A fun strategy game that will keep you entertained for a few hours.
In this game you play as one of 6 races in the star trek universe. The federation, klingon, romulan, cardassian, breen or dominion. The games campaign mode has no story and there is just one map so it is more of an instant action game. You start with one home system depending on your race. The system has an advanced starbase and a mining or research facility also depending on your race. You start with a fleet comprised of 1 cruiser vessel.
The main goal is to capture and secure other systems in a turn based strategy screen. When battles occur you can choose to pilot a ship yourself though this makes the battles take up to 5 minutes where as the simulation mode usually takes about 1 minute. In the arcade mode where you pilot a ship you can reroute power from shields to weapons and visa versa and from sensors to engines and visa versa. In simulation mode your options are extremely limited to just switching between offensive and defensive mode. Instant is what it says on the tin and give you no options and instantly shows the outcome of the battle though this usually goes in the favour of the enemy when using this option.
There are only 5 stations in the game. Starbase, Advanced Starbase, Defense platforms, Mining Station, Research Station. Each Race has 3 ships, a scout, cruiser and dreadnaught. The federation have the defiant, intrepid and galaxy class ships and the other race's follow with familiar ships like the bird of prey and romulan warbird. The dominion are the most powerful race in the game as they are situated in a good position, have the most powerful ships and the best technologies. Also the only way to get to there home system is through the deepspace nine station which is the most powerful station/ship in the game and is closest to the dominion.
The cardassians are perhaps the hardest to play as because of there terrible technologies though the federation come close as they are stuck with in the middle surrounded on all sides.
The three difficulties are as follows. Easy: start with 200m(200 million dilithium) and no fog. Medium: start with 150m and fog of war. Hard: start with 100m and fog of war. The ai's difficulty is also changed. In total there are 32 systems in the game and 18 ships. You can only have a total of 3 fleets at a time and each fleet can only comprise of 7 ships. To build a new fleet you must create an admiral. This created a fleet with one cruiser class ship in it. Each admiral has there own special abilities and each race has there own amount of admirals. For example the klingons have 2 attack admirals and 1 movement admiral where as the federation have one of each. A defence admiral, movement admiral, and attack admiral.
Attack admirals start with +10% attack, Defence admirals get +10% defence and movement admirals get 2 moves per turn. Admirals gain experience from winning offensive battles and gain a certain amount of experience depending on the ship/stations destroyed. Once reaching a certain amount of experience the admiral levels up increasing his bonus stats. Eventually all admirals get more then one move per turn. When one of your fleets is destroyed that admiral's experience is also wiped.
Each race also has 3 special weapons that charge depending on how many research stations you have. Once the special weapons is charged you can choose one of the 3 to build. These include weapons like the genesis device, a healing device, and a warp disruptor. The genesis device causes 50% damage to all ships and stations in one system. The healing device heals all of your ships and stations in a system. The warp disruptor severs all links to your system from neutral and enemy systems for a certain amount of time.
There are many technologies in the game and I will list as many as I can remember: Ship speed (ships move faster in battles),
Ship handling (ships handle more effectively in battles),
Ship cost (reduces the cost of constructing all ships),
Mining efficiency (increases the amount each mining facility give you per turn)
Station cost (reduces the cost of constructing all stations),
Primary weapon damage (Increase the damage of all phasers and disruptors),
Secondary weapon damage (increases the damage of all secondary weapons, torpedoes),
Primary fire rate (increases the firing rate of phasers and disruptors),
Secondary fire rate (Increase the fire rate of all torpedoes and plasma weapons),
Admiral cost (reduces the cost of admirals),
Research efficiency (increases the speed each research station researches new technologies and creates new special weapons),
Ship hull (increases the maximum hit points of a ship),
Shields (increases the power of shields on ships)
Each technology has 3 levels of research and each is more powerful then the previous. Each race has 5 different technologies that can be researched during the game.
Upon entering neutral systems you will encounter indigenous species such as the borg, xindi and ferengi. Each of these species only have 2 ships each. The Borg have the scout sphere and tactical scout cube. They did not put the larger ships into the game as they would require fleets to take each ship down.
Each system in the game has a star rating out of 4. The higher the star rating the more income that system gives you per turn. There is also a skirmish mode that allows you to enter the arcade mode of a battle straight away and allows you to select the sides and ships. There are also ships in this mode that cannot be used in the campaign mode. This mode allows you to drive Borg, Xindi and 3 new federation ships (the oberth, miranda and sovereign class).
There are 3 unlockable maps and 3 unlockable ship sets (the ones previously stated that were only playable in the arcade skirmish mode)
Completing a campaign game on any difficulty with any amount of opponents unlocks the following depending on the race you play as.
Cardassian - Borg unicomplex skirmish map
Breen - Sha Ka Ree skirmish map (the "god" system from star trek V)
Romulans - Talos IV skirmish map (Planet from "The Cage/Menagerie" episodes of the original series)
Dominion - Xindi fleet set
Federation - Federation 2 fleet set (oberth, miranda, soveriegn)
Klingon - Borg fleet set.
The only downside to this game is the fact that there are only 2 game modes and one campaign map. though the 2 special buildings (deepspace nine, argus array) add a little more strategy to the game.
also the fact that there is no multiplayer mode is a big downside as this game would be great with hotseat multiplayer. It would be great to have 6 player battles using one controller even if you could only use the simulation mode in battles. Also three ships per race is a big let down as five ships per race would be much more acceptable.
I would recommend anyone buy this game but If you are going to get it remember its a budget game (£15 when first released) so don't expect it to give you hours of play time and I would say get it on the playstation 2 as the only thing the wii adds is a motion sensor pointer and the wii version is more costly. This deserves 4/5 because the price was so low when they first released it and for that price I can't give any less.