Wednesday, January 24, 2007

VG review: "Star Trek Legacy"


"STAR TREK LEGACY”
Bethesda Softworks, for the Xbox 360 and PC

rated E10+ for ages 10 and up (fantasy violence, mild language), $59.99 and $39.99.


Sure, the outer space battles in “Star Trek” (pick your series) could be impressive, but I always thought the strength of the series was its sci-fi concepts, idealistic themes and strong characters.

Maybe that’s just me though, since “Star Trek Legacy,” a new game for the Xbox 360 and PC, focuses on nothing but outer-space battles.

At first glance, the premise is indeed enticing. You get to play as every captain from the Star Trek shows, from Kirk to that guy on “Enterprise,” in a plot that runs through the franchise’s history. You also get to pilot and control a variety of ships, including the Klingon Bird of Prey.

The game is divided into a series of missions, all loosely involving a mysterious Vulcan woman who seems to have ties to the Borg.

As one of five captains (all the original actors provide voice work for the game), you control not just one but four ships. While each mission varies in its goals, ultimately you can expect to get involved in some heavy dogfights with Romulan, Klingon and other enemy spaceships.

These space clashes can be fun, though they also can be a bit repetitive, as too often it’s simply a matter of locking onto an enemy ship and firing until they explode.

Also, the controls, at least for the 360 version, aren’t always crystal clear. I was never quite able to remember how I was supposed to, say, scan an object or direct my troops. In the middle of a frenzied battle, that can be a bit of a problem.

The missions themselves are rather long, and there’s no opportunity to save your game in the middle of it. That means if you die three quarters of the way through, you have to go all the way back to the beginning, even if it took you an hour to get to that point.

Tie in a few graphical bugs (my ships would frequently run into the line of fire, with no harm done) and “Legacy” ends up a lackluster title.

Serious Trekkers will no doubt leap at the opportunity to play as Captain Kirk (not to mention Picard, Janeway, etc.), but even they might end up wondering where the sense of grandeur went.


Copyright The Patriot-News, 2007

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