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Developer:
Mad Doc
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Platform: Xbox 360, PC
Release Date: December 15, 2006

by Jason Ferguson




Spanning the entire Star Trek Universe, featuring the voices of all five Captains, developed by Mad Doc, the developers of Star Trek Armada, and with a story by D.C. Fontana, it sounds like Star Trek Legacy has all the ingredients of a great game. Will it satisfy die-hard Star Trek fans? Is it good enough to appeal to non-Trekkies? Read on to find out.


The game starts out with the crew of Archerís Enterprise. Your adventure takes off when the Enterprise is sent to find a missing Vulcan Science Vessel. After battling some Romulans, Archer manages to rescue the Vulcan ship and bring her to safety. Itís not long, though, before Archer discovers that the true villain here is the Vulcan Captain T'Uerell, but by the time Archer realizes this, the Vulcans have slipped away. T'Uerell has a master plan that will take decades to unfold, and will eventually pose a threat to the entire universe. Years later, Kirk encounters and confronts T'Uerell, but she again manages to escape. Far in the future, Picardís Enterprise fairs better, and just as her scheme is in its final phases, she is defeated.


Legacy offers a compelling tale that spans three generations of Star Trek. The game has familiar characters and ships, and is a noteworthy addition to the Star Trek Universe. Unfortunately, it's also fairly hard to follow due to the large amount of technical mumbo jumbo and the fact that the story jumps generations at a time. The big Trek fans have been dying for a game that brings together all of Star Trek, uniting our favorite ships and heroes in a single game. While this game does successfully do that, some of the connections arenít particularly clear, making it even more difficult to follow. The story is certainly going to be enjoyed by Trekkies, but others may find it too hard to follow.


You take on the role of a fleet admiral, commanding a small taskforce of ships. You can only control one ship at a time, but can switch between them with ease for direct control. Commands can also be given to your task force without taking direct control over them. Unfortunately, I had some trouble with the AI of the ships I wasnít controlling. I would tell a ship to do something, then switch to another ship, only to find the original ship floating around in space doing absolutely nothing. Annoyingly, youíll have to do a lot of babysitting, so keep your eye on the rest of your fleet because the ships seem to be run by pre-schoolers.


Star Trek fans will cry out in joy when they see the gameís hefty variety of ships straight from the films and tv shows. In online play and skirmish mode, the variety of ships is even further increased to include Romulan, Klingon, and Borg ships, instead of just Federation. The skirmish mode will add a little bit of extra value to the game, but not a lot since it looses appeal pretty quickly. However, the online play has a lot of potential for anyone who really gets into the game.


Unfortunately, you never actually get to play as Voyager or the Defiant from Deep Space Nine. Both ships make an appearance and their captainís voices are featured, but thatís the extent of DS9ís and Voyagerís involvement in the game. While I hate Janeway and all that is Voyager, I would have liked to see a few more missions where you took control of the ship. At the very least, it would increase the length of the game and please the Voyager fans out there (if there is such a thing).


At the end of each campaign mission, you earn command points, which you spend in order to buy new ships. As you move from one era to another, youíll gain access to new ships. While this system works, it would have been nice to see a little more depth, such as upgrades.


The more powerful ships cost a pretty penny, but theyíll also do some major damage. These ships are powerful enough that you can largely depend on them for most of your missions, but their high cost will also keep you from having more than a few at most times. Should you try and stick a few of Galaxy class or Sovereign class starships in your fleet, you might not have enough command points to round out the rest of your fleet. So, there is some strategy in choosing the ships that make up your fleet. However, you have to select your fleet before the mission starts, so you have no idea what obstacles youíre facing. This certainly hinders much of the strategy since you aren't briefed on the mission and given a chance to build an optimal fleet.


Most of the time youíll be in an all-out battle, so youíll usually want the strongest and most heavily armored ships in your fleet. There are other times when youíll need to depend on speed, so adding a few scout ships would definitely benefit you. The fact that you have no clue what you're facing ahead of time means you're more than likely going to have to replay many missions.


Once gameplay starts, some strategy enters the game. Youíll have a variety of different mission objectives, such as protecting supply ships and destroying asteroids, but most of all youíll be blowing up enemy warships. Deciding when to attack and when to pull back can be the key to victory. Being smart and knowing when to fall out of a battle and repair your ship is more than likely going to win many battles for your fleet. Youíll often be swarmed with enemies, or have several ships you need to rescue, so you'll need to think fast. The strategic depth might be a disappointment to some, since there are no resources, bases, or units to build during missions. However, this game is about managing a battalion of ships... not about building and assembling an army.


Legacy features the voices of all five starship captains, including Patrick Stewart, Avery Brooks, Scott Bakula, and William Shatner, and unfortunately Kate Mulgrew. This is some top-notch voice acting from some fan-favorite characters. The game has quite a bit of voice acting (both from the Captains and other characters), and all of it is nicely done. My only complaint here is that it would have been nice to hear a little bit more variety from the enemies during combat. Oh, and Janeway sucks.


Visually, Legacy is a beautiful game, with great detail in each of the ships that fans will really appreciate. Even the look of the surrounding space is gorgeous, from giant nebulas to distant stars. Phaser fire and torpedo effects are also great looking, although the effects when a ship is destroyed are generally pretty lame.


The control scheme works surprisingly well, with a fully rotatable camera and a map that allows you to view the entire battlefield and quickly warp to a specific location. The triggers will be used to fire torpedoes and phasers, and the analog sticks will rotate the camera and steer your ship. Itís pretty intuitive, and wonít take long at all to master. There are additional commands that you can use, such as transporting an away team, using a tractor beam, and scanning. These commands are accessed by holding down the A button on a target until a command menu pops up. Obviously, there are significant differences between the Xbox 360 version and the PC version, so if youíre interested in trying out the PC version, I suggest you do a little bit of research first.


Star Trek Legacy is definitely an interesting experience for Trekkies. However, the flaws might be just enough to keep it from appealing to the casual gamer. If you love Star Trek, I suggest you give this game a try.


Final Grade: 70%




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