Review By: Nick Arvites
|Developer:||Mad Doc Software|
|# Of Players:||1-2|
|Accessories:||Xbox Live (online play)|
Considering the following that the Star Trek franchise has, you would think there'd be more than a very small number of good video games. Star Trek just seems to lend itself well to the video game world, but the reality is that very few games have been able to capitalize on the franchise and its fans.
When I first heard about Star Trek: Legacy, I was interested. Bethesda’s track record is nothing short of excellent, and if anything their involvement would bring a game that looked great to the table. Star Trek: Legacy is a return to the space combat genre, and it covers all of the shows from the original through Enterprise. To sweeten the pot, Bethesda got the voice acting of all of the captains, so you’re actually going to hear William Shatner and Patrick Stewart (among the others) speaking when you’re in the game. The screens given through the production and up to the release of the title looked amazing and detailed.
When the title hit my desk, I was pleased to see that the game looked great graphically. Ships are extremely detailed, and some of the space scenes look like something you'd see on the Hubble Space Telescope. I experienced no graphical slowdowns, and weapon blasts looked great. One of the noticeable graphical issues is the planet to ship size ratio. Planets seem way too small compared to the ships, and act as floating basketballs that you simply bounce off of. Translation: don’t expect combat in an atmosphere or massive planets to hide behind.
One of the biggest disappointments that many people will have with Star Trek: Legacy is that the game is not a space simulation in the true sense of the word. Borrowing an approach taken by the MechAssault series, Star Trek: Legacy strips out the heavy detail previously seen in space simulations on the PC and makes the gameplay fast paced and simplified. While this worked wonders in the original Xbox title Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge, this approach doesn’t suit Star Trek. Battles essentially turn into the largest ships vs. the largest ships, and there really is no reason to even bring in smaller vessels. Shields act as one whole shield and are not divided into sections (rear, forward, etc), so there isn’t a benefit to only attacking from the rear or underside.
Tactics are further hurt by the simplified power system. While you can boost power to shields, engines, or weapons, the exact controls showing how to do this are never properly explained in either the game or the instruction booklet. If your opponent is in cloaked mode, you’re pretty much have to wait until he decloaks since it isn’t possible to dumbfire weapons or boost sensors.
The control system is perhaps one of the worst aspects of the game. While I am not expecting massive starships to maneuver like a motorcycle, the navigation controls pretty much make you feel like you’re trying to drive a 1983 Lincoln Towncar in a lake. While the levels generally do a good job of using the full three dimensions of the map, the controls seem suited to a two dimensional game. The left stick allows you to tilt your nose up or down and move left or right, while the right stick moves the camera around. No rolls, flips, or any twisting moves hurt any ability to take evasive action. You can target individual systems if you lock on with your phasers, but this system seems to work half the time. Torpedoes home in on enemies sometimes, but often you’ll see them just fly off into oblivion (no pun intended).
Posted: 2007-01-21 09:59:48 PST