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Starfleet Command II: Orion Pirates By John "Award" Del Percio,
August 08, 2001
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Developer :Taldren
Publisher :Interplay
Release Date :Late July 2001
Demo Available : No
Table of Contents

· Introduction
· Closer Look
· Facts
· Final

Please State the Nature of the Gameplay

Needless to say, as an extension to the SFC series, Orion Pirates exceeds expectations for an expansion pack. OP not only adds an entire new species and new weapons, it also adds an entirely new single player/multiplayer campaign focusing around the pirate cartels, and some strange events. Certainly OP is worth the $30 price tag, since it goes far beyond being an expansion pack. But the one big question remains: who should buy OP? If you're a die-hard trekkie, or a die-hard SFB/SFC player, you must get it, or your life will never be complete. If you're a casual gamer that has not yet gotten into SFC, now is a great time to start. With a price far cheaper than the full game, picking up OP would be a great way to get into the game series and experience nearly everything from the full game except the same campaign. The only people the decision will be difficult for are those that already purchased the full game, but aren't the most avid of trek/SFB/SFC fans. You'll do just fine without OP if you already have SFCII, and you probably won't miss the pirate species or new campaign much. The full game is still better in terms of the campaigns and I would still recommend that over Orion Pirates if given the choice. If, on the other hand, you like playing the sly bad guys, you may wish to give Orion Pirates a try instead, especially if you don't really follow Star Trek much and can't tell the difference between a Klingon and a Romulan.

Rating

Personal Note

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

The new ship models and textures, though previously seen in the previous games (several of the ships, anyway), are great looking, the new weapons modes and interface panels also look terrific.

SOUND
95 %

Beyond a new voice-over for each mini-empire of ships, and some sound effects for the Pirates, there isn't much new in the way of audio. In general, though, it sounds great!

GAMEPLAY
99 %

Strategically, the Orions add tremendous new gameplay value to multiplayer play. The empires can't rely on tactics for one set of weapons anymore and must scramble in fear of the mauler, and the engine doubling Pirates. The new campaign plays well, too, and the missions are mostly fair, aside from the random missions.

DEPTH
97 %

In the fine tradition of SFC, the game is extraordinarily deep in terms of intricacy and detail, as well of the sheer multitude of tactics the may be employed.

MULTIPLAYER
95 %

The raw score for multiplayer is actually 99; however, I dropped quite a few points from the score due to some highly obvious flaws in the system. The CD key problem, the crashing on game launch at times and a few other quirks. These things really detract from the multiplayer gameplay when, say, you can't join the game for a day. As soon as these things are patched, they will no longer be a factor.



It's definitely a shame to see what is likely to be the final installment of SFC for some time. Taldren is moving on to other things, and it seems Interplay is shifting the Star Trek games to console systems for awhile via Shattered Universe. It has certainly been a pleasure playing the SFC games, and they will continue to be a main staple for my gaming experience. One thing that it could benefit from is if it were opened up a bit more to make way for more modes and user vessels and maps. This can be done already, but there is no central community for the games. I also think a Win9x and Linux server module for Dynavere II would extend gameplay far more than it currently is. Even playing Dynaverse in LAN games would be interesting. Orion Pirates is definitely nominated for 2001 Best Expansion in the Top Pupil awards.

Overall Rating

 



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