Going boldy where only a few games have gone before
The Star Trek series is in pretty dire straits right now. With the cancellation of Star Trek: Enterprise, it is the first time for a long while that there hasn’t been a Star Trek series on television. While it’s generally debatable at what point the Star Trek universe took a turn for the worse, it is obvious that Trekkies are eager to revisit the final frontier. While fans of Star Trek wait impatiently for their next opportunity to go “where no one/ man has gone before” Star Trek Legacy gives gamers the chance to save the galaxy throughout all of the eras of the Star Trek universe, beginning with Archer’s Enterprise and ending with the Next Generation era.
Star Trek: Legacy follows a story that expertly ties all of the years of Star Trek together in one epic tale. The story starts quietly enough in the time of Archer’s original Enterprise, then continues through Captain Kirk’s Enterprise of TOS, finally finishing in the Jean-Luc Picard’s Enterprise. The story is well done and ties together all of the time periods without too much of a stretch in a story involving Romulans, Vulcans, and everyone’s favorite cyborg zombies, the Borg.
The gameplay consists entirely of ship to ship battles, never letting the player see more than space stations, starships, and the final frontier. It is initially a little disappointing that there aren’t any opportunities to see any likenesses of Archer, Kirk, or Picard, even though they are voiced expertly in Bachula, Shatner, and Stewart respectively all reprising their roles.
Starship battles make up the majority of gameplay, charging the player with protecting other Federation ships or planets and attacking enemy ships. While the ships can also tow disabled ships with the tractor beam, hail ships, scan the environment, and transport crew to and from planets, most of the time will be spent battling with other starships. There aren’t any shifts from the game world to acknowledge an answered hail, a successful transport or otherwise, just a voiced confirmation of achievement, which is somewhat disappointing. To break up the monotony, it may have been nice to see a view screen of a communication or an occasional cut scene of a transport.
The player controls the ship with the left analog stick and the camera with the right. The ships all control differently, depending on the class of ship and the technology of the era. For example, the Archer Enterprise has no shields and controls a little clumsier than the more powerful Next Generation Enterprise, and Scout class ships zip about faster than the clunkier but more powerful Destroyer class ships. The left trigger fires phasers, and the right trigger fires photon torpedoes. The back button brings up a map that allows the player to choose faraway destinations and set headings, although gameplay continues while this is occurring. Players also have options like focusing power to the shields, weapons, or engines, or targeting specific systems on enemies’ ships to leave foes disabled but not destroyed. You can use long range scanners to check out your surroundings and even self-destruct your ship out of desperation. One thing that ships can’t do, however, is ram other ships. When the ship collides with another ship or a planet, the ship simply bounces off of it. It would’ve added an element of strategy to allow players to ram others for damage or force them to be more cautious to avoid damage, and it seems like an opportunity wasted.
The player earns command points from completing each mission, which can be used to purchase new ships from different classes. This allows the player to build a fleet of up to four ships to use on missions. The major problem with this setup is that the ship purchase screen comes up before the mission briefing, which means that the player doesn’t know what is required of him on the next mission to help choose what type of ship would be best suited for the mission. This is a fairly large oversight on the part of the developers.
Another major oversight is the fact that you can only save between missions. There isn’t an option to save during missions and some of the longer ones can last for an hour. This means that if you don’t complete all mandatory mission objectives, you have to replay the entire mission again regardless of your progress, which can get frustrating very quickly on some of the more difficult ones.
Visually, the game does very well. The game does a good job of re-creating all of the various starships accurately so that the starships are immediately recognizable on sight. The firefights in space are well done as well, with phasers and photon torpedoes looking like they do on their corresponding show. The graphics are next-gen, but not stunningly so, as the visuals just begin to feel boring after a while. However, one thing that the game does very well is creating a distinctly Trek experience. Everything is in place that a Trekkie would expect. Everything, from the sounds effects, to the voice acting, to the presentation, feels like Star Trek.
There are also a few multiplayer options. Skirmish mode allows the player to choose a ship from any era and any race. That means you can choose to pit a Borg cube against the James Kirk’s Enterprise or against a Romulan Bird of Prey. You can also take the fight online to Xbox Live to challenge other gamers.
Ultimately, Star Trek: Legacy is a fun experience, especially for Trekkies. Although there are shortcomings, Legacy is an opportunity for Star Trek fans to experience ship battles from any of the Trek time periods. If you can look past the fact that you’ll spend all of your time looking at the hulls of the ships, the battles can be fun.
- Fast action gameplay:
Easy-to-navigate interface, the ability to move characters in-battle, and distance-dependent attacks create fast-paced action.
- Over 50 hours of gameplay:
Deep storyline with multiple objectives and branching missions.
- Stunning cinematic-quality HD graphics:
Over 100 fully animated and highly detailed 3D characters with distinct faces and unique personalities. Includes over one hour of anime-style cinematics.
- Online Versus battle:
Go head-to-head in 1 versus 1 battle and challenge other gamers on Xbox Live®.
Innovation….the final frontier of the gaming universe. by Cole Smith
May 15, 2006 – After several years absence, Star Trek is returning to try and capture the console market – to boldly go where no game has gone before…
The Star Trek franchise will be celebrating its 40th anniversary this Fall and Star Trek: Legacy will be its special birthday present.
I truly respect the Star Trek franchise for staying clear of the market when it’s got nothing new to offer, instead of throwing us a slightly updated annual rehash like those confounded sports games. Star Trek’s audience is largely comprised of computer nerds, not necessarily videogame addicts. Like the series and the movies, Star Trek has always had more of a cerebral quality to it as opposed to balls-to-the-wall action. As a result, the Star Trek concept doesn’t always translate well in the realm of videogames without compromising some of the franchise’s hard-earned reputation.
Star Trek: Legacy appears not to compromise the franchise by resorting to mindless shooting. The game is strategy based and puts you in command of an entire fleet of warships. Legacy touches on all Star Trek epochs including those of the Enterprise, Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager. There are more than 60 different vessels that span the entire Star Trek history. You will play the role of Admiral and command a fleet of ships eager to do battle against the various infamous alien enemies which include the Klingons, Romulans and Borgs.
It’s claimed that the gameplay will be much more accessible than most strategy games as the annoying micromanagement issues will be downplayed in favor of a challenging, strategic war. Online, players will be able to play as their favorite antagonists. It’s been rumored that a special alien race will also be included. The online modes will include Co-op and Deathmatch modes with scores of players taking part in full-scale wars.
When issuing commands it’s all about getting the ships into the best possible position for firing. Each ship has a finite amount of energy and you can transfer that energy from the weapons to the shields or vice-versa. After successful battles you will earn command points which can be used to upgrade the various components of the ship such as the armor, shields, speed and weapons systems.
Dr. Ian Davis, creative director of this project states that the game has been in development for the past four years. He says that a lot of that time has been dedicated to the graphics. He and his team at Mad Dog want this to be an epic adventure that will rival any of the movies for sheer cinematic splendor.
Prepare to launch into battle sometime before the ’06 Holiday Season.
- Spans the entire Star Trek Universe. The Original Series, Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise. It’s all here for you to control.
- Real time Starfleet combat. Engage in large-scale combat with dozens of warships fighting simultaneous battles across vast sections of space.
- Dynamic three-dimensional battlefields. Beautiful space environments filled with fully realized nebulas, wormholes, planets, and stars. Intuitive controls allow players to quickly select targets and destinations in 3D space.
- Detailed weapon effects and damage modeling. Weapons searing with energy and charged shields that surge with every hit. Ships with full damage modeling that break apart, strewing debris and sparks.
- Customizable fleets, ships, and captains. Victories earn Command Points, which are used to personalize your fleet, ships, and captains.
- Single player Federation campaign. Spanning three full epochs (Enterprise, The Original Series, and The Next Generation).
- Robust multiplayer with full Xbox Live support. From small-scale engagements to all-out war involving multiple systems. Matchmaking, stat tracking, and player rankings on Xbox Live.
- Over sixty ships and four playable races. From small scouts and light cruisers to fearsome battleships. Command the powerful fleets of the Federation, Klingon, Romulan, and Borg races. All beautifully rendered with the latest technology.