Star Trek: Shattered Universe

Moby ID: 16850
PlayStation 2 Specs
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Description official description

Star Trek fans will remember the 'Mirror, Mirror' episode, and its parallel universe whereby common facts of the Star Trek universe are reversed. The Federation is now evil, the Enterprise is out for war, and most of its enemies and friends have changed sides. After hitting a wormhole, it is into this universe that your ISS Excelsior ship finds itself.

To get out of there, he must blast through 19 missions of space combat, armed with phasers and torpedoes. You will have to take on scouting missions as well as heavy attacks, passing asteroid belts and space stations. You are not limited to flying familiar ships - 6 new ones have been created for the game, and Romulan and Klingon fighters are available to switch to.

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Credits (PlayStation 2 version)

93 People (81 developers, 12 thanks) · View all

Original Concept
Story
Game Design
Lead Programmer
Programmers
Art Director
Artists
Music composed, produced and performed by
Sound Effects
  • Play It Again Studios
Additional Voice Characterizations
Special Thanks
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 49% (based on 21 ratings)

Players

Average score: 2.6 out of 5 (based on 13 ratings with 2 reviews)

Great game from Star Trek universe

The Good
As the title implies, you somehow end up in another universe (man, I really don't like parallel universe stories, but this one was made pretty interesting so I won't complain on that account) taking the role of your-parallel-self as you switched place with him. At the same time, that other you ended up in your part of the space. So, how big could the changes be... quite, because there is no Federation on this behalf, but instead there's an Empire and from the look at it, they ain't plain' the good guys. Needless to say, alas, you will battle your own comrades (or at least comrades of other Captain Sulu) and some of the already known species such as Klingons and Romulans.

The story takes many twists and turns as you will make alliances with your enemies due to circumstances at hand, and even grow as powerful to launch an assault upon the Empire (just think what the other Sulu is doing in your space if he's anything alike, which the ending will help to explain). There are 19 missions in total but they are not as short nor easy as one might expect. As a matter of fact, each of them is so well established it could almost make a standalone episode. That's one of the best part of the game, through those 19 missions you feel like you're watching a season of 19 episodes, and one per day would just be enough to make you think of the most recent events and what might expect you next.

As for the ships and fighters, I can't say I much care whether they're never-before-seen or already known, it's a mix of both, and they all have unique weapons and abilities. In this game you only commandeer fighters, not the battleships, but you will fight battleships nevertheless. Of course, you won't stand a chance if you use direct approach against them even if you're playing it on easy level of difficulty, but that's the whole fun in finding their weak spot after taking down their shields. Unlike with fighters, battleships won't replenish their shields while your fighter, as well as enemy fighters, will replenish shields rather quickly so it's not so wise to leave a wounded prey.

Missions are great in design and filling in the story, you will fight in the wormhole, inside the vortex, make alliances and protect your allies, fight against known and unknown enemies, and boldly go where noone has gone before. Yeah, the STTNG feeling is all over this game, and Sulu isn't that bad of a commander either. All in all, this game forms better storyline than most of the Star Trek series.

The Bad
Although there is an easy level of difficulty, it will still require of you to lay a proper judgment of your fighter for the mission at hand as well as quick reflexes to handle multiple attacks, evade enemy fire, and do the task at hand in timed missions. It is nowhere near as hard as easy level in TransFormers, but requires much more of thinking to handle certain enemies.

Also, this game doesn't let you switch Y-axis so if you're used that up is up and down is down, you'll have to take some time to adapt 'cos resistance is futile.

The Bottom Line
Great game with the spirit of Star Trek franchise that gives a solid story with lots of interesting sub-parts, unexpected plot twists, and twice as fighters to commandeer. The menu is nicely handled as a bridge control room which lets you see all the cinematics up to the point reached, and there is at least one cinematic per game. It's not an interactive movie like Cyberia, but movies are as present as in MGS games.

PlayStation 2 · by MAT (240794) · 2012

Someone needs to remind Paramount that they own Star Trek, not Star Wars

The Good
The ships are all modeled pretty well, and look nice.

It's great that they got George Tekei and Walter Kroenig too. They really get into their roles. Too bad they couldn't have gotten them to do work on a Star Trek game instead.

The Bad
Don't tell anyone, but I managed to get a recording of the original pitch for Shattered Universe. Don't let this get out, or my man on the inside could get into trouble. OK? Here goes.

Producer: "Hey, maybe we ought to make a Star Trek video game for those new fangled games console machines."

Planner: "Hmm. That sounds difficult. You'd need to do a lot of writing, create an AI that the player has to outwit, script scenarios for the player to puzzle through before finding a best and hopefully non-violent outcome..."

Producer: "What? No no no, you didn't hear me. I said a Star Trek video game."

Planner: "Oh. I guess you could just fly around and blow things up."

Producer: "Yeah, now you heard me."

Shattered Universe takes place entirely within the "mirror universe", a place where nobility is switched with brutality (or, more accurately, a place where pretty much everyone deserves to be shot, so go wild). From my perspective, the fact that the game takes place in an "anti-Federation" universe also serves to make Shattered Universe an anti-Star Trek game. The point of Star Trek has always been diplomacy, discovery, exploration, and understanding. Sulu opens the intro by proclaiming the Excelsior's ongoing mission is to search out new planets and civilizations. He forgot to add the "and blow them all up" to the end of that statement.

See, the developers thought the mirror universe would give them an easy out for how to match a Star Trek game to the high body count of most video games, but that isn't what it's supposed to be used for. The point of the mirror universe is to take all the characters and situations the audience knows and then turn them on their head, showing how differently so many things could have turned out. It only works if there are established characters, and Shattered Universe doesn't have any characters. There's Sulu, mirror-Chekov, and and an unnamed comms officer. There are also some events from the original series that are replayed from a mirror universe perspective, but those aren't so much 'see how this episode played out in the mirror universe' as they are 'see how this episode would have played out if you could have just shot everyone'. If the developers really needed a backdrop for armed engagements they could have retconned the Dominion War and did it proper this time. Of course that would have required a competent writer, so it might not have worked out for them either.

Even if they had gotten the game part right I would still be tearing them down for forcing Star Trek into a hole it doesn't belong in, but they didn't get that part right either. How many years has it been that people have been making 3D space sim/shooters? For all the Wing Commanders and TIE Fighters and Descents that have come out how can anyone think that gameplay this bland is even acceptable anymore? The game is barely even an improvement over Elite, and is significantly less engaging as well. They can't blame it on the franchise holding them back either, because Battlestar Galactica, which amazingly came out months before, managed to translate ship to ship combat that was designed for television into a well crafted interactive system.

It's not even the controls, which are merely serviceable, that are so bad. Your ship has reverse thrust and forward thrust, but both cease to have an effect on your velocity once they've stopped being pushed. Your space craft appears to exist on some kind of momentum treadmill instead of frictionless space. This isn't bad, necessarily, but it doesn't add any control complexity to the game, and it isn't a mandate of the franchise. It just serves to make playing the game less interesting.

What really nails the game dead is how infuriatingly boring combat is. Wave after wave (after wave (after wave (augh seriously why won't the mission just end?))) of fodder craft swarm around objectives, begging to be phasered in half. When "complete mission in 17 minutes" is a bonus objective it should be obvious that there are way too many targets in a level. When the Excelsior gets back to Federation space the player avatar will either get a medal or a discharge for killing more sentient beings than the whole of Starfleet before him.

Then there are the capital ships, largely immobile but vastly better defended. To defeat them you have to find a blind spot in their weapons range and then hide in it as you hold down the weapons fire buttons for a full minute. The game does absolutely nothing interesting with larger craft, like being able to destroy individual weapons ports or damage critical parts. They just explode after being destroyed, and a helpful timer shows up onscreen to show you how much time you have to escape the radius of the blast.

Those explosions, by the way, just like every other ingame cutscene in the game, take place in real time and can not be skipped. Chasing down a bogey before a cutscene starts? Good luck finding it again. And of course while the player's avatar picks his nose the Excelsior is still taking damage from the dozens of ships attacking it.

The Bottom Line
For too long Paramount's treatment of the Star Trek license was nothing short of abuse. Star Trek: Shattered Universe is prime evidence that their custody needed to be revoked.

Xbox · by Lain Crowley (6629) · 2010

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Game added by DarthNakayama.

Game added March 15, 2005. Last modified October 11, 2023.