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Star Trek: Bridge Commander (Windows)

78
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.9
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  bb bb (33)
Written on  :  Jan 13, 2012
Rating  :  4.86 Stars4.86 Stars4.86 Stars4.86 Stars4.86 Stars

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Summary

Great Star Trek space combat game

The Good

Bridge Commander finally gives star trek fans the chance to command a starship.

Graphically it could be said that it does not get better in a Star Trek single player game than in Bridge Commander. Everything has a near movie like quality to it. Ships look great with weapons/shield effects coming right out of the tv show and movies. The planets look like they have real atmospheres and stars (with real solar flares) add lots of atmosphere to the game. The buttons look just like an authentic LCARS computer system from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Sound and music are equally good in Bridge Commander. It is not often that one finds a Star Trek game where the graphics actually measure up to the sound and music. The music exceeds expectations for a Star Trek game, changing with every situation. The music makes for an exhilarating experience, especially in heated combat. It makes you savor the moment when you are winning against an enemy with a perfect music track that is even nothing short of spectacular. Graphics and sound make Bridge Commander a rewarding experience.

In addition, the gameplay in Bridge Commander is amazing. Star Trek fans have a game that plays perfectly, sounds perfect and looks perfect. This is a real treat.

The game engine is flawless, accurately simulating ship-to-ship combat in the Star Trek universe. Space is 3D, and combat takes place on three dimensions. You can target individual systems, and the enemy will do likewise. Ships break up in this game, losing nacelles or entire sections of the primary and secondary hull. To see your ship limp home after being nearly blasted to pieces is nothing short of theatrical.

Captain Picard and Lieutenant Commander Data make an appearance in this game. Data is very much in character while Picard sits beside you ready to give advice. He even smiles and looks at you when you want to hear from him.

The quick battle feature is a fantastic feature to have in a game like Bridge Commander as it allowed gamers to play the game well beyond the story-based missions. This feature gave Bridge Commander near-infinite longevity.

This game is possibly the most modifiable Star Trek game. There are lots of fan-made modifications available on the internet. These serve to greatly expand the longevity and scope of the game.

The Bad

Bridge Commander follows a linear, mission-oriented game structure limiting the use of its superior graphics and gameplay to a story-based experience.

Although the game engine makes it entirely feasible to make a real space exploration game with a fully explorable galactic game map and full starship features (warp speed, impulse speed, warp core, auxiliary power, battery, photon and quantum torpedoes, phasers, tractor beam, escape pods, shuttles, sensors, probes, etc), this is completely neglected.

There is no freedom to explore the galaxy, even though the game engine depicts fully navigable star systems with tremendous accuracy and depth. One cannot travel to Earth, Qu'nos, Cardassia or Romulus. In a game like Bridge Commander, these are easily included given the available 3D models. One cannot set warp speed, depriving gamers of the experience of pushing the warp engines beyond their limits like in the tv show or movies.

The Dominion from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine are the noticeable absentee in Bridge Commander. The Klingons, Romulans, Cardassians and even the Ferengi are in the game, but not the Dominion. The Dominion were one of the best Star Trek villains, to not include them in the game limited its scope and depth. With the poor reception of the game Dominion Wars, one would have thought that the Dominion would have been included in Bridge Commander, even if only found in the quick battle feature.

There is one thing I would have done with regard to the in-game graphics. The phasers are very thick and can get very bright when hitting their target. This can make it harder for some users to play the game for extended periods. In defense of the game programmers, many games over the last ten years have had this problem.

The Bottom Line

Bridge Commander is a worthwhile game. It has many features and the gameplay is superb. Battles are very well done and come right out of the tv shows and movies. This game undoubtedly gives you that "you are there" feeling. There is not much in the way of strategy in this game like you would find in Starfleet Command, but you will get a very authentic Star Trek gaming experience. The battles are just amazing to play and see. This game is highly recommended to all gamers.