gripes regarding Conquest begin to melt away, making the PS2 version superior in that regard.
It would not have taken much effort to make the minor improvements necessary to elevate Conquest from a mediocre title to something worthy of the Star Trek brand. The presence of a true campaign mode containing even a minor overarching plot would improve the play experience significantly, and adding in some favorite main characters from the series (instead of a slew of secondary chumps for admirals) might appease the Trekkie crowd. The limited gameplay itself is solid enough to warrant a few hours of space combat, but as a Star Trek title, Conquest simply doesn't live up to expectation.
CCC Freelance Writer