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Star Trek: New Worlds (Windows)

55
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100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.2
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Kasey Chang (3653)
Written on  :  Apr 07, 2005
Rating  :  2.8 Stars2.8 Stars2.8 Stars2.8 Stars2.8 Stars
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Summary

Complexity is not necessarily an improvement

The Good

Interesting subject, as ground ops is a part of Star Trek seldom seen, 3 sides have different units and different tactics, not to mention the "natives", officers can gain experience and affect efficiency of various departments, decent backstory that actually manages to flow together a bit

The Bad

Too complex to be fun, as you can't build anything useful until you're half-way up the tech tree. Scouts and APC's are essentially unarmed, and it's not until the phaser shuttles (i.e. "tanks") and photon artillery units that you have offensive capabilities. Building powerplants and crew quarters is BORING, too many raw materials to juggle. There are three major raw materials, which are refined into 3 useful materials, which are then used to build things! As the ores can run out, you must have a high efficiency processing in order to get the most out of your mines, and that's micromanagement. Actual combat is mainly mob-attack, few tactics are involved except for stuff like indirect fire, cloaked raids, and so on. Units on ground move so slowly they don't feel like hovercrafts at all.

The Bottom Line

Star Trek: New Worlds is an RTS with a Star Trek MOD. The 3 sides have virtually identical units (unarmed fast scout, APC, "tank", artillery) except for one special unique unit. The structures are virtually identical on all three sides and all have identical tech trees. Most of the "growth" is in growing the "colony hub" to level 4 by building the pre-requisites so you can build combat units in addition to the defenses. Since you can't do any offense before then, the game then becomes who can click the fastest (and get the most building done!). As a result, the game has severe pacing problems.

To "mine" resources, you drop mines (and later, advanced mines) in the middle of a resource concentration. Then the building gets built. You will need some workbees to run between buildings, but that's almost automatic, you just need to make sure you have enough of them.

The game itself looks fine. Terrain features are nicely displayed, structures look nice, sky looks good, units bob and weave on their anti-gravs , etc. Even the minimap is actually useful in telling you where enemies can be seen as well as remaining minerals in the ground (tha tyou can mine). Even the sounds are quite appropriate. The problem is in gameplay.

The officer aspect of crew management can be completely ignored and wouldn't affect the game much. Assigning officers to certain specialties (like tactical officer to armory, science officer to research, and so on) is supposed to enhance productivity, but I've never really noticed any notable difference. Perhaps that's the problem of RTS... The different between 4 seconds vs. 5 seconds by feel alone is minimal, even though it's technically a 20% improvement.

All in all, Star Trek: New Worlds proves that complexity in an RTS game and the known franchise name does NOT guarantee good sales. The wrong pacing decisions in the game tech tree design along with added complexity does not make for a more interesting game.