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Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force

aka: STEF
Moby ID: 2536

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Critic Reviews add missing review

Average score: 84% (based on 45 ratings)

Player Reviews

Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 81 ratings with 9 reviews)

A short, but very satisfying FPS...

The Good
This game has everything a good FPS should have: fun gameplay, a nice plot, cool cutscenes, plenty of action, light to moderate puzzles, and good weapons.

The plot is nowhere near the plot of a game like Deus Ex, but it still good nonetheless. The games progresses like a Voyager episode: the crew is faced by some impossible problem, they blame it on the borg, and Janeway inspires the crew to pull through. Despite this, however, the plot is driven along by nice cutscenes with plenty of dialogue.

The game's really outstanding characteristic is its graphics. The Quake 3 engine shines once again, allowing the developers to craft some of best-looking levels ever seen in an FPS. From the shiny, curvy, sterile feel of the Voyager to the dark, ominous, creepy feel of the Borg cube, the game captures the environments featured in the show perfectly.

Another noteable thing about Elite Force is the multiplayer. Simply put, multiplayer is a blast. The weapons are great, the gameplay is fast, and it doesn't rely on heavy gore or excessive violence to make it fun. Sure, the gameplay of multiplayer is a bit derivative of Quake 3 (many of Q3's features remain in EF), it is the excellent weapons that set it apart.

Even if you're not a Star Trek fan, go buy this game. I've never actually liked the shows all that much, but I saw the game used at a local cd shop, so I figured what the heck. I didn't regret it. It's pretty inexpensive now, so you have no excuse not to get it.

The Bad
The game is just too short. I beat it on moderate difficulty about two days after I got it. Despite this, however, I enjoyed it immensely.

Otherwise, there isn't anything else that is wrong with this gem.

The Bottom Line
Even if you're not a Trekkie, get it. You won't regret it.

Windows · by Drew Dorton (71) · 2001

Very Good Game.

The Good
Raven has a knack for designing good games. They actually raised the bar a little with this gem.

The graphics were exceptional, proof that Raven can do a great deal with Id engines. The textures are really well done and create an visual of being on the starship.

The sound and music were both top notch, no skips, fidelity issues or artifacts. The themes were unusually suspenseful, adding to the feeling of being in an episode.

The story was actually the strongest point of the game. Unlike most FPS stories, you actually had a good story to tie it together. You wanted to see what would happen next and why.

Alien starships had plenty of eye candy and gave a huge sense of scope. The organic ship was especially beautiful. The animation of the models were pretty good. The emulation of the standard disintegration of targets was very well implemented.

And of course, there was the fantastic level that returned us to the Mirror/Mirror universe. Some other levels included puzzle solving that required logical solutions.

The Bad
Even when you're out with an away team, you were pretty much on your own. The away team members couldn't hit a broad side of a starship. I realize that Raven deliberately designed this feature, but they could've made them a slightly better shot.

The repetitive monsters keep coming at you while you run out of ammo. The lowly phaser never ran out of ammo, but it was pretty useless if you used it for more than a few shots at a time.

And the ridiculously hard final boss...

The Bottom Line
A fun game, even if you don't like Star Trek. Raven really stretched the potential for the Quake III engine for this game.

Windows · by Scott Monster (986) · 2006

The Security Red-shirts that don't die and actually kick your ass!

The Good
Raven delivers once again, and boy did they make a blockbuster this time!

Elite Force is the final proof of Raven's genius and understanding of action games and the fps sub-genre in general. These guys took a lame-ass license like Star Trek Voyager fit for anything BUT an action game, licensed the Quake3 engine instead of wasting time trying to code a lackluster clone and voila: They made the coolest fps to be released in quite a while.

Following the Half-Life school of thought the game puts an emphasis on scripted events and seamless levels that weave a large, cohesive storyline instead of splitting the action among different subdivided missions. The game fully immerses you in the game from the get-go as you take on the role of Alex Munro (either Alexander or Alexandria) second in command of the newly formed Hazard Team, a special ops version of the red-shirted cannon-fodder security officers that are equipped with enough firepower to, you know, not die so much!

After a kickass intro/training sequence which sets the stage early on (clasically displaying how our hero isn't as skilled as we think but setting the stage for his/her rise to the challenge and later display of courage), the Voyager encounters a nasty probe which transports it to an unknown galactic graveyard filled with scavengers of all corners of the universe all stranded in the location in the same way as our heroes. The quest is on, as the crew needs to find a way to escape their predicament and at the same time protect themselves from the assorted collection of desperate scavengers that see in the Voyager their ticket home. A good choice was taken by the designers to make the game as similar both in structure and storyline as a Voyager episode would be, you have the problem-establishing intro, followed by the Voyager show presentation (same one as on the TV show), the plot then resolves in standard Star Trek way with the entire crew chipping in from their area of expertise towards the succesful resolution of the problem, and finally everything ending with a lame joke and laughs as the Voyager speeds away. In this aspect the game will bring many smiles to Star Trek fans as it manages to believably cram many elements from the show in the game, including several races such as the classic Borg and Klingons as well as some nifty additions such as the alternate federation from the evil mirror universe, in a part of the game that takes place on an original Star Trek-era starship!

As you progress through the game you'll be sent away to all sort of hostile starships as you try to uncover clues as to how to escape, each location playing out as a mission of sorts with all manner of scripted events such as interacting with some aliens or infiltrating a hostile ship, stealing cargo by sneaking around and busting out and rescuing captured friends, etc. What's interesting here is that Raven also incorporated a series of branching events that can go either way depending on your actions, for instance, yeah we all had to infiltrate the Borg Cube, but did you save your about-to-be-assimilated CO or not? The game is sprinkled with small "decision time" moments such as these and while the game allows for only one ending, it's nice to replay it and see how the different decisions have their different consequences in the way the plot develops.

For those of you that are wondering by now if this is an adventure game fear not, the gameplay is definetively action oriented, and while there are some light puzzle/sneaking sequences in between the main objective of the game is to shoot the shit out of every enemy you encounter, and boy oh boy is it fun to do so! Raven made the right choice by not sending you alone in the missions (except for some specific sequences) and mimicking the actual away teams in the series you usually go at it with a group of squadmates to cover your rear and take care of special tasks (like hacking some system or interfacing with the Borg), while some reviewers qualified them as dumbass bots, I join the ranks of those that found their pathfinding excellent and welcomed their addition. Sure, they won't win the game for you, and they hardly make any sort of real damage, but they add a lot with their presence alone, making fights much more exciting and feeling more like co-ordinated, brutal assaults rather than a "one-man army takes on all comers" affair as it usually gets like in these games. Plus they add to the general vibe with their comments and in-mission dialogues, so another good addition by Raven.

The character development however, doesn't happen on the away missions, but instead on the Voyager. In another winning design decision, Raven borrowed some elements from the classic Wing Commander games, in which the gameworld doesn't stop between the combat sequences and continues to evolve via conversations and character interaction. Basically what you have here are breather sequences that add dynamism between the all-out fighting sequences and which take place in the Voyager, as you walk around it's corridors and talk to your various friends and companions. Interacting with them usually rewards you with an interesting, well written conversation which furthers the plot in some cases but mostly serves as a way of further developing the characters. Be it the bully/balls-to-the-walls general attitude of Biessman or the budding love interest between your character and Telsia (regardless of wheter you are male or female!! yay! Lesbianism in space!!). Anyway, at the end of the day these sequences provide more than just breathing room between the fight sequences, and give the entire cast of characters a more human touch that helps them become as memorable a cast as in any rpg game.

Going back to the action the game delivers quite an impressive arsenal of weapons, which while mostly being sci-fi versions of the standard fps arsenal manage to deliver some cool surprises with each weapon having alternate firing modes all with some kind of useful purpose. The weapon effects are simply astounding, triggering all sorts of colorful ray and particle effects that turn firefights into exciting lasershows just as you would expect them to be in Star Trek. This eye-candy however, comes courtesy of the Quake3 engine and boy does it get to strut it's stuff in this game! It might be the sci-fi setting, but quite frankly even after Medal of Honor and Return to Castle Wolfenstein I have not seen a better implementation of the engine. The character models are spotless, the lightning effects are incredible, the texture detail is awesome and the backgrounds... oh man, they are just incredible! From the green-glowing, intrincate interior of the Borg cubes to the bio-mechanical alien spaceships and the federation starships, every location in the game is rendered with lush detail (with the Borg cubes being the absolute winners). And the best thing about it is that you don't have to worry about performance hits! Since the entire game takes place on starships of varying size, the game maximizes the engine's preference for closed enviroments, thus you can have dozens of baddies battling a full squad of your friends with all those impressive lighting weapon effects flying around and still be able to run the game on a modest system! And that's with the amazing soundtrack and ripped-straight-from-the-show sfx thumping around in full surround audio!

If you do have problems however, you can always turn to the excellent detail-scaling options present in the fantastic interface that mimicks Star Trek's computer readouts and which also includes a small character/technical database for your perusal and easy access to the multiplayer component which delivers another homerun with a giant collection of models, skins and maps, as well as different gamemodes and a remarkably competent bot AI for when you just can't find anyone to play with.

The Bad
To the risk of sounding like a deranged Trekkie I have to admit that Elite Force has barely any flaws worth mentioning. As I perused through other reviews I noted how many people noted this or that, but bitching aside they are all personal considerations regarding how each one of us considers fps's to be (some people want to idly explore more of the Voyager, others want more control over your squadmates, etc.). The truth is that Elite Force is the best fps to come in a loooooong time, with it's only real flaw being that since it was probably aimed at action-allergic Star Trek fans, the difficulty and lenght of the game were kept simple and short. All you need to do to circumvent this is to turn the difficulty level up a notch and that's it.

The Bottom Line
A stellar fps about Star Trek? That doesn't make sense...Wait, a stellar fps by Raven? That's what explains everything! These guys know their shit and no other game proves this as much as Elite Force.

There's really not much more I can add. Excellently designed, action-packed, technically flawless and with plenty of innovative touches. Get Elite Force NOW.

Windows · by Zovni (10504) · 2004

Best Star Trek shooter ever, though a wee bit short

The Good
Great atmosphere, everything about Voyager is "right on", so it sure won't disappoint Trekkers. On the other hand, the wide variety of weapons with alternate fire modes for each keeps even the hardcore shooters happy. With the Holodeck you have infinite map possibilities, and indeed many fans are working on multiplayer maps based on the various memorable missions.

The Bad
The game is a bit short. A shooter is not exactly in the Star Trek spirit of exploration and such. At its heart, it's really still just Quake.

The Bottom Line
Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force is a first-person shooter that allows you to take control of Alex (either male or female) Munro, XO of Hazard Team, an elite force of security personnel chosen for the most hazardous missions. You can think of it as Star Trek Quake, though that would not be giving enough credit to Raven, its creator.

EF is an excellent adaptation of STV to a game, because everything fits right in. Usually in a theme-based shooter the theme was subordinated to the action. Not this game. You are tasked to help solve various problems onboard Voyager at the start, then you will have to invade enemy ships, sneak around and gather information, and ultimately shoot plenty of aliens, everything from Borg and Specie 8472 to Klingons and Hirogens.

On the other hand, this is NOT a Star Trek game where you need to whip out a tricorder every once in a while to get readings. The emphasis is action, and that means you'll be using your weapons most of the time. You'll have to flip a switch every now and then, destroy a few things here and there, and figure how to get there from here (the way isn't always THAT obvious). You'll climb into crawlways, climb up ladders, ride turbolifts and elevators, jump in low-gravity, and more. There are a wide variety of missions, from stealth to jump to puzzle to shoot-everything.

The wide variety weapons all have their equivalent in the typical shooter arsenal, but all with a Star Trek touch. Phaser rifle have sniper mode. Regular phaser recharges automatically. You also get special weapons like personal photon burst (think mini photon torpedo!), Tetryon Disruptor, and "the dreadnaught weapon" which is equivalent to Quake's Lightning gun). All weapons have alternate firing modes, and many use differen types of ammo.

The missions are pretty involving and some even have time limits, though you can take your time on most of them. The final encounter is hard as you are simply surrounded on all sides.

You are usually accompanied by teammates, and they will engage the enemy (though doesn't seem to do any damage). They also have excellent path finding and have no problem catching up to you.

The Holomatch multiplayer component is at least as good as Quake III, and many gamers are working on mods to enhance that even further.

All in all, this may be one of the best Star Trek games ever. If you like a bit of background story to go with your first-person shooter, or if you are a Star Trek fan, you should definitely get this title. You would NOT be disappointed.

Windows · by Kasey Chang (4591) · 2001

Dork Forces (Just kidding, this game is good.)

The Good
Lt. Commander Tuvok has decided that Voyager needs an ELITE FORCE of operatives who can defend Voyager and operate as a quick strike landing party. This ELITE FORCE will be called... the Hazard Team. Oh well. Vulcan creativity aside, this game is really good. Elite Force combines traditional first person shooters with squad based shooters. You will often work with a team of heavily armed crewmen on dangerous missions.

Voyager was been whisked into an Intergalactic junkyard populated with aliens and scavengers and is trapped by a central object known as the Forge. A series of missions (largely seamless) explore the mystery of the Forge as you travel to alien ships, ships that mirror Federation technology and defend Voyager against hostile attacks. Between missions you can interact with the senior staff (all voiced by the series' actors- a great touch), visit the Holodeck, the mess hall and other Voyager environs.

In addition to your trusty phaser (one of the best fps stand-by weapons since the crowbar/wrench? in System Shock 2), you have a wide selection of beam weapons and explosive devices including a personal photon torpedo launcher! As the game's tagline suggests, Stun is not an option.

Most of the missions involve killing everything in your path, but others require some degree of stealth. Team mates are largely unexpendable and senior staff members never are, so some missions require defensive strategies as well as a good offense. There are few, if any, key finding missions and the puzzles are logical and largely confined to restoring power and bypassing blockages.

Lastly, while I'm not a multiplayer fan, it seems like Elite Force's Holomatches would be pretty cool.

The Bad
Elite Force feels immersive to a degree but the amount of movement is severely restricted on Voyager (it's a bad sign when finding your quarters is an Easter Egg) and levels are pretty straight forward. While you can interact with your teammates, unless they have a scripted dialogue, they just acknowledge you and walk off. Also some elements that feel like they should be branching (like saving a crew member) have no payoff.

As a squad based shooter, the team AI did little other than jump into my line of fire or shoot me in the back. At best they drew fire away from me so I could flank around the enemies.

Load times were pretty long.

Finally why Voyager? Voyager was a boring rehash of earlier Treks that featured a mediocre crew boldly going home. Wouldn't it have been cooler to see the Elite Force concept used in a Star Trek Black Ops game (Section 31, baby!)

The Bottom Line
A really good Star Trek first person shooter with some flaws. Others have commented that this game was short and it might be, but I don't think anything would be gained by making this specific game longer. If you seem to be getting through the levels quickly, I recommend restarting at a higher difficulty level.

Windows · by Terrence Bosky (5397) · 2002

A fantastic if short 3D Shooter

The Good
Elite Force (EF) is probably the best licensed Star Trek game since 25th Anniversary and Judgement Rites.

You play Ensign Alexander Munro (or Alexandria if you play as a female), second in command of the "Hazard Team" - a newly formed unit onboard Voyager. The game starts out onboard a Borg cube, with you on point while downing Borg left and right. After accidentally blowing up your team, the holodeck appears. It was a training scenario. Thus begins the game, which actually looks like an episode of Voyager. From "Opening Credits" that looks like the TV show to the end credits.

The games graphics look absolutely great. Raven had access to the set, and the blueprints of the sets themselves so they could accurately recreate Voyager. They went as far as taking picture of the carpet to get the color right for textures. Using the Quake III engine and it's ability to create curved surfaces, Raven faithfully created the bridge, shuttlebay, mess hall, and engine room. The alien ships are also rendered true-to life, curved and very fluid looking.

The sound is very impressive. Again using SFX from the show (probably first-generation SFX, the actual effects used in the show, not secondary recordings), it immerses you in the game. Original music by the developers sounds like the background music to an episode.

The controls are standard FPS shooting fare, with the exception of reloading. Since there are no clip weapons (they are all engery weapons), you never have to worry about reloading. Although you need to keep an eye on your energy ammo.

The gameplay is varied. A lot of different logical puzzles are thrown into the game, and some really require you to think about where to go. Cutscenes further along the story much like when are watching an episode of Voyager. And being able to test out new weapons on the holodeck BEFORE going into a game situation is really cool. Especially the personal photon torpedo weapon.)

The Bad
On normal mode, the game is really easy to defeat. I've come to expect a lot more challenge to a FPS (especially after playing games like Return to Wolfenstein and Half-Life) on their respective Normal modes of play. This game just didn't challenge me, it really frustrated me on some levels. One instance is when the harvesters attack and you are killing them off one by one in the corridors. The number is so overwhelming (think of the bugs in the movie "Starship Troopers") it gets frustating when you run out of ammo.

The AI of the crewman that are on your side isn't the best. I can't begin to count how many times a crewman has stepped into my line of fire. And the AI of the enemies is pathetic as well. It seems that any enemy automattically concentrate ALL their attacks on you, even when there are THREE OTHER crewman firing at them? Granted I'm shooting at them, but others are as well.

And I'd have like to see more interactivity with other people. Between "Missions" you are required to go and talk with others in order to get the next part of the story going.

And I like action in the game. Granted your supposed to "be" a Ensign, but there was too much "lag time" between missions.

The Bottom Line
Not quite a must-play FPS, but well worth checking out for the unbelievable job Raven did with re-creating Voyager and the Star Trek look. Argueably the best Star Trek game in years, despite it's flaws.

Windows · by Chris Martin (1155) · 2003

Good but needs to be longer

The Good
I'm a Trekie. My favourite Episodes of Star Trek are Voyager. It isn't just a shoot em' up: there are puzzles to be solved, and some missions require a lot of stealth in order to be passed. The team interaction is extraodinarly good. The levels are self-contained and there are plenty of them.

The Bad
I didn't like the short annoyed answers that you get every time you try to speak to anyone like your team members or any of the crew, and the fact that they disappear into thin air if you follow them. It is still essentially a shoot em' up.

The Bottom Line
It is a fun game worth playing but a bit short.

Windows · by ewan anderson (3) · 2003

Any Star Trek fan has to buy this.

The Good
This game is very good. If you like shooter games, this is for you. You can get a bunch of Star Trek weapons that you've seen on the shows. (and some you haven't) It has the best storyline that I have ever seen in Star Trek games. You literally get attached to the characters. (at least i did) Another great thing is that each weapon has an alternate attack. Most of the time they are more powerful than the regular attack, and all of them take up a bunch more . The graphics are great for a 2000 game, and you don't have to have a top of the line computer to play it on. I haven't found a single bug in it and i've beaten it twice. This lets you know how it is to use the weapons instead of commanding people to use them. In the holomatch mode, there are tons of characters and levels to choose from. You can play on teams or take on the everybody else.

The Bad
There is only one bad thing about this game. It's too SHORT!!

The Bottom Line
If you don't mind beating it the first day then this is a great game to buy. (it only costs about 10 dollars)

Windows · by Jester236 (34) · 2003

Lock, stock and two smocking phaser rifles

The Good
The weapons are damn right awesome! Although some have limited capacity, they punch enough firepower for my definite liking! And they have the borg, yipppeeeeeee, on the first round no less, thank god. The holomatch's are also incredibly realistic and are chalanging, but not overly so.

The Bad
Fairly short. Could be a little bit longer. Other than that, lovely jubbly.

The Bottom Line
Hours apon hours of battle fun, a must have for any treky who's into shot 'em ups

Windows · by paul cairey (319) · 2003

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Scaryfun, Patrick Bregger, Jeanne, nyccrg, Wizo, Cavalary, vedder, Tim Janssen, jaXen, Xoleras, Klaster_1, Alsy, Rebound Boy, CalaisianMindthief, Big John WV, Spenot, Emmanuel de Chezelles, mikewwm8, Flapco, coenak.