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Ever wanted to explore strange new places and boldly go – aww, stuff that. Ever wanted to kick the crap out of an entire Romulan garrison because you didn't like the look of one guy's face? Away Team is a strategy game from Activision and Reflexive, in which you lead and control the actions of a group of Starfleet officers from the USS Incursion. The story takes place in Federation space after the Dominion War with the creation of a new SWAT-like group. This new team dubbed the "Away Team" operates from the newest starship, the USS Incursion, and becomes involved in important issues quickly. The maiden voyage starts by uncovering a plot by an outside force to subvert high-ranking Starfleet officers. Diplomacy is for guys named Picard; these guys use phasers, grenades, mines, explosives, rifles and all sorts of other weapons to get the point across. The missions involve enemies from all your favorite species: Romulan, Human, Klingon, and of course Borg. The action is in the third person; you control the team from a birds' eye view. The missions usually start by selecting an away team for the mission (there are a few missions where your team is chosen for you), and you can select people from five disciplines: Command, Engineers, Science Officers, Medicine, and Security. Each officer has their own strengths and weaknesses – they have been trained on certain pieces of equipment or can use certain weapons but no person can use everything. For example, there are three doctors: one is a good fighter but doesn't carry many hypo-sprays, another hoards hypos but is not very useful in a firefight, and the third is a balance between the two. The problems in choosing a team are magnified when you start choosing technicians or security personnel because some cannot override security systems but bring diversionary equipment and so on. Once you have choosen a team, the mission begins with a collection of
objectives to complete – the primary ones are required for success and the secondary are optional. Completing the secondary missions at times are near impossible if you act in a certain mindset. Use a sledgehammer style of attack and you're definitely going to have a hard time with the "avoid enemy detection" objective. The missions allow for a variety of solution paths – the deceptivion orientated people will have just as much success as those who prefer to bust some skulls. The game is average-looking but the sound is nicely blended into the action, which is what the music should be – an addition to the game not a detraction. The visuals aren't spectacular but they aren't terrible either – just average, but then again I expected action not an optical masterpiece. The voice acting is good, although I would have preferred that they have all the aliens speak their languages accompanied by subtitles. (I’m just being nit-picky.) Surprisingly, this is one of the first games in a long time that doesn't have a resolution setting. Any additions to the real-time strategy genre you ask? Some good additions: the invention of "pause time" would practically be enough for me. Pause time allows you to stop the action and issue advance orders – so if you want to issue a series of orders to your team it can now be done without the use of profanities by the gamer. No fog of war (thank you so much!), so you can see the entire map and make your attack plan ahead of time. The addition of perception ranges is a nice touch – you can tell the sound and visual ranges of guards so that you can sneak people into their range or right by them (when sentries scan a region you can tell if they are looking at you or in your direction). There is only one aspect that detracts from the game: the difficulty level is laughable. I finished the first twelve missions on my first sitting with only the
Borg Cube mission slowing me down to think about what I was doing. This should be taken into context because I wholy intend to go back to the earlier missions and get all of the objectives which should prove innumerably more difficult. Away Team is very enjoyable and is highly recommended to lovers of strategy games and Trek fans. I have noticed that most of the people reading this opinion are not members of Dooyoo. I suggest that you sign up, this way you can give me feedback on my work, and give it a rating to help tell other people what this game is like. Go doo it now ! Just cut and paste this link to sign up: http://www.dooyoo.co.uk/servlets/DooyooConnector?template=user_register&sponso r=187207
I haven't finished the game yet, but I find it entertaining overall. The real time takes a little time to get used to it, but once you figure it out, it's not too bad. If you like Star Trek and Fallout Tactics (I only played the demo of FOT), you'll like this game. The interface is slightly clunky. Selecting characters and weapons are easy enough, but I had an issue with trying to "clear" my aiming cursor. Out of habit, when I see an aiming cursor, I am afraid to left click since it seems natural that it would fire. However, left clicking will always move your character and right clicking performs actions and shooting. Countless times I right clicked to "clear" my targeting cursor only to shoot and alert guards. Whoops... As for crew members not responding to threats, Activision felt that it would be taking away some control of your characters if they responded to threats by auto shooting. I understand that idea, but once you are fired upon, it seems natural that you fire back. You've already blow your cover so you need to defend yourself. Oh well... The missions are entertaining. I found that the missions were varied and the locales were pretty cool. The pathfinding was bad at times. On a few occasions, I had to frantically hit the enter key (which is the pause key) to halt the movement of a crew member blindly going into view of a security camera or patrolling guard. I wish there was a single file formation that makes all crew members follow the path of the lead member. It would have made things *much* easier. All the backgrounds and scenery are all highly detailed and well done. Overall graphics aren't great, but it isn't too shaby either. There's only so much you can do in 2D. All the classic Star Trek sounds are there. The tricoders, phasers, transporting beam, etc. are all authentic. Data and Worf are both in the game (although I haven't gone far
enough to meet Worf yet) and are done by the actual actors (Brent Spiner and Michael Dorn). Dialog does get tedious at times which is why an option for no voice overs is a welcome option to use.