Star Trek Conquest Review
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Star Trek: Conquest is a game for strategy enthusiasts and Trekkies, and probably not suitable from an entertain standpoint for anyone who is not a part of one of these groups. If you are curious, rent it. If not, don't bother.
- Excellent for Start Trek Strategy Fans
- Fine use of Star Trek source material
- Good replay ability
- Poor learning curve without much help from the game itself
- Ship controls are somewhat lacking
- Not entertaining if you aren't a strategy or Trek fan.
Have you ever wondered what would happen if the Star Trek universe became a complete bedlam of warring alien races? Ever wanted to pit Romulans against the Federation, or loose the Klingon war machine on the shrewd Ferengi? Well, Bethesda Softworks latest Star Trek title gives you the chance to see the outcome of these myriad situations. However, the question is; will it flop like most Star Trek games, or does Conquest have the staying power to make the Fleet Academy proud? Read on to find out.
Star Trek Conquest puts players in the position of master strategist for their chosen faction from the Star Trek mythos. Each race has their own unique strengths and weaknesses, as well as their own set of ships. Each race also has a certain number of "special weapons," chosen from a pool that generally corresponds to your race's demeanor. Players are given the task of leading their chosen race in a run for conquest of the galaxy.
The basic mode of play is campaign mode. In this game type, the player chooses their race as normal, and then sets the rules for their game, choosing difficulty, number of opponents, what factions to battle, and what admiral to start with. Upon finalizing these rules, play commences on the galactic map.
The majority of strategic gameplay takes place on the galactic map. The map consists of a number of nodes, representing planets and galaxies, which are connected together by routes of space travel. Each faction starts out in control of their homeworld node, and commences their bid at galactic conquest from this seat of power. In addition to their homeworld node, each faction also starts with their admiral of choice, accompanied by a cruiser class ship. The goal from here on out is to "annex" neighboring systems, putting them under your factions control through force. This must be accomplished while simultaneously defending your home system and the systems that you have already subjugated.
Each node a player controls fulfills a number of different purposes. First, each controlled node adds to a players annual income each turn. The amount added depends on a few variables: the star level of the system (from 1 to 4), and whether or not the system houses a mining colony. The higher the star level of the system, the more credits is added to your bank each turn. The addition of a mining colony adds a hefty amount as well, making even low star systems into financial benefits.
In addition to adding finances, nodes also allow you to repair your ships, and even construct new fleets once the proper facilities have been constructed. Each node starts with an outpost, which denotes ownership, and will repair ships, albeit at a very slow speed. These outposts can be upgraded to starbase status, which repair ships at a higher rate of speed, allow the construction of new ships and fleets, and will fire at enemies during encounters in their sector. Advanced starbases can also be constructed. These stations have the quickest rate of repair, as well as the highest hit points of any structure, and much better combat capabilities. Nodes with stations can construct ships to add to a fleet within the node, or can be used to commission a new fleet using a new admiral. Each faction can support 3 fleets simultaneously.
Nodes serve another very strategic purpose. Due to the fact that each faction can only support 3 fleets, nodes that connect to many other nodes or that result in defensive bottlenecks often become highly sought-after strategic powerhouses. Certain nodes become must-haves for both defensive and offensive reasons simply by allowing you to limit your opponent’s movement.
Each node allows the construction of 2 different stations, as well as some auxiliary defenses. The initial slot always has at least an outpost in it, which is often replaced with a starbase or advanced starbase. The second building slot of a node can support either a mining colony for added finances each turn, or a research station. Research stations serve two purposes. At the beginning of each turn, two different bars in your overview menu are filled a certain amount in relation to the ... (continued on next page)