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Star Trek: Starfleet Command Volume II - Empires at War (Windows)

75
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
2.7
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Rick Jones (108)
Written on  :  Jan 31, 2001
Rating  :  3.8 Stars3.8 Stars3.8 Stars3.8 Stars3.8 Stars
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Summary

Great concept, but repetitive. Overall, it's just okay.

The Good

The basis of the game - starship combat - is exceptionally well executed, technically speaking. Although the game suffers for being entirely two-dimensional (conceptually, not graphically) the action is fast-paced and supported by outstanding graphics and sound. The interface, though a bit intimidating at first, is easy enough to use to allow command of a complicated ship. Overall, SFC2 does an absolutely bang-up job of giving a player the sense of being in command of a big, butt-kicking starship.

Faithfulness to the "Star Trek" universe is outstanding. The ships look and feel the way you would expect, and the basic tactical problems presented to a captain - usually revolving around energy management - are consistent with "Star Trek."

The Bad

Unfortunately, that's the whole game. SFC2 is simply an endless series of fundamentally identical space battles. Because the ships are relatively hard to destroy and are usually evenly matched, every encounter is a long turning battle, and between two capable captains it really boils down to who will get luckier with the accuracy of their big projectile weapons.

Some rock 'em sock 'em battles would be nice if they were in a larger context, but SFC2 doesn't have any of the three things it needs:

1. The promised multiplayer universe isn't up yet,

2. The campaign mode is absolutely horrible, and

3. The game lacks any real variety in missions, since every mission is just another battle.

Despite the technical faithfulness to "Star Trek," the game lacks the exploration and adventuring spirit of the series. That's probably the idea, since SFC2 is, strictly speaking, supposed to be true to the old "Starfleet Battles" game, not the show. But it makes for a pretty shallow game.

The Bottom Line

A good space battle game with some exciting moments, but not much replayability.