A mouse-driven starship command simulation, with a user interface known as LYCAR, and similar to the LCARS system from the TV show Star Trek: The Next Generation .
First of all you have create yourself as Fleet Commander and assign a mission, with previously adjusted Star System, Ships, Captains, and Aliens has objectives, which you must achieve to complete it. So the main gameplay lays in completing the missions where you control your starship using tactical, communication, and simulation skills. If you are successful, your commander will receive promotions and honors.
Due to the Interlocking Game System owners of Breach 2 can use this to play out the game's battles. Also, a Mission Editor is present, where you may create a mission choosing the Star System, Ships, and Aliens involved.
The thing I like most about Rules of Engagement is its customizability. In Rules of Engagement you can customize absolutely everything, from ship captains to aliens' races and missions. Also, there are detailed dossiers on a lot of alien races, as well as bios for all of your captains.
The customization isn't just about physical features and biographies, but you can also change the traits of the various aliens. You can make the races stupid and weak, or brilliant trigger-happy death machines, depending entirely on your whim. You can even edit the capabilities of your ships and captains.
Anyway, now for the story. You are a fleet commander for the Federated Worlds Armed Forces (FWAF), and you are at war with the United Democratic Planets (UDP). In your fighting you will encounter various alien races, all of which are hostile. You begin with a very nice title screen, where you have a number of choices. I hope at this point you have downloaded the manual and read at least part of it; otherwise you will be lost. So, you create a commander and choose a mission for him to command. Let's get this started!
The tactical screen is where you administer some searing laser/missile justice. Just remember, if you kill them and you're not supposed to, it's GAME OVER!
Now things get interesting. Look at the briefing and decide on a course of action. You fly one ship while the computer flies the rest, as per your orders. Use communications to give your other vessels their orders, and have some fun! Oh, and don't forget to read the briefing! Overall, due to the game's replayability and customizability, I give it a 4.
One of the most replayable games of all time, Rules of Engagement 1 is a strategic starship combat that could be integrated with tactical-level Breach 2. The interface, although logical, is dauntingly detailed. Those who take the time to scale the steep learning curve, however, will find their patience well rewarded with deep and challenging gameplay. Its sequel is an updated version that is even better than the original, with a campaign builder and integrates with strategic-level Breach 3. In all, two of the best starship command simulations ever released.
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