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Platform

PC

 

Genre

Strategy

 

Publisher

Blizzard

 

Developer

Blizzard

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

Q2 2003

 

 

- Great addition for fans of the show

- Is a good addition for an already good game

- Adds Jeri Ryanís voice

- Lots of new multiplayer maps and modes

- New skins

- Still the same great graphics

- Some funny logs to read

- Lots of extras on the CD

 

 

- Mini-games

- Isnít something supposed to happen?

- DM and CTF dominate on-line

- Strange sound bug still not corrected

- Needs a zippier subtitle than "Expansion Pack"

- The Jeri Ryan voice patch can be downloaded for free

- Lacks any in-depth character interaction in solo play

- I really wanted some more solo play

 

 

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Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force Expansion Pack

Score: 6.8 / 10

 

Part of the allure of Elite Force was getting the chance to set phasers to "vaporize" to defend Voyager from hostile invasion and go on dangerous away missions. Why then does the Expansion Pack (EP) restrict you to the ship, running various errands and taking part in menial holodeck sessions?

voyager_ef-a.jpg (10067 bytes)

The single player portion is totally lacking. (But not in sound or graphics, which are great.) If you like mini-games mixed with adventure elements, EP will be right up your alley. (I use "adventure" in its loosest sense.) Munro (your character) starts off with a checklist of various things to do and as he completes these tasks new ones appear to keep him moving. (e.g. Launch a shuttle Ė no reason given.) You can also collect various objects scattered around the ship and since the "action" takes place after the events in Elite Force, youíll find things like Harvester legs in the kitchen and those little fire-fly things. Also, there are nine Elite Force Action Figures to collect. Tedium and the realization that nothing exciting is going to happen sets in. Even a visit to the holodeck doesnít alleviate the boredom. The Captain Proton mission is easy to complete on all but the most difficult setting and itís too short. Just as you get into it, you reach the end. Itís stylish but it wonít hold youíre attention. Same goes for the Klingon scenario where Munro must infiltrate a Klingon stronghold and recover a datapad. Then thereís the Shooting Gallery and Tranquil Garden on the fritz settings . . . do I even have to say it? Boring. The short of it is, the single-player EP boils down to a bunch of mini-games placed in the EF universe. (Heck thereís even a top-down maze to navigate!) Sure, you get to explore a lot of the ship, but only die-hard Trekkers will appreciate the chance to visit Astrometrics and use the transporter.

 

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Multiplayer is great with a bunch of new maps and modes of play by the professionals and a few user created areas. (The subtitle for the expansion pack should have been, "Holomatch Mayhem" since you'll spend more time with the multiplayer than with the single player mode.) Good luck finding servers running Assimilation (kind of like team tag, but using the Borg to assimilate other players), Action Hero (one player gets full weapons, ammo and the 

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ability to regenerate, while everyone else tries to kill them and get five frags instead of the usual one) or Disintegration (each player is equipped with a Compression Rifle for one-shot vaporizing action). The most prevalent multiplayer games are Deathmatch and Capture-the-Flag. While these game types are on-line staples, I've seen enough of them. (Why don't people want to try something new? I'm sure if the developers added a Counter-Strike-like mod, Elite Force vs. The Borg or the Vorsoth it would have been accepted, at least there would be another alternative to DM and straight CTF.) At least EP has a Specialties mode (read: Team Fortress Classic), which is actually very fun, if you can find a server running it.

The new maps are laid out fairly well and it will only take a few minutes to remember the layout of each. Lag is minimal, but like all on-line games, ping time is dependent on your connection to the Internet. The graphics remain the same, cool weapon effects, and good character skins, etc. There are some new skins, mainly various crew members as Borg and characters from Captain Proton, and they are all well down. You can play the multiplayer maps with bots but on the co-op modes some of AI is a little iffy, and don�t bother attempting to play Assimilation with bots. (Even Activision recommends against using bots for this game type.)

Also, added to the original EF missions and EP is the voice of Jeri Ryan as everyone�s favorite Borg, Seven of Nine. But this upgrade is available for free at Activision's site, so it can't be a selling point. The sound and music are on par with EF but the sound leak hasn't been fixed. You can still hear people talking even after you've left the room, run down the hall and entered a turbolift. (Must be one of those undocumented communicator functions.) The sound of the tricorder is spot-on, which does nothing to say how useless it is.

An alarm should go off when you read the subtitle of the expansion pack, which is simply, "Expansion Pack." There are no bells, no whistles, and no sunroof. If you're into the Elite Force multiplayer or you're a Star Trek fan that would like the chance to roam the corridors of Voyager (and view the extras on the CD), then I'd recommend getting the expansion. At $20, it's worth your money. But if you don't fall into those categories, download the Jeri Ryan voice patch and keep your $20.

- Omni

Note: The retail version of Elite Force is necessary to use the Expansion

 

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