Star Trek: Legacy - A Mini-Review

Posted by: Trail_Mystic

Star Trek: Legacy - A Mini-Review - 01/18/07 10:17 PM

Imagine being a Star Trek fan in the 21st century. Suddenly, without warning you appear floating in space outside of a starship with a computer keyboard a small booklet with a few pages of unclear (and possibly erred) instructions in front of you. You then hear a lack-luster conversation between two Star Fleet officers about a mission. Where are these officers? Are they on one of the ships in front of you? Has someone implanted a communicator in your head? That's OK, just accept the disembodied voices and in this case, do what they tell you.

In the next moment you are floating outside of another starship. This one is apparently on the mission you overheard the two Star Fleet officers talking about a few moments ago. In front of you flashes some text outlining an "objective". There is another area that says "Hint", you investigate this, but the hint that is given is as vague as the reason why you are here.

You finally get the idea that you can move the ship in front of you from the instructions that are flashed over the top of the scene from time to time. You begin to move this seemingly huge, lumbering vessel using the rather non-intuitive keyboard commands that you have been given. After a few flights things are shaping up. The views are nice and the ships are very, very cool.

Then you enter combat...

Controls lock up, there doesn't seem to be any sense to when weapons can be fired or what the displays on the screen really mean. Navigation is sluggish and you find yourself making it to your target just in time for them to flank you and fly away laughing. In the mean time you are frantically trying to become accustomed to the awkward keyboard commands, obviously designed by the inhabitants of PSI-OCTOPI-6 since it requires more dexterity than a squid on amphetamines.

Frantically you look for a way to save your place in this crazy time/space continuum only to realize THERE IS NO WAY TO SAVE! The next voices you hear are frantic crew members talking about shields failing and a loss of anti-matter containment. There are then a series of very pretty explosions scattering debris all through this sector of space and suddenly you are back in the 21st century staring at a screen that states "Mission Failed".

Welcome to the game playing experience of Star Trek: Legacy.

So, what do you do next? In my case I simply exited the game, removed the disk, placed it back in it's container, placed the container in a drawer out of sight and made a mental note not to base a game purchase off of previous experiences with a development house. Needless to say how disappointing this was since it came from the same folks that gave us the Elder Scrolls series including the extremely popular Morrowind and Oblivion.

To be fair the game has some wonderful graphics and the voice-overs by such actors as Scott Bakula, Avery Brooks and William Shatner are good enough to give a Star Trek fan a little thrill. As is the first experience of "piloting" a starship. In my opinion though, that is all that is good in this game. If you are a Star Trek fan and crave all things Trek, wait. Wait until this is in the bargain bin at your local department store or on clearance at a Web game house. If you are just curious because "it sounds cool" borrow it from your unlucky friend who paid the full price when it first came out.

I usually don't give numeric ratings to games, but in this case due to it's awkward use of keyboard commands, lack of story, lack of depth in instructions and almost zero "replayability"

I'll give it 3 stars out of 10 just for the graphics and voice overs...

Posted by: MaG

Re: Star Trek: Legacy - A Mini-Review - 01/19/07 08:38 AM

Oh My! Thanks, Trail! That will definitely help the gamers. wave
Posted by: looney4labs

Re: Star Trek: Legacy - A Mini-Review - 01/19/07 08:48 AM

Gracious, Trail. Thanks for posting that. You had me rolling with

designed by the inhabitants of PSI-OCTOPI-6 since it requires more dexterity than a squid on amphetamines.
I love Star Trek but wasn't born on PSI-OCTOPI-6 so guess I'll have to skip it.
Posted by: Becky

Re: Star Trek: Legacy - A Mini-Review - 01/19/07 09:17 AM

lol A great review! This reminds me of a much older Star Trek game I played some years back in the mists of time. You could select to let Worf run all the combat for you, and after a few attempts, that is what I did.

I guess they still haven't figured out how to make space combat workable?
Posted by: Trail_Mystic

Re: Star Trek: Legacy - A Mini-Review - 01/20/07 07:03 PM

I really gave it the ol' college try by using varying levels of difficulty and messing with the few options there are, but just could not make it enjoyable.

The really sad part is that it looks great, the ship and space graphics are fantastic. With the exception of one very laughable aspect that I failed to mention in the above review. When you hit a planet it completely throws off the perspective because you just "bounce" off. It's like your piloting some kids spaceship model in a grade school diorama! lol The planet now takes on the feel of a big foam ball rather than a planet. Just another thing that ruins the whole feel of it.

I kept thinking while playing "It's got to get better, it's got to get better. I just know something absolutely cool and wild is going to happen." that was right about the time I bounced the ship off a planet and decided to call it quits...

It seems like they had a really good idea and threw some really talented people at it, but no one knew where to go with it. There is a sense of a lack of organization, like the project wasn't reviewed enough. I know it could not have been tested much in real-time due to the numerous lock-ups I came across. Either that or Bethesda needs to get their money back from the team that did their testing because any reports of success were a wee-bit flawed lol
Posted by: looney4labs

Re: Star Trek: Legacy - A Mini-Review - 01/22/07 10:36 AM

I wonder if you could use a gamepad to make the controls easier?
Posted by: chrissie

Re: Star Trek: Legacy - A Mini-Review - 01/22/07 02:46 PM

Thanks for an informative review Trail_Mystic! Star Trek could be a great setting for an adventure &/or action game - seems this one misses the mark.

On the subject of problems i.e. the game locking-up etc, I am beginning to find this more & more with 'bigger budget games' - maybe the developers are under pressure to get the game out & taking shortcuts. shame Not worth it & this is where a lot of independants excel - I don't think I've had a problem with one single one! smile
Posted by: Trail_Mystic

Re: Star Trek: Legacy - A Mini-Review - 01/22/07 05:40 PM

Originally posted by looney4labs:
I wonder if you could use a gamepad to make the controls easier?
That is a good point. thumbsup I use a Nostromo (1) for many games, but I honestly didn't want to take the time to program the keys. I did program keys in my Logitech G-15 keyboard, but opted to review my initial findings from the stand-point of a standard keyboard. It does make the navigation much more tolerable and some of the combat fun, but the game still lacks any sort of depth. Both in story and just plain game play.

My big issue was the "game camera" always being of the flying sort. You have to constantly manually center the view and every time you enter combat the game changes to a "firing computer view" that is very confusing. You can choose to aim manually, but the continual fight for position makes this very, very difficult.
Posted by: looney4labs

Re: Star Trek: Legacy - A Mini-Review - 01/22/07 05:43 PM

It sounds like it might be more along the tastes of someone who likes what my kids call "twitch" games, perhaps?
Posted by: Trail_Mystic

Re: Star Trek: Legacy - A Mini-Review - 01/23/07 12:50 AM

I don't think the view shifting would really categorize this as a "twitch" game from the FPS sense of the term due to the sluggish ship responses. It's just an awkward design IMHO.
Posted by: looney4labs

Re: Star Trek: Legacy - A Mini-Review - 01/23/07 09:21 AM

Trail, I was thinking more of having to manually center the camera as a twitch type thing.

I know with 80 Days my kids could fly all over the place on the magic carpet while watch tv and talking on the phone. I kept running into walls. It took me a long time and lots of practice to be able to fly him around at all. wave