Klingon Honor Guard
Maybe it is a good day to die after all...
Published by Microprose
Posted on 11/19/1998
CHEATS: Star Trek: Klingon Hon ...
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PREVIEW: Klingon Honor Guard
Shot One Nothing like a little long range fire fighting
It's hard to think of another license in the gaming industry that has been milked as ineptly as Star Trek. More often than not, the products have been at best mediocre, and at worst downright awful.

MicroProse has been down that path before. The lackluster Star Trek Generations was to be followed by the Unreal-engine based game Star Trek First Contact. It would have been a squad-based action game, had it not been killed for unknown reasons. MicroProse instead turned their attentions to Klingon Honor Guard, a Next Generation game Picard would love in his darker moments. It allows us to strew carnage througout the Star Trek universe-Klingons don't follow that wimpy Prime Directive stuff.

You're a Klingon Honor Guard cadet called to service early when an assassination attempt is made on the High Council. As the plot thickens, it becomes apparent that there is an ongoing conspiracy within the Klingon order, and only you can be trusted to root out the dishonorable traitors. The game moves you through Klingon space ports and towns, sewers, the icy prison world of Rure Pente, and even zero-g spaceship environments in your quest for honor.

Shot Two Phasers not on Stun!
Although it utilizes an early version of the Unreal engine, Klingon Honor Guard isn't nearly as impressive-looking or refined as Epic's game. The levels and character models are less complex, and there are fewer advanced lighting effects. Due in large part to its lesser complexity, Klingon Honor Guard is able to do something Unreal can't-throw multiple enemies at the player. You often find yourself fighting up to five opponents at once, a deadly situation for sure, but one that's considerably more interesting than the mostly solo attacks you face in Unreal. However, there aren't many different enemies in the game, so you usually end up fighting against the same three over and over.

Weapons, while tailored to the Star Trek universe, are fairly standard. There's the recharging Disruptor pistol, a Disruptor rifle, an Assault Disruptor, a grenade and rocket launcher, and a razor disc shooter. You don't really see the advanced weapons until well into the game, and the first few levels are quite slow. The game also forces you to reload many of the weapons, though the need to change ammo types for both the primary and secondary firing options for the same gun is particularly annoying. Compensating for these minor problems is the way the game implements the ceremonial combat knife (the D'k Tahg) and the true Klingon Warrior's weapon, the Bat'Leth blade. If you have this weapon equipped, the enemy will often move to fight you hand-to-hand.

Shot Three The Bat'Leth and Battle armor, they go well together
Klingon Honor Guard uses a more advanced physics system than Unreal, allowing you to kick items around in an entertaining, albeit pointless, manner. The CD music is surprisingly good, though the break in action when a new track starts is distracting. The sound effects are adequate, if not particularly noteworthy, and the Klingon quips heard throughout are decent if redundant.

All in all, most of the game works quite well. It has a decent backstory and the appealing Star Trek license, and if nothing else, is a more cohesive game than Unreal-the plot moves forward through video briefings and short cinematics. There is only occasional use of the engine for these cut scenes, which is a shame since the break to video sequences is unrefined and fraught with glitches-sound, in particular, is often out of sync with the video.

Shot Four Hit 'em high, hit 'em low
The game's primary fault is its bugs. The Unreal engine may be pretty, but it isn't very stable, especially this earlier version, and crash bugs are a definite problem. A patch is due, of course, which in addition to fixing the bugs will hopefully include stable Internet play. (Klingon Honor Guard, like Unreal, is virtually unplayable online.)

Despite its problems, Klingon Honor Guard still manages to be one of the brighter points in the long and disappointing history of the Star Trek gaming license. While not particularly distinctive, it's a solid action game that invites you to run rampant through a familiar and fun sci-fi world.

by Jason D'Aprile

Requirements:
  • Windows 95
  • 166MHz Pentium or higher
  • 32 MB of RAM
  • 4X CD-ROM
Multiplayer: 2-8 players, Internet, LAN
©1998 Strategy Plus, Inc.

Star Trek Generations: Klingon Honor Guard IBM CD ROM 10/98 $7.95