Beam me up Scotty.... No Intelligible Life in this Program....
When Interplay announced that they were producing a tactical combat simulator based on the Startfleet Academy (SFA) concept, I was actually looking forward to its released. Tactical Combat in the Star Trek Universe goes as far back as the game Star Fleet I: The War Begins
. To have a Graphical Starship combat simulator was a dream come true. Similar to the thrill of when X-Wing
But unlike the success that X-Wing
had, SFA is all bark and no bite.
There is only one redeeming quality to this game. That being the cutscenes. There are absolutely fantastic. William Shatner, Walter Koenig and George Takei reprise their roles as Kirk, Chekov and Sulu, and it gives the game a much needed boost in authenticity... if you can say that Star Trek is authentic :)
My mistake. One other thing that was nice was the preview for "Secret of Vulcan Fury" which was a Star Trek on the line of the graphical adventures such as 25th Anniversary and Judgement Rites. Unfortunately it was never made.
The biggest complaint I have about the game is the game itself. What was promised to be a tactical combat bridge simulator was, sadly, dumbed down to a point-and-shoot game similar to the Wing Commander
series in it's infancy. Please don't take that as a slam against Wing Commander though. WC is a fantastic game for it's time, and deserves all the credit. But SFA seems to be Wing Commander on a grand scale, and the game is not very good.
The incredibly large install is also a deterent. 500MB for the game? It spans 5 CD's and you need a half-gig install? Seems to me that it just wasn't worth the install.
The control was done mainly with the mouse, and like I've said before, it's like trying to fly a F-14 Tomcat with a bar of soap instead of a joystick.
The entire feel of the game was just off.
The Bottom Line
I was foolish enough to think that it was going to be a good game. Interplay
called me and offered me the game to try before I buy, and then pay for it later. Well, I was snookered into paying for it.
This game, in my opinion, is a far cry from what Star Trek gamers expected, and in return, I believe that it will hurt Interplay in the long run.
The game is slow, unchallenging, and not what I expected.
Final Verdict: The cutscenes alone are nice, but unfortunately the game doesn't live up to MY expectations. I personally would have passed on it if I had known how awful it was. Unless you absolutely have to have every Star Trek game in the universe, avoid it like the plague.