Previews

Star Trek: Legacy

Shatner! Stewart! Brooks! Mulgrew! Bakula! Five captains united for the first time in the history of the Star Trek franchise!

Had this been a press release, that's exactly how I would have started it. In fact, I may just have left it at that, because let's face it, the idea of having the voice talents of the five major Star Trek captains under one roof would be enough to sell this game to even the most tepidly enthusiastic of Trekkies.

I wouldn't even have to mention Legacy's epic space combat battles, the potentially mesmerising era-spanning plot or the stupefying collection of Starships just waiting to be kicked into warp 19 (it's OK, I'm exaggerating for effect) and sent into battle against alien races. Neither would I have to mention the fact that I'd spent several hours in an intimate clinch with the latest code.

Zoom

Of course, this being a playtest, you'll be wanting a few more juicy nuggets of info, so here goes. Visually, Legacy is looking little short of spectacular, with Starships accumulating real-time damage as they're pounded by pyrotechnic phaser and torpedo displays, while the dark, airless void is dotted with bright planets and mammoth spacestations. Even Deep Space 9 makes an appearance.

INTO BATTLE
Your fleet of four ships (you start the game with just one) can be upgraded or sold for scrap metal to fund the purchase of newer, more advanced vessels that pack enough firepower to bring down a Borg cube the size of a moon. Just as well really, as the Borg, coupled with the Romulans and Klingons, seemed responsible for the majority of the game's combat in the levels that I sampled. Being able to redirect my ship's power on-the-fly and issuing my mini armada with orders added a tactical edge to the brutal action, while the option to use Nebulas to thwart the enemy added a genuine sense of immersion to the proceedings.

If you're a die-hard fan, you'll be pleased to know that all of your favourite Starships have been recreated in loving detail and are available for you to command, including the Defiant, Intrepid and Mildly Insubordinate. OK, I may have made that last one up, but you get the picture.

However, it's not all positive. Despite later battles being breathtaking in their magnitude, the inherently cumbersome handling of my craft, coupled with some asphyxiating camera controls and a lack of perceivable speed when the view fixed behind my ship, restricted the excitement levels somewhat. Thus, I was forced to spend half my time looking for the enemy while firing off-screen with my phasers. Let's just hope that Mad Doc iron this out in the month they have left to complete the game, as once I was facing the action, the battles proved highly evocative of the space jousts that made the movies' action-sequences so thrilling.

While questions marks hang over the game's camera interface, the rest of Legacy appears to have bags of potential. Whether it'll be a Wrath Of Khan or a Nemesis though, is yet to be seen.

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