Direct Hit! Hype Holding at 69 Percent!
So now that we're on the same page of the basis for the game, what is the game
REALLY like? Well, suffice it to say "humorous". To elaborate, the first
thing you see when you enter the game, is the Enterprise, two escorts, and a
construction ship. Obviously, as any Trekkie would do, I decided to play
around with the Enterprise. I was delighted to hear that it was indeed Patrick
Stewart doing the "ogre sounds" (by ogre sounds, I am referring to the brief
1-5 word clips uttered every time you select a unit or give it orders. The
term ogre sounds refers to the commonly compared to game WarCraft from
Blizzard, that has set a standard in how RTS games are viewed...for better or
for worse). My enthusiasm dropped when I saw the ships attempting to maneuver.
It appears that Data has been drinking a few too many bottles of Romulan Ale
Motor Oil or something. The ship clumsily teeters about lumbering to and fro
about its center, (I'm sure the Inertial Dampers were working overtime for that
one, or the crew would have been assimilated into the Enterprise's back walls).
Then watching the ship finally make a last balancing act as it whips around
360 degrees was nearly hilarious. Clearly, a bit more time should have gone
into the physics engine.
Construction in the game is laughable as well. A construction freighter comes,
and little people, or probes, or something emerge and begin constructing it.
That is a bit too much like the development on the International Space Station
is going currently. Not what I would have expected from 24th century Star
Trek, where a simple tachyon emission will correct any problem. This is a
minor "conceptual" flaw; however, and does not affect the gameplay or fun in
one way or another. But when you're sitting there building, its nice if it
Defending the home turf
Slow but steady income
Forget the tractors, go brute force!
Scouting party 06351 under attack
Sound effects are a masterful strong point of Armada. The game depicts all
sounds to the utmost perfection according to the movies and the series. The
Phaser fire, Quantum Torpedoes, etc. all sound right, if only it was capable of
playing more than one sound at once. One sound always preempts another, or
worse, in the case of using transporters to repair another ship (?), you get to
hear the wonderful transport sound loop for the entire repair, which can be
lengthy for larger ships (Sovereign...ouch).
The storyline, as previously indicated, is very well done, and the cut-scenes
are fairly good, and progress the story rather convincingly. The Federation
units, are all fairly good (aside from the Sovereign's "magic shields"), but
the Borg, is a different story. While attempting to play multi-player, my
first three opponents dropped out of the game fairly quickly, leaving me to
play the computer. This, fortunately, gave me a nice chance to see the Borg in
action. While it was fun hearing the collective reply "unassimilated species
engaged", and "Proceed to grid...", that was approximately where the Borg fun
ended. While the sound effects are realistic, the rest of it leaves me in
doubt. They designed buildings etc. that you never knew existed because nobody
from the Federation ever got close enough to a Borg base to see. Introducing
new units is fine, but I think that a movie is the best place for introducing
new things that affect how a major species is viewed, not a RTS game.
Moreover, the vessels they chose were, ehm, lacking. Some were the defacto
standards (the Cube, the Sphere etc.) but when you start seeing the Borg
Diamond that introduces more "magic" technology, I simply must question their
methods. That is a minor detail, though, in comparison to the Borg
Assimilator. Aren't ALL Borg units Assimilators??? And if only one must be
designated as an Assimilator, surely, it should be the Cube!
Resistance is futile...
Laying waste to the Borg base
Borg Dilithium reactor explosion
Finally, I finally realized that I truly was in a temporal distortion, and have
corrected my course. Indeed I had seen the menus AND the interface before, in
its previous incarnation as StarCraft. While the engine is NOT the same
(StarCraft was 2D sprite based, and Armada is a true 3D engine...though you'd
never know it from its 2D overhead appearance), the interface and the menus
were nearly identical. I'm utterly surprised that they have not been sued for
some DMCA violation or something by Blizzard.
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