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.
Dont 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 its not light
years behind the gaming curve. In
fact, its actually pretty good.
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 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.
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 cant have everything you know.
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. Thats
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
thats 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
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 nebulas 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.
multi-player setup is good as well. Battling
your friends is only a few clicks away, as long as you dont 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.
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.