Stay Away Team
by Scott Jennings
(also known as Lum
I'm a Trekkie. I admit it. I even, sometimes,
enjoyed watching Star Trek Voyager. And as such, I've suffered
through some painfully godawful Trek games. I even tried to
like Birth of the Federation. But Star Trek Away Team sets
new lows in derivative schlock passed off as something that
should be fun at some point.
Start with the characters (a black Captain with a goatee
not named Sisko, a black Vulcan not named Tuvok, an human
with ritual facial tattoos not named Chakotay, and, worst
of all an annoying kid who is named Wesley), continue with
the setting (evil alien virus causes Star Fleet members to
conspire among themselves and mutiny for no apparent reason
- if you don't remember the cheesy Next Generation episode
this was stolen from, you're luckier than I) and end with
the gameplay (like Commandos, but with the strategy and fun
surgically removed). The AI of both your away team members
and the enemy is completely non-existent - enemy forces will
run blindly into ambushes, but that's balanced by your own
people not firing unless you right-click on the enemy repeatedly,
which makes most battles a Diablo-style clickfest, with your
forces repeatedly firing into walls, scenery, and the occasional
Klingon. The missions themselves are extremely easy and will
take you a couple of hours to complete, except for one which
is completely impossible, where you get to storm the Klingon
High Council with 5 guys, all of whom mutter about suicide
and death at various points in the mission. It's as pointless
and frustrating as it sounds, especially since one death on
your side equals a mission failed.
In case you haven't punished yourself enough, you can play
the same missions you breezed through in a weekend multi-player,
which is about as fun as it sounds. No deathmatch mode included,
of course, since that might have been slightly enjoyable.
On the plus side, the graphics are acceptable if not striking,
and it gave Brent Spiner and Michael Dorn a couple of paychecks
for voice acting work.
Overall, this game masquerades as X-COM meets Star Trek.
The comparison is an insult to both. Leave it on the shelf
next to Star Trek: New Worlds, and hope the dust wards off
Be sure to visit Scott's
site to read the inside scoop about what's going on in
the massively multiplayer gaming scene.