You are currently viewing an archival version of GF!

Click here to return to the current GamesFirst! website.


GF! Archival Version Copyright 1995-2004

star06.gif (4104 bytes)star06.gif (4104 bytes)star06.gif (4104 bytes) star06.gif (4104 bytes)

by Interplay

Ups: stuff. 

Downs:  stuff

System Reqs: stuff

Well, look out!  As summer wanes and we head into fall things are starting to pick up and get in gear.  Students are getting ready to head back to school, and parents are breathing a sigh of relief.  Kids everywhere are getting excited to hit the books and bring home hours and hours of homework.  Don’t believe it?  Ok, neither do I.  But one thing that has happened with the end of summer is a delight to “Trek” fans everywhere.  A Star Trek game has hit the shelves, and it’s not light years behind the gaming curve.  In fact, it’s actually pretty good.

While I could spend the entire review going over all of the Star Trek games that have come out in the past that were worth little more then beer coasters, I would like to try to step beyond that and focus on Star Trek: Klingon Academy.

Klingon Academy thrusts you into the role of a young Klingon fresh from the Academy.  You and the rest of your crew must see that your ship and your comrades lay waste to any that stand in your way.  Unlike Starfleet Academy, this game actually makes a fairly good show of it.  Klingon Academy comes to the table with a brand new engine that really helps to bring the game up to speed.  Now, unlike many other space sim titles (Freespace 2, Allegiance, Star Lancer, Tachyon), Klingon Academy is not quite a fast paced dogfight among the stars.  Instead of creating these “Star Wars” ish, fast paced, nimble, one-man fighter games, Interplay has brought about a more Naval approach to space combat.

The vessels that you command are quite large and require a fair amount of forethought to maneuver into position to destroy your target.  Like giant destroyers on the ocean struggling to get into position to fire on the enemy, so must you finagle your way through space, defending your honor, and defeating your foes.  This is done in a few ways.  First off the crew AI onboard your vessel is pretty good.  They actually work with you to keep everyone onboard alive.  If only long enough for you to launch another disruptor attack or two before you come look over their shoulders.  Also included to help you in your duties are wide arrays of macro keys that will allow you to almost effortlessly switch between stations during battle.  Of course it does take a while to master these keys, and after a while you might even be wishing that there were jus a few more.  But hey, you can’t have everything you know.

The story is very well played out.  Single player campaigns spread out over 25 missions and of course there are an infinite amount of custom made encounters which can be solo or multi-player.  The story line in the game falls just prior to Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country with Christopher Plummer assuming the role of General Chang, who you should all recognize.  The story is also a very, Very, VERY big part of the game.  There are over 90 minutes of cut scène/film footage spread out over 6 compact disks.  That’s a lot of footage!  On a side note if you want to skip ahead and just watch the films you can do so without even playing the game.  Through the single player campaign, you play as a Klingon (seriously, I think that’s why its called Klingon Academy).  But in the quick missions, etc. you can assume the role of the lesser races, like Federation, Tholian, Romulan, Gorn, and even Sha’kurian. 

While space is cold, black, and void of much of anything, Klingon Academy does quite a bit to keep the scenery interesting and diverse.  Some missions take place in various nebula’s or planetary rings.  These have some effect on your ships systems, and certainly make it more difficult to track and attack the enemy.  Along with these stunning space visuals, one has to take note of the quality of the ship models, and especially the damage models.  There really is nothing like punching through the hull of the saucer section of a Federation starship.  Brings a tear to the eye.

The multi-player setup is good as well.  Battling your friends is only a few clicks away, as long as you don’t have too many friends.  You can only play with 6 people in a game over the Internet and 8 over a LAN.  Of course the multi-player is much better if you have a high speed connection to the Internet, like Cable or DSL.

Bottom line, any Gamer/Trek fan will have a good time with this title.  Especially, if they like Starfleet Academy.  Klingon Academy takes the best parts of its predecessor and makes heaps of improvements on them.  The average gamer will probably enjoy it, as long as they go into it understanding that it requires a lot more strategy then the average space dog-fight game.  No ‘Trekkies’ game closet is complete without it. 

--Ben Moore