star trek starfleet command 3

Star Trek Starfleet Command 3 video game

 

Star Trek: Starfleet Command 3 takes place just before the upcoming movie, Star Trek: Nemesis. The Federation and the Klingons have forged a tenuous peace and the Romulans are wary of the situation. A new foe, the Borg, must be dealt with.

 I’m glad that you can choose between fewer races in the game. While purists will no doubt miss all of the secondary races that were in the previous games, it’s much easier to keep track of things with only four sides. Each race has its own campaign, and there are three conquest campaigns for non-Borg players. The conquest campaigns give you more freedom to explore different missions and encounters.

star trek: Starfleet command 3 story

 The story is fairly engaging. The missions themselves are pretty solid, but the campaign mode is a bit dry. Players who pay close attention to the story unfolding around them will be rewarded with an interesting plot and characters. Players who just want to run around shooting stuff will enjoy that, too.

 Some optional missions appear only in certain campaigns. Optional missions can help you learn more about the story and provide a break from the main plot. You can see all available optional missions by checking the Navigation Console, but you can only accept a mission in a sector where you have already visited.

Optional missions in star trek: Starfleet command 3

 Optional missions have little effect on the plot, but you should still try to complete them for two reasons. First, optional missions give you a chance to earn prestige points—currency that you can use to buy powerful ships and crew members. Second, optional missions often reveal secrets about the game’s universe.

 The game brings back some RPG-like elements that were missing from its predecessor. Recruiting and improving your ship’s six main officers is the determining factor in nearly every aspect of ship performance; for example, you’ll need an experienced helmsman to execute high-energy turns. And since these officers can die in the course of a mission, you could find yourself at a serious disadvantage if you lose them.

 Maneuvering into a firing position is the real challenge of tactical combat, and power management is crucial to success. If you can divert power to your shields and weapons according to circumstances, you’ll do well in this game.

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 The team has scaled back some features from previous games, though. Electronic warfare isn’t nearly as important, and the power of missiles seems to have been scaled back a bit to balance out the loss. Fewer shield facings make it easier to set up good firing positions.

 The option to warp around the battle area grants a few more strategic possibilities, but the unforgiving map boundaries can make this a risky proposition. Rather than alerting you that your ship has gone out of bounds, leaving the mission area instantly results in defeat. It’s not much of a problem since most of the action takes place well away from the edges.

 The battles themselves alternate between dull and exciting moments. For the most part, the engagements take place at close range for my tastes. With ships capable of hurtling across vast distances of space, you find yourself scraping the sides of several ships at once while trying to get into a better position. The game exhibits an inconsistent collision model in this respect with odd moments where a few ships occupy the same space.

 The enemy AI is quite intelligent, and it won’t make things easy for you. Enemy ships will maneuver cleverly to bring their weapons to bear on the slightest weakness in your shields. They protect their own weaknesses quite well, too, and seem to have a solid grasp of the power management required to turn good captains into even better admirals.

 The tactical battles are what make the game really great, in that they require you to manage your ship, carefully select targets and maneuver shrewdly. This ensures victory will be a product of your own skill rather than some arbitrary whim of the developers.

 Not having a Z-axis takes some of the fun out of the setting, and it creates tactical situations that are more similar to naval wargames than Star Trek. Despite this, the game’s tactical depth is immense, and only the most jaded fans will criticize its two-dimensional approach. Some players will find the pace of the game to be a bit slow but given that managing a space-faring battleship can be quite complex sometimes, you’ll often find yourself glad for some time to think about your next move.

interface

 It would be nicer if the interface were more responsive. Each new version of Starfleet Command improves the controls a little bit, and this third version is probably the best yet. The developers have created a comprehensive set of hotkeys that makes managing your empire simple, but there’s still room for improvement.

 In addition to the usually scripted campaigns, Starfleet Command III offers a slightly improved version of the Dynaverse engine from the recent Orion Pirates. The campaign board still looks like a slightly updated version of the board game which is a big disappointment. I don’t mind the game’s tabletop roots at all, but I object to the dry presentation offered here. What makes it worse is that there are so few people playing Starfleet Command III online that you can’t really find anyone to play against.

 The game includes single-player and multiplayer skirmish options for times when you only have 15 or 20 minutes to play. The range of choices is fairly comprehensive, including starbase assaults or straight deathmatches. More interesting are the progressive Battlefest missions. Each player gets three lives. Each time you die, you’ll respawn in an even more powerful ship. This way, it’s like you’re fighting in larger battles against more opponents.

 Patrick Stewart and the rest of the voice acting cast are a huge improvement over previous versions. The officers you have on your ship call out enemy actions, alert you to the status of your own ship, and really bring the missions to life. What’s more, they serve as helpful cues to increase your situational awareness. Given the amount of stuff to keep track of, this is a welcome feature.

What do you think?

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