It's obvious that a lot of work went into the development of Star Legions in the areas of background, a menu-driven control system and mission objectives development. Unfortunately, the game falls flat because of the lack of development of important features such as realistic combat or troop availability, the challenge factor of the aforementioned missions, quality assurance control to alleviate random computer crashes and a force field full of other minor complaints. For most war gamers, the fact that it is extremely difficult to lose missions or be severely challenged when executing your (limited-by-design) strategies will not be welcome news. That limited strategy consists of implementing the same plan (with slight variations due to the troop availability factor) regardless of what level mission you're playing: basically, send in the Shock Troops (limited to four cohorts per Legion) to soften up an area for the follow up dropship incursion of the Warrior cohorts (limited to six per Legion). Cohorts are units made up of a thousand soldiers. With reinforcements nearly always available to the Krellan invaders, most battles eventually evolve into a rather anti-climatic, even boring at times, fight-to-the-death attrition exercise with the Krellan's almost always victorious. Even more disappointing, is that manpower losses suffered by your Legions, no matter how small or massive, doesn't affect the recovery rate between missions whatsoever (even though the manual says differently). In fact, all Legion forces, both Shock Troops and Warriors, are back at full strength for the next mission as well as any ship that sustains damage. With that elementary oversight in mind, "damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead" should be the war cry of any Krellan force.
If the actual strategic game play isn't so good, then the intensive menu control system and interface make up for it, right? Wrong. The game is plagued by militaris interruptis as random crashes and lockups caused by a myriad of seemingly innocuous reasons (e.g., mouse click on the wrong part of a menu) seem to be programmed in since it happens so often. Saves are recommended at very regular intervals because it is possible to lose all your hard earned gains by one of these crashes (well, it is alternate means of losing for a change). To advance your character's rank from level to level, you need to maintain a minimum success rating of a little over 70% for five missions -- the crash sequences can negate that and plunk you back at the beginning of your quest for a raise. There is no impact on your mission from the varied planet environments and the program begrudgingly (if at all) penalizes you for anything short of losing a city or dropship and even then it seems of little consequence. In summary, there is lamentably little to recommend this game for the serious war gamer or science fiction fan. Offensive and defensive tactics are extremely simple and limited and even the realtime aspect (no turns) is no challenge because of the generous time limits imposed. Recommend you steer your starship somewhere else for some challenging action.
Graphics: Nothing spectacular. A little fuzzy and blotchy in places.
Sound: Even with voice (only works with a SoundBlaster card), the sound quality is pretty bad. Voices are muffled and indistinct at times.
Enjoyment: Any prolonged play will reveal the game's weaknesses fairly quickly and the suspense factor is suspended by the easily obtainable winning strategies. Sifting through dozens and dozens of menus is fairly simple but not overly exhilarating.
Replay Value: Plenty of missions but a lukewarm feeling for wanting to play them all.
Star Legions is the third installment in the Star Fleet gaming universe. Star Legions is much narrower in focus than its predecessors, though; you are charged with managing the planetary invasion forces of the Krellan Empire against the "evil" (good?) United Galactic Alliance. The result is a bit like playing Empire in a sci-fi environment.
Success in the initial invasions means promotions, personal honors, and even greater armies to command in future campaigns.
How to run this game on modern Windows PC?
People who downloaded Star Legions (a.k.a. Krellan Commander) have also downloaded:
Star Fleet 2: Krellan Commander, Star Fleet 1: The War Begins, Star Lords, Star Control 2, Star Control 1, Star Trek: TNG: Birth of the Federation, Siege, Space Conquest
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