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Star Control 3 (DOS)

75
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
2.3
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  lucian (37)
Written on  :  Sep 25, 2005
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  2.8 Stars2.8 Stars2.8 Stars2.8 Stars2.8 Stars
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Summary

A good game of diplomacy

The Good

I've played SC2 several times and still needed 3 attempts to finish this one. Each race has its own agenda, power, behaviour and motives, which do not relate to one another (for instance, the Doogs have the best ships in the game, but are quite and passive), alliances are made and lost unexpectedly and distributive thinking is required, as well as paper use, because the hint system is bad.

There are many traps in the endless dialogues and one mistake can end the game.The key is to adapt your behaviour for each race and not make moral judgements.

The colonization process is tedious, but rewarding for your space travel. Also, you have to remove precious crew from your ships in order to colonize (30-50 people is decent for any new colony, having 10000+ resources) but the population in your old worlds will increase very slowly, which makes ship building a fast way to get people, even if you'll never use them in combat.

Fancy ship designs are not the best, but each one is unique and probably useful to destroy another. So far I'm using just Utwig, Doog, Ur-Quan,Chmmr(less) and Claircontlar ships in encounters.

The story manages to get real and keep your attention for hours (even if it's scripted). The times waiting for event X to happen can be used in exploration and colonisation.

The Bad

The search system is simply terrible. Each time you need to get to star X you have to carefully look for it in the unexplored and explored ones, because only the colonisation sites appear as valid targets for search. And if you cannot find it, let a second to rotate the galaxy and search again manually. That's simply painful.

The dialogues are very, very, very long and repeated each time you encounter the same race, even if the events who triggered it are long gone. That is making this game an interesting training option for these diplomatic talks :) For instance, each time you encounter Daktaklakpak and not want to kill them (so that you appear as good in the eyes of the League) you have to pass through 12-13 dialogues and have to remember the correct answer each time. But after a while you'll be responding instantly, without bothering about what the other said.

The combat is annoying, boring and very long, interrupted just by an occasional crash into that little tiny planet, then you're trying to get away from the grav pull and find yourself crashing again into that unrealistic space anomaly.

The Bottom Line

If you're deeply involved in politics, your girlfriend left you, or you're trying to convince yourself to give life another chance, this game is a must, but try to win it without watching the walkthrough. Carefully write on a sheet of paper every aspect worth mentioning, because it requires more time and attention than the previous version, which I loved.