Star Trek Legacy (PC): Good Trek – So So Game

The results of the Bethesda Software’s Star Trek: Legacy game are like the recent solstice. Depending on your perspective, it is either darkness or light. The game is one of the first official Trek video games in two years, and certainly the most anticipated. It is also the first Star Trek venue of any kind to feature performances by all five Trek captains (in the form of voice acting by Shatner, Stewart, Brooks, Mulgrew and Bakula). The question is what will Legacy’s legacy be with Star Trek fans and gamers? Is it darkness or light? Perhaps a bit of both.

Legacy is a great Trek experience
The Star Trek of Legacy provides much light. Compared with the best Star Trek episodes, Legacy is not lacking visually. The renders of the ships are often amazing, with lighting effects across starships that are often the best of all Star Trek games. The detailing of known ships shows a respect for the designs of Star Trek. The soundtrack by Jason Graves and Rod Abernethy rivals those of the films and enhance the visuals. The main title is unique to the videogame, yet familiar in that echoes the work of James Horner or Jerry Goldsmith by juxtaposing adventure music with beautiful lyricism. It is the kind of music enjoyable on its own, yet enhancing to the gaming experience. The music is inspiring.

Then there is the real audio bonus of the game, the featured voices of Scott Bakula, William Shatner, Patrick Stewart, Avery Brooks, and Kate Mulgrew. Hearing those icons is perhaps the reason Star Trek fans unfamiliar with gaming may purchase Legacy. There is nothing quite like being ordered around by Kate Mulgrew or William Shatner. Report! The Captains guide players through missions with narrative variety, all with the metastory of seeing the beginnings of Starfleet to its 24th Century complexity. While it is great to hear the Captains, it would have been nice to see them as well. While costs and logistics might be prohibitive for video, many previous Trek games have created computer characters to go along with the voices and it would have been something amazing to see these favorite characters again. Yet, there is much to praise about D.C. Fontana’s narrative and characters. The captains are true to their television versions both with performance by the actors and through their written words and deeds. For instance, Bakula and Fontana present an Archer with enthusiasm for space and focus on his role forming the early Starfleet and Federation. All the actors make it look easy returning to their famous roles. Again, these great performance reiterate the need to see the characters. Star Trek is more than mere space battles, and although the game includes scanning planets and transporting Starfleet personnel, it would be nice to see more than the vistas of space or ships.


Legacy looks and sounds great

But what about the gaming?
While there is much about Legacy to applaud regarding its Star Trek qualities, the real purpose of videogames is to enjoy the game. To be challenged, yet to have fun. In this sense Legacy is disappointing. Game play is difficult for new gamers and limiting for experienced players. It takes a great deal of time to learn the controls, and with that, the ships do not move easily or smoothly. Frustration is the companion for Legacy. It is good for new gamers that Legacy provides multifarious hints and tips because they are definitely needed. Experienced gamers may find this limiting, wishing for better player control of the starships. The narratives of the campaigns are interesting and Bethesda has duplicated technical details with aplomb, yet it is frustrating to watch starships experience the bombarding by Romulan vessels while trying to figure out how to get the starships moving correctly. Choices of control buttons are also problematic. A example of this is that the “G” key is used to bring up the option to scan a planet or utilize the transporter. The key has to pressed while pressing the movement keys to select whether the ship is to scan, hail, transport, or utilize the tractor beam. Touch the buttons too lightly, the ship starts moving when the player doesn’t want the ship to move. Maybe Lt. Arex could play this game better. With this regard, the game cannot decide whether to be starship simulator or Star Trek adventure. If web forums are indications, this frustration is not limited to new gamers.

  
Legacy’s controls are clumsy 

Other discussions of Legacy are replete with similar concerns. GameSpot.com’s Jason Ocampo writes that “Clumsy controls and camera scheme create a steep learning curve; frustrating mission design and lack of in-mission save; crippling bugs and multiplayer doesn’t work.“ IGN.com writes that “The first and most frequently occurring aggravation is the control scheme, both in terms of managing your own ship and in terms of giving orders to the rest of your fleet.” One patch for the PC version is already available, with hopes for more changes from those at the forums of Bethesda. When standing on the opposite side of the world, there is darkness where others see light.

The Star Trek videogames experience the same challenge as the Star Trek feature films. How do the videogames or feature films appeal to the fans, yet attract the wider audience needed for real success? The appeal to fans is there with quality narratives, visuals, soundtrack, and the five captains. The ability to control starships from all Star Trek eras offers a historical experience often lacking with other Star Trek games. The appeal to the wider audience, here experienced gamers, is not likely. Legacy is probably best for those very familiar with both gaming and Trek. These are not mutually exclusive categories, yet Legacy does not appeal to those unfamiliar with videogaming or unfamiliar with Star Trek. The irony here is that the game is fun to watch, not fun to play. Star Trek should always be fun.


great to look at, shame about the gameplay

Professor John Tenuto has contributed to TrekMovie.com before and now joins us as our Licensed Products Editor (Toys, Games, Comics, Books, etc) . Expect more from John on the cultural phenom that is Star Trek.

All 3 new Trek Games available at Amazon… 

Encounters
Tactical Assault
Legacy

Star Trek Encounters

 

Star Trek: Tactical Assault

 Star Trek: Legacy

PS2

PSP & DS

PC & XBox 360 

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Sean4000

I have to agree with everything they are saying. The textures are dead on for the movie VFX but you MUST have a 7950GX2 or GeForce 8000 series card if you use nVIDIA.

I still prefer Armada II for replay value going on 6 years strong.

I’d like to see a new Trek FPS. They’re the only ones I can get into.

Magic_Al

Would a Star Trek RPG of the quality of Knights of the Old Republic be too much to hope for? And please, publishers, stop greenlighting projects with set-in-stone ship dates. Good stuff gets done when it’s done.

Scott

As a sometime videogame player, I’ve been hankering for a Trek (hopefully TOS) game for years. I’d love to see something that is similar to the James Bond games or the Medal of Honor games, sort of a FPS game, but with room for ship action as well. I’d love to design a character, or play as an iconic Trek character, go on missions, beam down to planets, meet and fight aliens, dope out the storyline…and play on a console. The kids got a Wii for Christmas, and a game like that would be a blast on the Wii. Ah well….

Scott B.

Dave

The biggest pitfall with Legacy to me is the story. It completely throws out Trek canon in favor of crow baring their story into the Trek universe. No spoilers so that others play isn’t ruined. But when I got to the main plot point I removed the game from the hard drive. Just can’t stomach bad plotting.

Dave

Encounters is a better game with the exception of only being able to auto save at the completion of an episode instead of every time you complete a somewhat difficult task. If you stop in the middle of an episode you start over from the beginning of that episode all over again. Serious game design flaw.

Shatner promotes “Star Trek: Legacy” on G4… just watch:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vayBeGGqd2c

Kevin

Buy Encounters because it is the same as Legacy, but only requires a PS2 to play on. Only buy Legacy if you already have a computer with the high end PCI express graphics card. Otherwise, you may spend at least $1000.00 to build or buy a new PC.

Id also like to point out that Legacy for the X-box 360 is a better game according to review site gamespot.

This game is a complete disappointment. It was rushed to be released before xmas and it’s rather unfinished. There are so many problems, bugs, and unfinished features, that the game is ridiculous.

For christ’s sake, there are sections in the game’s files that are sloppy copy and pastes from old Armada files. They were too lazy to clean up the files inside the game!

Add to the list:

False advertising (promising features and advertising content that is not in the game)
Deceptive System specs (the game does not run well on computers that exceed the min. requirements).

And to top it all off, the pc version is badly ported from xbox live. If you play the game with an xbox 360 controller connected to your pc, you have a distinct advantage over other gamers, especially because you do not experience the severe mouse lag like you do when using a keyboard and mouse.

Multiplayer rarely works at all, even with xbox live.

Bottom line: This game is a strong reason why consumers need protections when buying software. Any other product would be recalled if it were released to the public in this condition. And, with any other product, we could at least get a refund when the manufacturer screws us over.

This is a terrible day for Trek gamers.

Lukas

SIGH So it seems the only 2 Trek games are still BOTF and A Final Unity BTW PLEASE HELP ME has anyone gotten Armada 1 to work with Windows XP or Dominion Wars or A Final Unity for that Matter

Lukas

Another thing Magic Al your dream is going to come true in a few years STAR TREK ONLINE!!!!!!!!! Please help me with those games guys.

SolFlyer

The 360 version is a true pleasure, and most people on the Xbox forums seem to agree. While it is certainly not a perfect game, it is a lot of fun.

Remember those 2 second clips you would see during the shows, and then you get to see the bridge crew leaning as the ship was rocked by enemy fire? Now you get to see the space battles in all their glory! Sweet!

I have not played the PC version, but the 360 controls work well(there is still a bit of a learning curve). Maybe the port job wasn’t great but the game was originally designed for the consoles.

Robert Bernardo

Chuck wrote:

> Id also like to point out that Legacy for the X-box 360 is a better game
> according to review site gamespot.

Yes, I am disappointed that this review didn’t say anything about the game for the XBox 360, because that is the version I would get.

well it does note this is for the PC version and Behesda didnt send us a XBox…I guess I could ask for one. Yes the word is that the XBox 360 doesnt have many of the issues. In future we will try and cover all platforms, but hey we are still the only ‘Trek’ site that reviewed the game at all. And this whole licensed products thing is something we are just getting into. I am still guaging the interest in having this site cover tre products in addtion to the TV and film projects. If someone with writing experience wants to volunteer to write a xbox360 review of legacy let me know.

Dave

Re #11 – Armada works fine on XP. Never had an issue with it or any Trek game running on that platform.

Laserlover2254

It’s time. :-)

I first read about this game in the Febuary Game Informer. The general message appeared to : Trekkies, fear not! After NOT having a new game, two are finally coming out! The emphasis was partacularly on how trekkies are going to be happy by Legacy when it comes out (it was a Legacy article, I believe).

It shouldn’t be a matter of having a new Trek Game, it should be a matter of having a GOOD Trek game that works well, and at least fits TOS continuity.

Let’s see what this game has.

Concept: Fine. Not surprising, considering the anthology’s 40th anniversary,and the desire to make something based on that.
Although, it’s rather problematic. Who likes ALL of the series and films, anyway? C

Sound: Meh, okay. Not fantastic, however. C+

Races: Not much to it. You get the original Triad, and the Borg, kind of a dull decision, since the Borg are never very well depicted in the game with a few small exceptions. C+

Ship Selection: Strange. There’s not just some made up ships, developed for the game, there’s FASA ships, like the Romulan V-30 Cruiser. And there’s even a ship produced by the Mastercom Datacenter in here, the Akula class Perimeter Action Ship. I wouldn’t say that it adds much to the game, but it’s kind of interesting. Also Where’s the F***ing Daedalus? All this Enterprise crap and no Daedalus? Dammit! C-

Missions: Not exciting. They’re usually about skirmishes to the death or somesuch. And then there’s the crossover. THe problem is, Star Trek isn’t like Middle Earth, where everything, or much of everything is created by one man, or duos or trios. It a lot of different stuff, canon and non-canon, created by different people . It’s not a single, solidly fleshed-out thing. And despite D.C Fontana’s good writing skills, I don’t think that she wrote a very good one here.

(D.C. I did like your TOS work, if you ever read this. I just think that the main story of the game is kind of crap)

D

A Final Note:

How does four ships constitute a fleet and not just a squadron? Do these guys (other than D.C…) have much of a real education about militaries and such? D

Overall: D

Ill Happily waited 1 mort year if don well, so am of to play Star Trek: Elite Force 1/ 2 and Starfleet Command 2 /3 again

senya cartel

I plan on buying the PS2 version regardless of the negative review – two months from now when they are abundant at EB Games used.

I’m a longtime fan of Armada II and to a slightly lesser extent, Elite Force. Graphics are less important than game play and a challenge. Intuitive controls are a must — I’ve always thought Armada had a pretty good balance.

Armada was from Activision — does Bethesda Software have anything to do with Activision…probably not, right?

Picardsucks

A day in the life of the XBOX360 version… bought it , played it for two hours, extremely disappointed, put in on ebay, sold it.

Anthony your a big shooter with this site , As a loyal poster, XBox 360 owner and someone who was singing Xbox’s praises for high Def remastered Trek at Xbox Live Marketplace, I’m insulted Microsoft didn’t send you a 360, you shouldn’t have to ask them. How many times has XBox been mentioned on the site??? I’ll bet they sent one to Harry Knowles.

The Good… Ship renderings even better than static screenshots we’ve seen. Cool factor (come on: starship battle with near movie quality fx in high def, ) Shatner, Brooks and Stewart’s voice telling you to blow things up. Very cool extra animated movie tying V’ger and the Borg together (HMM.. somebody read The Return)

The Bad…. Clumsy controls, almost impossible to control…extremmmmmely frusturating…Can’t save game during a mission meaning you always have to start over from the very beginning, gets boring and overly time consuming

The Ugly…… Redundant factor, the first five minutes of the game are the same as the next. Endlessly the same (different faces) but combat essentially the same and gets very lame very fast. Come on Bethesday you guys made Elder Scrolls Oblivion can’t you do better…

How about Star Fleet Battles?????? This would be a perfect online strategy game. Who cares about graphics I just want a fun intelligent game to play with fellow Trekkers. Plain Jane Original Series Starfleet Battles on a hex map with cgi instead of painted lead minitures.

The 360 version handles extremely well.

Sean4000

It’s also kind of cool that Bethesda Softworks is located on 1370 Picard Drive, in Maryland.

I’m really hoping for a patch for the PC version. If they do not release a patch to fix many of the problems, then I would really appreciate it if this site writes a follow up article on Bethesda’s and Maddoc’s abandonment of this game.

It has potential, but, as released now on pc, it is full of bugs, making it a defective product.

James Heaney (fka Wowbagger)

Well, if Legacy’s a bit of a disappointment, there’s always Bridge Commander.

Honestly, with all the mods out for BC, I can’t envision myself picking up Legacy if there’s any sort of difficulty with it.

Biodredd

Hmmm… V’ger… the Borg… what whould the obvious tie be there….

SPOILER ALERT! ST:ENCOUNTERS!

while anything is possible in the mind of a writer… the basic story of V’ger wanting to find the Creator and in its frustration creates the Borg? Hmm.. lame? EXTREMLY!

When V’ger left the Machine planet it headed straight for Earth to find the Creator. It digitally stored anything in its path. How could the machine get frustrated? It knew where it was going. It just took time. So in that time, it created the Borg? LAME!

senya cartel

I’ve never understood the obsession some Trek fans and even published authors have over connecting V’Ger with the Borg.

The universe is big enough that the two not be connected. In fact, I think it is more illogical that they should be connected than logical. The facts that favor the idea are (1) that V’Ger is a machine, (2) V’ger’s “recording beam” looks similar to the Borg, and (3) the machine world shown in TMP looks a little “Borg-like” in retrospect.

But V’Ger and the Borg really have nothing in common. One is a machine becoming a man and one is a race of men trying to become a single machine. Reference First Contact and the episode BBW, the Borg don’t assimilate machines. “They are obsolete in the new order,” and they are, “flawed creations of a flawed species.”

If you really want to connect V’Ger to something else, it would be more logical if V’Ger were somehow intercepted on its journey by the same race of people that created “Tan-Ru”, the advanced probe that collided with and repaired NOMAD. V’Ger and NOMAD had far more in common than V’Ger with the Borg.

ety3

Is the Dominion in this game? I don’t see how you can have a starship combat game that includes the DS9-era without the Dominion.

If is doesn’t, maybe there’ll be an expansion pack?

Picardsucks

#27… Come to think of it I don’t believe the Dominion are in this. I didn’t get that far before I got fed up and sold it. I believe the only enemies are Rom, Klin, and Borg. I agree the Dominion were the most formidable foe of the Next Gen era and it is lame that DS9 (a really great show) gets the shaft.

BlackBirdCD

And here are the two facts that should’ve told you this was going to be mediocre at best:

1.) “Star Trek Videogame”
2.) Bethesda Softworks

Playseverything

It is frustrating to have Romulan ships blasting you as your learning the game. The controls are a definate learning curve. However, I like repetitive games(Serious sam,doom,blood(should I say more?)) and I’ll prolly play this thru. “Its not that bad”. I do play it on the 360. Sounds like the PC version is not so good. I do like it way better then “Shattered Universe”. Talk about a lame game. I played it to the end too. :-) I give games a chance then throw them out. So far for me this is a typical game and I just have to learn it to have fun with it. There is always frustrations in video games. GET OVER IT!
PS. Everyone raved about Gears of war. Pfffft, I thought I was playing a souped up version of Prey,Doom3 blah blah blah. I’ll prolly play it thru tho cause I love playing games period. I just got done playing Lego starwars. heheh.

Matt from WA

Yes, I agree it is frustrating to have Romulan ships blasting you as you’re learning the controls. But satisfying when your skills improve and revenge is at hand : ) I remember Star Fleet Command had action tutorials which you could complete to improve your skills without sacrificing your own virtual life (targets were asteroids and decommissioned freighters). At a price of AUD89.95, ST:L could have included a second DVD with this sort of thing (and a lot more), and less of the bugs.

However, on the whole I’m happy with the skirmishes and gradually getting used to the controls (I use a combination of Logitech joystick, keyboard and mouse). I can’t get past the third episode of the campaign though, because the G-key (‘command console’) function doesn’t work for me – I press and hold G while an object is in the crosshairs and nothing at all happens. Anybody else have this problem?

marc01

the legacy game isn’t as good as i’d hoped it would be, the controls are clumsey and it is impossible for the ship keep a locked target, it is sometimes figety to be nice. all round an ok game with the story line going to 50% of the total score of the game, 20% goes to controls and 30% going to graphics, that occasionally drop low in standards for a
new(ish) game.