Star Trek: Shattered Universe - Review
|21/5/2004||Take Two||StarSphere Int.||1||G||Medium|
I guess we can be grateful that Global Star Software has decided to even finish Star Trek: Shattered Universe and release it. The game was originally announced at E3 in 2001, and scheduled for release late that year before being placed in limbo due to Interplay's poor financial situation. Although the game looked great three years ago, it certainly looks dated now. Still, Star Trek fans have always been playing poor games, and Star Trek: Shattered Universe has potential for several reasons. Firstly, it has an interesting story.
|Attacking the Enterprise.|
In the time frame immediately following Star Trek VI, Captain Sulu and the crew of the USS Excelsior fight for their survival when they are thrust into a dangerous "Mirror" universe. This is a high-intensity space combat action as you pilot agile single-pilot fighters in a bizarre and twisted universe where the Federation is an evil, power-hungry Empire and the Prime Directive is "Dominate and Crush!". A hunted ship, the Excelsior and her new compliment of one-man fighters will battle former friends and foes alike in a changed reality where everything once familiar has now become a dark reflection of its true self. Their only hope of escape lies at the end of a perilous journey across a hostile galaxy.
Star Trek: Shattered Universe is a massive single-player game which is made up of 19 unique and varied missions. You will pilot newly created agile single pilot fighters including Federation fighters, the Klingon Bird of Prey, as well as Vulcan, Romulan and Tholian fighters. During the game you will encounter well known "Star Trek" races such as the Klingons, Romulans, Vulcans, Tholians, and Gorns, plus the newly created Shakurians, each of whom can either help or hinder the Excelsior from reaching it's ultimate goal.
All is not well with this game though. The battles are pretty dull. Hold down the trigger, blow up the enemies and you'll probably win the level. Sure you may blow up a few times in the process, but there really is little strategy to be employed during the levels. Also disappointing is the lack of Star Trek detail in the game. Anyone who has one of the Star Trek Special Edition DVD's will know how much information is available, surely some database ragarding the ships and species may have opened the game to a larger audience.
Graphics in Star Trek: Shattered Universe are well below the PS2's best. When this game was first announced and schedule for release around a year after the PS2 came out the graphics were quite nice to look at. Three years later and they are little better then a slightly high resolution PSOne title, albeit with some nice backgrounds. The texturing is quite dull, however the lighting effects can be pretty nice. Unfortunately, the cut-scenes look cheap - either they were rushed into the game, or haven't been touched since early development and postponement of the title. Hell, I would have preferred FMV cut-scenes to this low resolution, low quality crap.
|Using the phasers.|
One thing that really disappointed me about Star Trek: Shattered Universe was the lack of interested in the voices of Walter Koenig and George Takei. The dialogue is very stiff and poorly scripted. The music is adequately scored and the sound effects are your typical laser blasts and explosions. It's not going to win any awards, that's for sure, but it is good enough.
|The shields are holding... just.|
Unless you're a space shooter or Star Trek fan like myself it's hard to see anyone getting too much enjoyment out of this title. The production values are extremely low, and most casual gamers would be better off with the far superior space shooter, Battlestar Galactica or land based shooter Battle Engine Aquila. Hell even pick up PSOne game Colony Wars over this game. Only recommended for Star Trek fans.
Review By: David Warner
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|GRAPHICS||Only slightly better the PSOne graphics, very average cut-scenes.||45%|
|SOUND||Two real voice actors are there, but they sound quite bored sadly.||60%|
|GAMEPLAY||Still the best driving experience, but still no in-game car damage.||55%|
|VALUE||With a low retail of $AU49.95 this is probably good value for fans.||70%|
|OVERALL||Star Trek: Shattered Universe was never going to be a AAA title, problem is it wouldn't have been even on the PSOne. The poor visuals and often dull gameplay make this a game strictly for the Star Trek fans, even at the budget price.||55%|