Written by  :  Kasey Chang (4622)
Written on  :  Dec 21, 2001
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars

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Excellent 3rd person Trek adventure, but it has SOME flaws...

The Good

Excellent graphics... The Unreal Tournament engine powers some of the best graphics in a Trek game. The graphics are BETTER than those in Voyager: Elite Force. The levels are LARGER, MUCH larger. The Trek atmosphere is great, as you often have to use your tricorder to solve some problems. The tricorder also serves as your "radar". There is also time to "sneak".

The Bad

Severe amount of backtracking. Here's an example. You need to get to Astrophysics lab, which is on deck 14, but you can't access the terminal. So you need to power up the aux reactor. Once you finally find it, you find that you need an engineering chip to reinitialize the terminal, so you search all over for the chip. Once you got the chip, you power up the reactor, then you hunt for the entrance this little transformation have "opened", then you go there, get through, then your realize you need a DIFFERENT chip to get into the lab, but the only chip you can find is BLANK, so you need to find a chip writer... Extreme amount of backtracking.

There are also some "dead-end" situations that makes the game impossible to solve, forcing you to restore from a previous savegame without giving you a reason. Besides that, there's a couple gameplay bugs.

The Bottom Line

DS9: The Fallen is essentially Tomb Raider meets DS9. You take the role of Sisko, or Worf, or Kira as you run through the same plotline, but different parts, trying to prevent the Pah-Wraiths' followers from opening the other wormhole...

First thing you'll notice is the gorgeous graphics. Quite a bit of the DS9 opening sequence was recreated in the Unreal Tournament Engine. While the station looks a bit angular, it's easily recognizable, completely with the Defiant pulling away and moving into the wormhole. All of the cutscenes in the game are also done with the game engine.

The levels are HUGE, and has a lot of vertical movement. You'll be doing quite a bit of climbing and jumping. You'll be travelling to mountains with lake, Bajor, DS9, the Defiant, a Dominion Prison, underground temple, and more. Each level has distinct looks.

You'll be fighting plenty of opponents, from the Grigari (who are SHIELDED), to Cardassians, Jem'Hadar and Vorta, and plenty of indiginous lifeforms (from carnivorous fish to poisonous flyers), all properly animated.

A lot of the action involves using your tricorder and analyze threats, esp. with the Grigari, since only modulated phaser beam can penetrate their shielding (until you find better weapons). With ammo limits, you need to be very careful with your shots to make sure you have enough left.

The missions, however, are mostly "hunt the key" type, except they're not always called keys. You sometimes hunt passes, sometimes a chip, sometimes a data rod, but always it's an item. Sometimes you need to take an item over to another location, do something with it (like write a blank chip), then take the result to somewhere else. This means you will need to backtrack multiple times, and if you don't have good spatial memory yourself, expect to spend minutes (if not hours) wandering the level trying to find the location again. There are a few physical puzzles in the game, like a reflected shot or making your bridge, but that's few and far inbetween.

The storyline is excellent, but they should since they were crafted by professional authors and fleshed out by writers. The storyline for the most part makes sense except for some of the puzzles forcing you to backtrack.

With three ways to play (each one slightly different), the game is definitely worth the price of admission. It is one of the best Star Trek titles ever, and if they would ever fix these idiotic puzzles... It could even pull in some non-Trek audiences...