Star Trek: Starship Creator Warp II encompasses both design and tactical combat. You begin with a standard ship, one of seven provided, and redesign it using various parts and attachments. Once completed, use the rebuilt ship to perform various missions and gain money for improvements or buy more ships and create a battle group.
In addition to the 34 missions included, the CD-ROM includes a mission creator that allows nearly infinite variation to the missions. Each mission, when successfully completed, rewards you with a certain amount of money and the missions get harder (and are worth considerably more money) as you progress. Some of the later missions are considerably easier if you have more than one ship and, in fact, some seem impossible without a second ship (or more).
Star Trek: Starship Creator Warp II offers seven basic vessels. Six are Starfleet class (Galaxy, Constitution, Intrepid, Sovereign, Akira or Defiant) and the other is the Klingon B'rel class. Each vessel has its own strengths and weaknesses.
For instance, the Defiant is a combat vessel as is the B'rel, while the Galaxy class is more of an all-around vessel with ample use in science and diplomatic-related missions. But, in the end, it really doesn't matter which class you choose since it really boils down to how you use what you've got and the crew manning the vessel.
A variety of crewmembers are assembled for your pleasure, including Captain Picard, Tom Paris and Harry Kim of the Voyager. Each crewmember has a short bio as well as statistics ranging from skills to what percentile they graduated at in Starfleet Academy.
You can even put yourself in the crew provided you have a scanned photograph of yourself. Additionally, you can choose which branch of Starfleet you'd like to be in from the maroon of command to the gold of security.
The missions can be run in either real-time (a boring aspect in earlier missions where not much goes on but absolutely essential in the later missions) or a faster mode. This option can be toggled during the mission so that getting to the location of the action doesn't take forever but, at the same time, lets you to deal with threats and battles in a way that gives you time to think.
Many options are open to you during missions and range from performing various sorts of scans to asking other crewmembers their opinion of the situation. The missions are varied and each has specific objectives such as "Scan this planet for life forms. Do not attempt to make contact, simply report back with your findings." Another example: "Take this ship on a shakedown cruise. Fix any problems the ship may have. Make port at planet X."
The mission creator features drag-and-drop editing and seems deceptively simple at first but includes a great many steps to remember when creating your own missions. It doesn't really help that the instructions for using the game are printed on an immense awkward, foldout poster. To really get use from it, you have to find a wall big enough to pin it on, then keep running from it to your computer and back again. This aspect certainly detracts from gameplay.
The game itself is fun to play with a variety of missions: easy, average, hard and nearly impossible. The ability to make your own missions is wonderful but the execution of creating those missions may make you more frustrated than inspired, at least at first.
The game is also backward compatible with the original Star Trek: Starship Creator. An added bonus is that ships can be exported from this program to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine -- Dominion Wars, an aspect that gives it a great deal more versatility and playing power than is already built in.
Excellent graphics that are reminiscent of an episode of one of the TV shows. The ships can be printed out on a color printer with both exterior and cut-away views.
Sound is decent but it tends to be very loud (fortunately an option to turn it down is available). The computer voice is provided by Majel Barrett-Roddenbury.
Very enjoyable though the game requires a steep learning curve to master the mission creator, especially at the beginning.
Unlimited self-built missions and backward compatibility with three previously released games add significantly to gameplay. Also, the export of ships to the upcoming (c.2000) Star Trek: Deep Space Nine -- Dominion Wars augers well for continuous play.
People who downloaded Star Trek: Starship Creator Warp 2 have also downloaded:
Star Trek: Starship Creator Deluxe, Star Trek: Bridge Commander, Star Trek: Starfleet Command, Star Trek: Starfleet Command 2 - Empires at War, Star Trek: Starfleet Command 3, Star Trek: Starfleet Command 2 - Orion Pirates, Star Trek: Starfleet Academy, Star Trek: Armada 2
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