Due June 2003 for PC.
out our 2002 preview. CLICK HERE.
Coming out of
E3, its easy to get all depressed and down. The glamour of whatever
system you had at home, no matter how cool it was when you left, is
somehow absent when you return. Your girlfriend, perfectly understanding
before, now complains about how often you caress the booth babe photos
you carry in your pocket, and somehow doesnt compare as favorably to
the DOA girls as she once did. You get caught up in all the games you
want to play, but cant play until their release a gazillion years down
the road. Everything becomes "I cant". I cant play Halo 2, I cant
play Brotherhood of Steel, I cant do the dishes, I cant do laundry,
until finally your friends stop coming over, both your sink and
your laundry basket reek, and you begin the slow progression that is
responsible for the unnaturally high mortality rate enjoyed by video
The cure for
this perpetually downcast state of mind is a good romantic dinner
patch things up, because, really, shes much better than the DOA
girls (shes real). Then, that taken care of, theres the summer games.
"What summer games?" you might cry in despair, to which I, wise like
Yoda, would produce a copy of Star Trek: Elite Force, and say, "Ponder
this, my child." Because Elite Force was, and still is, the best Star
Trek based game ever made, and knowing that its sequel is set to appear
at the end of June should help to stave off that dark, ominously
comes to games based on movies and TV series, designers sometimes
mistakenly think that its the name thats important. Take a
spaceship game, name it Star Trek, and BANG, itll sell to the purists
amongst us. Yet its not the name, its the universe thats
important. Star Trek fans dont just like the way its spelled and the
look of the title (preeeeetty), they like the characters, the plots, the
different technologies that offer such a bright future at the far end of
the tunnel. And if a Star Trek game misses these elements, its the
purists, the very ones who pick it from the shelves because its based
on Star Trek, who are going to notice the most. The world is full of bad
Star Trek games, and precious few good ones. The original Elite Force
was one of the good ones, and thats reason enough to pick up a phaser
and dive straight into the next one.
was a first person shooter based on the Voyager series, and you were a
member of a Special Forces team created to help see the Voyager through
hard times. At the end of last years E3, I was elated to discover that
Elite Force was making a move to the Enterprise, a far superior ship and
crew. This year they were being tighter lipped.
"Were trying not to give out any
specifics on the plot," said Patrick from Activision when I noticed that
the demoed away team was taking orders from Tuvok. "But the gameplay is
Not only is
the gameplay intense, its also much longer than the original. Elite
Force II has over 70 maps, making it nearly double the length of the
original. As a player, youll have access to both classic and original
Star Trek weapons, 15 in all, that youll use throughout the game. They
range from the traditional phasers and phaser rifles to the more
interesting items, like the air strike, in which you request the
orbiting Enterprise to launch an attack from space.
"We wanted to make a game that
appealed to everyone," said Marc Struhl, the Executive Producer, when I
asked him about Elite Forces design goals. "Its finally a game that
will attract more than Trek fans."
like in the original, not all the appeal comes entirely from either the
action or the story. First person shooter fans will enjoy the slickly
made combat sequences, and classic Star Trek fans will be able to
experience an engrossing story with new and old aliens alike. Between
missions, youll be able to wander the Enterprise, explore different
areas, and converse with the crew. We know that
Patrick Stewart has taken up the call
to voice Captain Picard, and from what I could tell, Tuvoks voice
sounds authentic. In the past, Activision has managed well with the
voiceovers in its Star Trek based games, and Elite Force II, as one of
their most popular, surely wont skimp on the stars.
final release of season 7 on DVD, its finally starting to dawn on me
that Star Trek: TNG is gone from my TV for good. With the exception of
the movies (which is always in danger of being subverted by one of the
less accomplished wannabe Star Treks), and the occasional re-run, TNG is
beginning to reluctantly follow the path of the Dodo. If youre a loyal
fan as I am (loyal fans are the ones who have Star Trek flashbacks
during the opening dialog of X-Men 2), its good to know that there are
still people in the entertainment industry who understand that they had
a good thing. Elite Force II hasnt hit the shelves yet, and Im already
hoping for an Elite Force III. And then maybe an Elite Force IV.
Ideally, someday well be able to compete in number with The Land
Before Time. Thatd make me happy.
Aaron Stanton (06/19/2003)