June 27, 2002
Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Rating Players Price
2/8/2002CodemastersPipeDream Interactive1-4$99.95

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Textures aren't going to win awards.
I can admit it I'm a trekkie. It doesn't matter which series you are talking about, I can list the main characters, and can probably remember most episodes. Even the new Enterprise series, despite the shit-awful intro song, deserves several viewings as it's proving to be a great series. Before Enterprise, however, was Star Trek Voyager, a series that seems to have the biggest love-hate relationship with fans. While the special effects are interesting and the crew varied some of the stories lack that Star Trek feel. But this preview isn't about the TV shows, this is a game, and a pretty good looking one at that.

Based on Star Trek Voyager Elite Force follows an original plot written with the approval of the TV show's creators. Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force sees the Federation ship and crew on a dramatic all-action mission that takes in time travel, alien attacks and an eerie space junkyard.

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Ahh... Voyager's bridge.
As the crew find themselves stranded within an uncharted area of space laden with abandoned spacecraft, the player controls the heroic leader of Voyager's Hazard Team assault squad. As the team are sent to investigate the abandoned craft, it's soon apparent that the spaceship junkyard is not as dead as it first appeared and as a series of familiar and new adversaries make their presence known, including an advance party from the evil Borg.

Even the crew list in the game is impressive as you will encounter senior staff including Captain Janeway, Commander Chakotay, Lt. Commander Tuvok, Lt. Torres, Ensign Paris, Ensign Kim, the Doctor, Seven of Nine (she will double sales alone), and Nelix. The Alpha Squad features lt. Foster, Ensign Munro, Crewman Chang, Crewman Biessman, Crewman Murphy, Crewman Chell, and Crewman Jurot. The Beta Squad comprises Crewman Oviedo, Crewman Lathrop, Crewman Odell, Crewman Csatlos, Crewman Jaworski, Crewman Nelson, and Crewman Laird.

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4-player split screen action.
While this game is mostly a First Person Shooter the developers have also aimed for an exploration element. Some of the levels are more about your puzzle solving skills while others are more about your jumping and discovering abilities. You will also have to interact with the non-playable characters to learn information about the missions at hand.

Features alone should ensure that this game keeps fans of the series happy. The voices have been provided by the real cast with Kate Mulgrew (Janeway), Tim Russ (Tuvok) and Robert Picard (The Doctor) have all providing exclusive audio tracks for the game. Sadly, the most exciting (or should that be stimulating) person in the TV series Jeri Ryan, who plays Seven of Nine, didn't take part in the recording sessions. The starship Voyager has been modelled on the TV show with real locations replicated in great detail. Even the holodeck is used for training and multi-player levels. Speaking of multi-player, Elite Force allows, through a multi-tap, 4 people to go head-to-head in the game.

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The Borg should be pretty tough.
Each member of Monroe's team has access to official Federation armaments, including Phasers and Tachyon Lasers, all of which boast special dual firing mechanisms. The Ensign can also equip his team with guns liberated from defeated alien races, effectively doubling the number of weapons at his disposal.

Well the PC version was received very well when it was released, and was often commented as the best Star Trek game to date, which given the number of them is a pretty good thing. Unfortunately, next to other next generation PS2 games the character models and texturing look well below par. Having said that Ozisoft announced in ealry June that both this game, and Soldier Of Fortune Gold, will have upgraded graphics engines for the PAL release fixing many of the glitches and slowdown that plagued the NTSC releease. Time will tell just how much has been achieved.

If the gameplay is solid enough, and there should certainly be some variety, then there is certainly potential here for Star Trek Voyageer: Elite Force to be a very enjoyable game. Expect an early August release here in Australia.