Beam me up Scotty!
Writers comment: I can not promise that this review will be spoiler-free so if you do not wish to have anything ruined before playing this game please do not read on, otherwise enjoy having the game spoiled!
10 Second Sniplet:Brilliant turn based/real time game play involving taking over the populated systems of the Star Trek world and killing everyone else! Bwahahaha!
That doesn’t mean this one is the same oh no, it’s quite good actually.
Stardate: 41153.2 it is time of conflict the major races are at war diplomacy is dead age old alliances forgotten and galactic borders ignored as each race battles for supremacy powerful fleets prowl the galaxy establishing outposts and vanquishing indigenous and enemy fleets alike in the pursuit of the ultimate prize the capture of all home worlds and galactic domination
And that is pretty much the whole layout of the game, all the races have decided screw all this talking lets just kill each other and take over the universe!
Now as most people know, Star Trek games…suck. I know I’m sorry but I know its true and you know its true, BUT! That doesn’t mean this one is the same oh no, it’s quite good actually.
The objective of the game is basically, kill every alien in the galaxy and take over their home worlds. When playing as the Federation you have to wonder when they came to this conclusion instead of trying to be peaceful. Anyways, you choose whatever race you want to conquer with before starting the game, each racer has 3 different types of ship (scout, cruiser and dreadnaught) and choose your opponents that you feel like destroying this particular day. You choose your race and your starting officer and off you go!
As the game starts up you are presented with your home world and a starting ship (controlled by whatever race and officer you chose). The movement of the game plays very much like a board game minus the intergalactic dice, taking turns each race moves their ships around attacking systems and taking them over for additional resources. Now this is where the real mechanics come into the game. Each system you enslave (maybe too strong a word?) you can build defences and resource building stations, either a mine station (in space?) or a research station for upgrading ships or other weapons of insanely mass destruction.
Probably the most appealing feature of this game is the ability to activate “arcade” mode while battling which will transform the rather dull 2D world into a fully controllable 3D battle allowing you to control all ships in your current fleet and attack or defend by using your own leet skillz! Or for the lazy among us you can press the instant button which will end the battle instantly using some magical methods to determine a winner (seriously not recommended). Or you can choose “Sim” mode which shows at 2D battle between the forces allowing you to set them to attack, defend, neutral or escape! (Personally I enjoy using my leet star trek skills to wipe out everyone; it’s also the best option of the 3)
Truthfully I am not a big Star Trek fan so when I first slid the game into my PS2 I wasn’t looking terribly forward to playing it, but I can safely say my mind was quickly changed. The game is very easy to pick up and play, sure you might find yourself quickly blown to bits the first couple of times you try but once you pick up how to manage your ships and economy you’ll soon be the race wiping the galactic floor with the rest.
The game is almost fully 2D based which isn’t a drawback since the character avatars are taking from the show and the ship icons are very good quality. But the real beauty comes from controlling the full 3D machines of death through the highly colourful and beautiful space systems as you fire your green and red beams of fire at your alien opponents.
The music and sound is the game is very unnoticeable which could be argued because it blends so well with the game play or that it’s just…crap. The truth is that while playing the game I might have gotten over-excited murdering countless aliens I forgot to listen to the music, but actually the music is very average and blends well with the action on the screen, but it isn’t going to win any music awards anytime soon.
Now although very fun this game is insanely short lived conquest mode has no story or objective (besides kill) after you take over the galaxy the game returns to the title screen and might give you an unlockable (which can only be used in skirmish mode). Skirmish mode is basically the “arcade” (or real-time) fighting system from conquest mode but you can choose 2 races to dog-fight in space as well as the amount of ships. (And the pretty 3D space-system to fight in)
The Final Words
Although a very fun game Star Trek Conquest could have been a lot better and with a developer such as Bethesda its hard to not sit and think “Why didn’t they do this?” or “Come on if I can come up with better ideas than this why are you making games?!”. Since they are the masters behind The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion we can forgive them. If you are a die-hard Star Trek fan then you should buy this game even if you aren’t the biggest fan (like me) the game can provide hours of fun but will quickly become boring especially if you have a next-gen console or two lying around.
The Bad: Not a lot of variety; Lacks any story; Gets boring quickly