If you're looking for a fix after watching the final episode of Star Trek: Voyager, your search is over: Activision has released a worthy shooter based on the syndicated television series. Quake III lovers will be ecstatic about Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force since it uses the same engine -- think of it as Quake in the Star Trek universe. The game lets you feel as if you're actually on Voyager itself, with every little detail, from the way the ship looks to the way enemies attack you.
You begin the first level in the dark and creepy halls of a Borg cube. The Borg look terrifying and, just as in the television series, they go down when you shoot them -- only for a minute, though, before they adapt to your weapons -- and then you'd better start running. As all persevering gamers will discover, however, passing the first level is simply a prologue to the actual start of the game, similar to the opening sequence on the show.
Why, though, couldn't the designers get the crew of Voyager right? They almost look like their real-life counterparts but not exactly -- their appearances look just a little off. Fortunately, the voices are correct and, to the game's credit, it uses the real actors from the show for voiceovers. Capt. Janeway commands you in that familiar nasal-tone, Tuvok sounds like his logical-self, and the doctor is as annoying as usual.
Since it's powered by the Quake III engine, Voyager's gameplay will be immediately familiar to fans of id's game with its identical controls. While those used to the Quake series will have no problems getting into Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force, novice players may take a bit longer to build up proficiency.
With a game filled with interesting environments and a riveting storyline, one would think it would be difficult to put down, but that's not necessarily the case here. The single-player mode, though fun, is too short and you'll beam the game up to a shelf in a matter of days (most will be able to finish it in a weekend).
Yet the game's replay value is bolstered by its multiplayer modes, where you can select from the entire cast of the Voyager crew and battle online. Despite its short nature, Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force should be given a chance since the enjoyment level is high. As the Borg are so fond of saying: "Resistance is futile."
Graphics: The graphics are very attractive and could be a selling point. From the moment you step onto the bridge, you feel as if you are actually watching the television series and the Borg cube looks really creepy. Characters almost look like their real-life counterparts but not exactly. For example, Torres' face just doesn't look right with the forehead just a bit too high and smaller than on the TV show. Mostly, though, graphics are sharp and explosions scream Star Trek.
Sound: The sound is excellent with phaser blasts, warp effects and even transporting noises spot on. The best feature, though, is the real-life actors who lend voices to the game to give it that extra Star Trek: Voyager feel. The familiar nasal tones of Capt. Kathryn Janeway at the helm or Tuvok offering his logical insight give the game a boost. Overall, the sound will blow you away.
Enjoyment: Although short, it's still very enjoyable. Like any other Star Trek episode, the story is great and the characters are always interesting and you'll be sucked into the story to find out what happens next. The real enjoyment comes from playing multiplayer, where you can select from any of your favorite characters and do battle against your friends or multiple players online in a variety of death matches. Because of the Quake III engine, deathmatch gameplay is much the same as in that game with nothing really new.
Replay Value: Single player mission is too short to sustain solo play for long. Playing against others online in a huge frag-fest is mandatory to extending the game's replay appeal.
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Star Trek: Elite Force 2, Star Trek: Bridge Commander, Star Trek: Armada, Star Trek: Armada 2, Star Trek: Starfleet Command 3, Star Trek: Generations, Star Trek: Legacy, Star Trek: Away Team
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