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Klingon Academy By John "Award" Del Percio, July 20, 2000
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Developer :14 Degrees East
Publisher :Interplay
Release Date :Early July
Demo Available : Yes - Download
Table of Contents

· Introduction
· Closer Look
· Facts
· Final

Qapla'!

Bugs aside, Klingon Academy is likely the single best Star Trek game ever to be released. It actually has a coherent storyline indicating that those involved had some inkling of what the Star Trek universe is about. It is a fairly decent simulator, and the first to quasi-accurately portray capitol ships in battle. The weapons are good, the plot is good, the missions are good, the ships are good, and the graphics are excellent. At times it even looked right out of an episode. For a trekkie, especially one that does not mind working for the Empire, it is a wonderful insight into Klingon culture and events, and a magnificent prequel to Star Trek VI. For those of you who are not trekkies, it is still a fairly decent simulator, with a good storyline and a lot of fun to play. While the learning curve is a bit hard, that is to be expected with a sim.

Rating

Personal Note

Graphics - Sound - Gameplay - Depth - Multiplayer  Reviewed by John Del Percio
GRAPHICS
98 %

Wow. Wow. There isn't too much more to say. With a high resolution, and settings all the way up, you'd swear it was TV. The lighting effects, explosions, everything looks so spectacular. To nitpick one complaint, planets are far too small up-close, and have some pretty lousy textures and atmospheric effects. The distance textures can be a bit fuzzy too, but that's what distance textures are for. Aside from that, the graphics are superb!

SOUND
95 %

The sound sounded like Star Trek. That's good. It stuttered and caused crashes. That's bad. It supposedly will be patched, however. Overall, there isn't too much to judge a Star Trek game on in sound. Either they used Paramount's clips, or they didn't. In this case, it appears they did. It sounded just like it does on TV, though I noticed no special usage of spacialization. In addition, all the voice acting was absolutely spectacular. While, as the star, Christopher Plummers Shakespearean voice stole the stage (or the desk), all the other actors/voice actors were just as terrific.

GAMEPLAY
98 %

Almost perfect, with a few flaws in the layout of the controls. It would have been nicer if there was an easier way to allocate power to specific systems etc. It also would have been nice if the levels played through a bit quicker. Some of those take a bit of time to complete, but that's not much of a complaint. The largest complaint is the spy missions. Lose them and you'd get 100%. It looks like filler material to me, though, fortunately, there's not too much filler to ruin a good thing.

DEPTH
100 %

The storyline in this game is about as good as it gets, it is an epic struggle of honor versus corruption set in a classic Star Trek style of story telling. The gameplay develops the story constantly, changing objectives also add to the depth. You truly feel like a starship captain for the Klingon Empire, and must defend your honor at all costs. The best writers in the Star Trek universe were on this one (too bad they weren't there for the first season of Next Generation), it plays just like a movie: Star Trek 5.5: Today Is a Good Day to Die, or something (ok, so I won't be landing the marketing job with Paramount...). The Environment is pure Star Trek. While you may argue that there is no environment other than distant dots called stars in a space game, any trekkie will tell you there is something special about the Star Trek space...and this game has it.

MULTIPLAYER
85 %

This one lost me a bit for one reason. I may be a bit picky, but it does annoy me. Overall, the battles are fine in multiplayer, though if you're going for true multiplayer tactics, you may want to hold out for Starfleet Command 2. In general, though, it's ok, however, you must install Winsock2 to play multiplayer. While a small detail, I have yet to find one real reason *WHY* you need that monstrosity. From the luck I've had with Microsoft patches in the past, I don't like to run them without an explanation. Not only that, but worse yet, Mplayer is the only internet multiplayer without direct connections to a single user's IP. No privately run servers.



I tried to hold off on the review for the patch, I really did, but it just wasn't going to happen in time. For the most part, I was rather impressed with this game. It not only met my expectations, but by far surpassed them. A few rough spots kept the points down, but what game doesn't? Overall, this is one of the few games that I think I'd like to replay a few times, and that's not just because I'm a trekkie. Hidden Evil only lasted on my system for a month or so. This game is truly good, and has replaced Freespace 2 as my favorite space sim. Truly, the KA development team should be commended for 3 years in the making, but I still must ask: Why 3 years? It's a great game, but that's an awfully long time for the short gameplay time and amount of bugs in the initial release. Much of the time was spent balancing the ships, but still, one must wonder. Not that I'm complaining, of course.

Overall Rating

 



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