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Starsphere Interactive



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Q1 2004



- Star Trek booster shot

- Ummm....I'll have to get back to you on this



- Graphics are an eyesore

- Control is overly simple

- Voice Acting and sound is abysmal

- Gives a bad name to franchise



Review: Star Trek Armada 2 (PC)

Review: Star Trek Bridge Commander (PC)



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Star Trek: Shattered Universe

Score: 3.8/10


Resistance is futile!


If you already have spent your hard earned money in purchasing this game, I offer my condolences.  However if you have not bought this game yet, you still have hope! Think carefully even if you decide not to heed my words. This spaceship is a very bumpy ride and aside from suicidal  tendencies, there's no other plausible reason to even test drive it.  


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There have been good Star Trek games, right? Bridge Commander and Voyager Elite Force are the first ones to come to mind. On the other hand there's a large list of horrid Star Trek games (Starfleet Academy, New Worlds etc). Shattered Universe not only adds to that list but may  qualify as one of the worst Star Trek games ever.


The story of SU is based on an alternate universe from the episode "Mirror, mirror" from Star Trek: The Original Series (Funny considering the idea of an alternate universe isn't very  original to begin with). Aboard the USS Excelsior, you attempt to rescue the USS Enterprise only to find that you have been transposed into a dangerous Mirror Universe. You also discover that  the USS Excelsior has transformed into a new ship called the ISS Excelsior. This new ship is equipped with a deadly complement of strange fighter crafts. The drawback? The ship and its occupants are wanted and are hunted by a ruthless Federation. The portal that transported them to this universe has disappeared and the only way out is a portal on the other side of the universe.  The Federation however occupy the space between the portals (You can never catch a break apparently). And of course, what evil alternate universe would be complete without an evil version of yourself? SU inevitably includes evil counterparts of Excelsior occupants.





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The game is basically spent in the smaller fighters found insider the new Excelsior. The worst  part of the game however is in the scout missions you participate in. Between destroying a fleet of enemy fighters, you have to destroy asteroids too. They give a pretty unclear reason behind this. Destroying certain asteroids will somehow transport minerals into your miniscule fighter to carry back to the Excelsior. The use of these minerals is not mentioned nor is the process explained on how an exploding rock will supply your ship with minerals almost magically.



Graphically, SU disappoints. There is a lack of detail on most spaceships in the game which  becomes really apparent at close range. The environments also suffer from an absence of detail and so do the various objects that litter the environments (Planets, asteroids etc.) Starsphere Interactive certainly put together a dismal effort on the game's presentation.


Additionally, it is dismaying to find out that in a space fighting simulation game that the action itself is poorly designed. You are given three types of weapons: a phaser beam, photon torpedoes and phaser bolts. The entire time however, you will only end up relying on the phaser beam to  quell enemies. The AI in the game is surprisingly weak and you will be able to fend of swarms of  enemy fighters without sustaining major damage. As an effort to balance that, multiple swarms are thrown at you throughout this mission. Would it not have been easier to make enemy fighters slightly stronger and diminish the number of fighters? Maybe it was an attempt to prolong the length of the game - which is basically prolonging your torture. Also with the lack of save  points during missions you may find yourself repeating 30 min long missions just because one fighter killed you while you were trying to accomplish an unfathomable objective.  


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The voice acting is very uninspired in this game. Takei and Koenig do a poor job representing their respective characters. Takei pulls off a dismal performace as Captain Sulu and Koenig is also annoying as Commander Chekov. They are capable actors which they proved in the series, which is why I find it strange that they could not deliver in this game. As far as sound goes, you get some basic weapon sounds and some bland music thrown into the package. A big letdown indeed.


Shattered Universe, at its best, is a bad game. I highly doubt that anyone at Starsphere  Interactive has ever played a decent Star Trek game because at least some of that magic should have been present here. At a time where Star Trek is at its lowest popularity, an abysmal game like this will not win over any new fans and is a horrid example of the Star Trek franchise. Do not judge the series with this showing. Star Trek games tend to be inconsistent. The next game might be the best one yet but SU is far from it. Avoid it like the plague. You will be doing yourself (and anyone around to see it) a favour.


-Stefan Shetty

(April 2, 2004)

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