Processor: Pentium 166mhz
OS: Windows 95+
Hard Drive: 160MB
Video: 2MB 800X600 x 16 Bit Color
CD ROM: 8X
Processor: Pentium II
OS: Windows 98
Videocard: ATI Rage Pro 128
Soundcard: Turtle Beach Systems Montego II (A3D)
RELEASE DATE: Out Now (UK)
STREET PRICE: ~£30
Star Trek game" I hear you cry with dismay, "when will they
ever end?". Hey! Don't be so pessimistic, my teacher in primary school
(the equivalent to your Kindergarten) always told me not to judge a book
by it's cover, so perhaps the game won't be so bad. After all, wasn't
that Klingon game half-decent?
the latest in the long line of Star Trek games is this: Birth of
The Federation. Already, this game is misleading you because the game
doesn't only let you control the federation, but a federation.
You can choose to control either The Cradassian Union, The United Federation
of Planets, The Ferengi Alliance, The Klingon Empire, or The Romulan Star
Empire in this Civilization-esque strategy game.
you like the sound of this so far, and like the screenshots, please
keep reading, but if you are turned off by yet another Star Trek game,
you'd better stop reading now, because I'm not going to persuade you to
purchase this game unless you like the sound of it.
you can no-doubt see from the screenshots, this game is extremely complicated,
so to start off with, you have to (and I mean have to) go through
the tutorials that are included with the game. This would be okay, except
that the tutorials (for some reason) don't come printed in the manual
like most, they come as part of a 24 page Acrobat PDF file! What makes
this even worse is that you can't switch between the game and Acrobat
without getting a thumping headache, so you need to print out all 24 pages,
in their glorified state with lots of graphics and a nice thick border
around each so that even more of your precious printer ink is wasted.
that's my ranting over for this review, because the game is actually quite
good. As I've already said, it's basically just Civilization in space,
and with lots of Star Trek style buttons dotted around the screen. As
I've also already said, this game is immensely difficult to get to grips
with at first, but a nice, big, detailed manual has been included with
the game. Don't ask me why they didn't just include the tutorial in it...
it would've bumped my review score up a couple of notches.
gameplay is very much just building units, moving them around, and colonizing
more of the galaxy, but you get control over an innumerable number of
other options in the game, including where to position your labor force,
and allocating resources to tactical sides of the game such as espionage.
You can build loads of different structures in your colonized lands, which
all have a great effect on the way that the game is played, and if you
win or lose (a-la Civilization).
are two ways to win the game; the first is to control 60% of the galaxy's
population and solar system (which is called Domination), and the
second - which has been given the name Vendetta - is to eliminate
your two mortal enemies (each of the aforementioned races has two mortal
enemies). In practice, it is probably easier to do the former, but the
later can be more fun because you get to fight more.
brings me rather nicely to the fighting part of the game. At first
when I played the game, I was becoming rather bored, so I skipped forward
to the part in the tutorial
where you get to fight. I was amazed to see that the scenes are rendered
in beautiful 3D, rather reminiscent of the old X-Wing and Tie-Fighter
games. The fighting is turn-based (as is the whole game), and is easy
to control and see what you are doing.
Star Trek style controls eventually got on my nerves, but you get
so engrossed in the game after playing it for a couple of hours that you
become completely unaware of them. In my opinion, there is so much that
you can do in the game that it eventually becomes overcomplicated (you'll
quickly forget everything
that you learned in the tutorials, and start clicking everywhere just
to view a silly message), but again, this subsides slightly with time.
The graphics are not very impressive, but each
race does get its own graphic scheme, and the fighting scenes are
rendered in 3D. If you are not very bothered about the 2D graphics
for the most part of this game, and don't mind the Star Trek style
buttons, then feel free to put the score up a couple of notches.
controls are at first hard to get to grips with, but the development
team has done a great job making everything accessible from the
one screen by use of the navigation window that pops up when the
right mouse button is pressed. There is very little that can be
done from the keyboard, but the mouse does fine, making it easy
to select your path of movement.
In this game, it was the gameplay that impressed
me most. I'm sure you all don't like the prospect of 'another Star
Trek game', but I assure you that this is the best yet. You get
thoroughly engrossed after about an hour of non-stop play, and this
game will quickly swallow your weekend (and a lot of time after
that). There are probably too many options, but every single one
makes a lot of difference to the way you play the game, and if it
ends in your demise or conquer.
AI is good, I can't complain. When you select a point to travel
to on the map, it always takes you the shortest way, and the enemies
aren't by any means dumb, retreating from battle if they know
they are outnumbered. You can normally bribe other alliances to
do things for you (sign peace treaties, etc.) with your hard-earned
cash, but if you've been especially nasty to the beforehand, they
will refuse, and continue to laugh at you while you struggle in
battle with your remaining transport ship.
Multiplayer in this game could be better. There
aren't any game servers, you have to go through some other means,
probably by ICQ'ing another fan of the game, and asking for his
IP. TCP/IP is available, so if you are lucky enough to be on a LAN,
you can have a great game against your mates, but for Internet play,
this game isn't a Half-Life beater. Needless to say, if you play
this game on-line, don't come to me complaining about your massive
You don't need to be a fan of Star Trek
to enjoy this game, but it does help. You should also have
a free weekend - don't say I didn't warn you!
Questions, comments, suggestions? email
- The fighting is in beautiful 3D
- Lots of depth
- Most of the game is in 2D
- Multiplayer is lacking
- Too much depth
Screen shots taken with Hypersnap
The main game screen
Is that a dog?
You can build loads of things
Arrrgggghhh!!! Too much detail!
The Romulan theme...
...and my favorite, the Klingon theme