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Giving Activision the license to make this game was an excellent move. This title is sure to surprise a lot of people, from Star Trek fans to gamers who've given up on finding a decent Star Trek game.

By - Tim "Juan Golbez" McConnaughy (05/08/00)

A Cineractive view of 100 % hardcore mining action.

If you're like me, you turn your nose up at any an all Star Trek games, on past experience alone. You don't have to see the game, read a word about it, or even know it exists before you are quite certain it blows. Sadly, this trend is not without basis in fact. With that said, imagine my apprehension at agreeing to review Star Trek Armada. I was certain that the game would be full of the hackish plots and technobabble native to anything Star Trek, and be a butchered RTS full of cameos and lacking in gameplay. I was only half right.

I spent most of the first night with the game berating it. "I bet you can't even do (insert standard RTS stuff here)!" I was sorely put off by the fact that the interface isn't 3D. Homeworld spoiled us all, and I couldn't imagine a space game without a full 3D engine - until I started playing Armada.

The game utilizes a proprietary installer, not the InstallShield everybody knows and loves. As the game installs, you are treated to lots of concept artwork promising Cool Stuff® ahead. It's a good thing there's plenty of it, though. I waited a year for this thing to install! Once it was all done, I was treated to a pretty good opening cinematic that set the mood (read: Overacting) for the game. Apparently, the Federation is, as always, trying to promote peace, love, and baldness. Along come the Borg, again, to make things interesting. The Federation asks the Klingons for help, who are too busy fighting rebel Klingons who want to be the rulers of the Empire. The rebel Klingons are being assisted by those dratted Romulans. Confused yet? Well, at least it gets the four sides into the game.

Set All Phasers to Act!

To their credit, Activision managed to get the right voice actors for the game. There's no mistaking the voices of Captain Picard, Worf, or any of the other personalities. Only the special units like the Enterprise have the voice talent, however. All the other units are just overacted, random "Yoeman Johnson" chatters. A lot of the things said were really inappropriate. I'd tell a unit to go over there, without an enemy in sight, and hear "Battle stations!" or "Get us out of here, maximum warp!" The funniest was after listening to the Klingons go on about battle, death and Sto'vo'kor, one of them just said, "Go over there." By far, the coolest voice acting was the Borg, mostly because it's hard to overact a mechanical drone.

The in-game mission briefings were lacking in plot at times, and pretty good at others. It started out as your typical overacted Star Trek episode, and by the end it got a lot better. Over the course of the campaigns, you play the four sides: Federation, Klingon, Romulan, and Borg. A fifth campaign becomes available once you finish all four, and involved loads of the time-travelling goodness that makes plot holes and the otherwise impossible trendy.

Next: To Boldy Go...

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