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 Home -> Reviews -> Starfleet Command II: Empires at War
Starfleet Command II: Empires at War By John "Award" Del Percio, 12/23/2000
Developer :Taldren
Publisher :Interplay
Release Date :Late December 2000
Demo Available : No
Table of Contents

· Introduction
· Closer Look
· Facts
· Final

Where No Simulation has Gone Before... Except One

Starfleet Command was quite possibly the most anticipated Star Trek game of all time. Based on Starfleet Battles, a board game from the time of the original series with a cult following similar to that of Dungeons and Dragons, it already had a strong community even before it was known what it was going to be like. The game itself was fairly good, especially in terms of the multiplayer (which was the most widely used part of the game, anyway), but it suffered in a few area. Most prominent among these areas was the fact that it was extremely buggy. It would crash unexpectedly, ships would just start to behave strangely, dialog groups would loop, and even after all the patches were said and done, it still had most of these problems in-tact. The single player campaign was a frightening example of how bad a randomly generated campaign could be, as if Diablo didn't prove that point already. It felt like a bunch of (extremely impossible) skirmishes tied together by the occasional (insanely impossible) mission map which was usually flawed in some way making it unable to be finished, or having some odd work-around to get through it (i.e. you complete all your objectives yet the mission does not end.) Every mission was a personal Kobiyashi Maru. Using the map to maneuver around the galaxy didn't help much, as there wasn't much of a difference to be detected aside from the fact that you're facing more of a single species of enemy. Yes, the game certainly had its flaws, and the Metaverse was a disaster, but it was the only game of its type, and when it's all said and done, working around that is more than worth it for the chance to command a ship.

But Starfleet Command II: Empires at war has come, promising to replace the old one as the favorite game among Trekkies, and non-Trekkies. SFC2 flaunts an all new Dynaverse to replace the Metaverse, and with it, a whole new interface for the single player campaign. As these screenshots depict, the game really looks identical to SFC1 for the most part, but where the difference really comes in is in the minor tweaks and changes and additions to the game that really make it far more realistic.

For those of you who are really out of the loop, Starfleet Command (and SFC2) are games semi-overhead starship battles set in the Star Trek universe where you must learn to use every system of your ship in just as quick a time as they do on TV. The game follows a Wrath of Kahn style approach. Unlike in TV and the other movies, where if they spent the two hours focusing on a ship battle they couldn't tell the story, the Wrath of Kahn did spend much of it's screen time on a cat and mouse game of tactics. This is as a starship battle would be. Slow lumbering hulks, several hundred meters in length, trading shot after shot of high-powered weapons until, finally, one of them destroys their opponent's hull. SFC2 improves upon the originals tactics, if not visual appearance.

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