Gamers not familiar with the television show on which Star Trek: Deep Space Nine -- Dominion Wars is based, may be a bit puzzled since names of individual people, alien races, ships, political alliances, and other pertinent elements are used regularly without any real explanation. This gives some indication of the intended audience (fans of Star Trek and its many iterations in general) and, in turn, provides some idea of why it's not much fun.
"Trekkies" are a loyal bunch, guaranteeing that many will buy the computer game (or book or movie) simply for that reason, and with the dirge of unsatisfying games bearing the franchise label, Dominion Wars will quickly be just one more disappointment to pile on the ever-growing heap of space junk. The game enforces the question of why is it seemingly so hard to develop a solid Star Trek video game?
Dominion Wars is hampered first and foremost by the very odd and unsatisfying method of controlling your ships. Although the universe is presented in three fabulous dimensions, you can only travel through two of them. It's a situation comparable to being on a tiny day cruiser that pulls up next to a Carnival Cruise ocean behemoth -- the really fancy stuff is right there before your eyes, but you're not going to get any of it.
Obviously, creating a RTS game in three dimensions would be unbelievably complicated to design, let alone play, so perhaps the creators can be excused. But, teasing you by offering a look into three dimensions from a perspective behind your ship or fleet, and then permitting you to travel on only one plane, eliminates the potential excitement of real-time maneuvering.
The 20 missions provided for the solo player are linear, yet suffer from a lack of continuity. People who are killed in one scenario show up in the next. Although you can play from the perspective of either the Federation or the Dominion side, all missions have a similar feel to previous space-borne games and offer no areas to go "where no man has gone before."
The possibilities for excitement are fairly limited by the restrictions to basically direct flight and attack patterns of a few spaceships. Despite the large range of flight patterns and weapon configurations, combat can usually be won fairly easily by simply isolating ships and attacking them individually, assuming you can locate them all in time, especially without a clear view of the full space battlefield.
Gamers looking for an absorbing and challenging space strategy-combat game won't find much satisfaction in the constraints imposed by the missions of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine -- Dominion Wars. With no skirmish mode and limited strategic movement allowed the fleet of ships, there's simply not enough warp drive to please more than the most devoted Star Trek: Deep Space Nine fans.
Graphics: The ships and planets are satisfyingly detailed, and the movie-like quality is good in the short term. Camera angles are usually effective.
Sound: Sounds from the television show are decently reproduced, and the music is above average.
Enjoyment: The non-intuitive controls stop the game in its tracks. Often, three-key combinations are required to perform simple tasks, and the sheer number of controls to commit to memory make any sort of real time action difficult with no pause mode during combat. Linearity of the missions is hurt by the discontinuity of individuals who come back to life. It's like playing a bunch of disjointed scenarios.
Replay Value: Missions are too similar to each other to warrant a replay of most, and the linearity leaves little new to achieve during a replay. A bonus program, Star Trek: Starship Creator Warp II, allows you to design certain new ship types, but suffers from integration problems with Dominion Wars, and is useless in solo play.
People who downloaded Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Dominion Wars have also downloaded:
Star Trek: Starfleet Command 3, Star Trek: Armada 2, Star Trek: Armada, Star Trek: Bridge Commander, Star Trek: Legacy, Star Trek: New Worlds, Star Trek: Away Team, Star Trek: Starfleet Command 2 - Empires at War
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