Deep Space Nine:
Game's Title Screen (above) to order...
Macintosh Version Available! Click Here to Order!
was a very good year for Star Trek
game fans. Not since Interplay's adventures like Star
Trek Judgment Rites, or Spectrum Holobyte's Star
Trek The Next Generation: A Final Unity, has there been Trek
games as good. From Star Trek Armada to
Voyager Elite Force, it's
been a fun time, indeed. Now, the holidays brings along a third contender
for the best-Trek-game-of-2000 throne, based on the Deep Space Nine
series. Forget basing your "best of" opinions on what your
favorite Trek spin-off is; this was very tough, for Trekkers to decide their favorite
Trek game of 2000!
Space Nine: The Fallen involves an ongoing story that is typical
of the series. There is an experiment to uncover the power of the
mysterious Bajoran Orbs, and as you might expect, this experiment goes
terribly awry. However, who is conducting this experiment, and for what
purpose? The answer in uncovered via numerous missions, that will take you
from the Deep Space Nine station itself, to a derelict Federation vessel's
crash site, to deep inside Cardassian space, and on and on. Each mission
has its own set of goals, and these mini-puzzles of what to search for,
enhance the action-game fun.
The best part of The Fallen is that there
are three different ways to view the same story. You can play as either
Worf, Major Kira, or Captain Sisko, with different results for each. While
many missions are similar for all three, the pathways each one takes are
totally different, as are their mission objectives. Some missions are even
totally unique for that character, depending on the storyline arc for that
person. Major Kira, for example, must help fight an attack on the planet
Bajor itself. Captain Sisko must lead away missions to save various
wounded federation officers. Worf, meanwhile, must defend the starship
Defiant from an invasion force. One of the cooler "exclusive"
missions to a character involves Kira's spy mission, made to look like a
Cardassian. Many will want to play the game three times to see how each
character's missions differ, greatly enhancing the replay value.
the game uses the Unreal Tournament
game engine, the graphics are understandably spectacular. There are any
number of moments when the viewer might understandably go, "Whoh,"
after seeing such excellently manufactured polygon worlds, with such
elaborate textures. At one point, Sisko overlooks the wreckage of a
massive starship in a dark cavern of an alien world; a sight almost worth
the price of the game in itself. You then go into the crashed vessel via
the airlock, and try to re-activate the ship's auxiliary generator so you
can better explore; how cool!
who want less story, more action, should not be disappointed, regardless
of the superior story at play here. Most conversations are optional
(especially when on the station between missions). On the other hand, many
conversations are still worthwhile, thanks to several of the voices from
the original cast: Michael Dorn (Worf), Nana Visitor (Major Kira), Rene
Auberjonois (Odo), Armin Shimerman (Quark), and even Terry Farrel as Dax.
Some might not like how the game is a flashback, prior to Ferrel's
departure from the actual series, though I think including her was an
excellent move, especially when she agreed to be the voice for the
through such movie scenes would be a mistake, however. With the help of
the Miles Sound Engine, the overall storyline and cutscenes are
excellently handled. In one scene, Sisko reaches an ancient stone tablet
within an old Bajoran temple. As the haunting music plays in the
background, the Sisko character moves his hands over the markings on the
wall, trying to discern their meeting, as well as to enjoy the awe of what
he's witnessing. It's one of many awesome cutscenes that enhance the
game's otherwise redundant shoot-all-bad-guys subplot, which can sometimes
get a bit tedious.
There are a few flaws in the game. The
weapons, for example, are all from the series, though can often seem a bit
cliche just the same. Other gamers might not like to take the time to
enjoy the Training Mission, to discern this game's unusual twist in
inventory control. At many times, you will run low on important supplies,
like health kits and ammunition. You must then find a suitable place with
your tricorder, that allows for a ship-to-surface transport, and ask the
appropriate crewman (Dr. Bashir, for example) for the lacking items. I
admit, this can be amusing at first (at one point, I needed to only call
Bashir for an antitoxin, when poisoned at the start of a mission).
However, when in heavy battle, with less and less inventory to come by, as
you wait for your only no-ammo-needed weapon to recharge, finding a
suitable beam-down location can slow things down a bit.
of such unique ways to deliver its excess power-ups, there is a lot to
enjoy here. Admittedly, Deep Space Nine was one of my
less-favorite of the Trek spin-offs, yet this game is a salute to the best
moments of the series, so I still enjoyed it. For true fans of the series,
it's a must-have purchase, as the best game-translation of the series that
might ever be made.
Title Screen Capture at left, to order this game (PC Version)
Macintosh Version Available! Click Here to Order!
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