Star Trek: Conquest review


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Buy your copy from Star Trek: Conquest (2007) starno starno starno starno star Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Category: Strategy / Sim
Available for: Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 2
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Oh “Star Trek,” will you ever receive any respect? You’re like The Grateful Dead of TV show series. The faithful really go overboard on your mythos, and everyone else just either steers clear or makes fun of you. Shatner and those green alien babes had a lot to do with that, didn’t they? Oh well, you’ll always make a quick buck no matter what, and this is certainly true even in video game land, where pretty much all of your tie-ins have sucked heartily.

You know, the last “Star Trek” game I can even recall enjoying was either “Net Trek” on the Mac or the old arcade machine featuring Leonard Nimoy’s digitized voice. There was a cool “Star Trek: TNG” pinball machine as well, but really, that’s about it. When are we finally going to get that “Trek” game where we can actually be Shatner or Nimoy (or any of the original crew), in an arcade-style setting? Players could roam around on planets, setting phasers to stun while wooing Joan Collins when they are stuck in some bygone days of the United States through some weird-ass time warp. That’s the “Star Trek” game I want to play. Enough with the tactical simulations already!

Unfortunately, “Star Trek: Conquest” is another in the long line of tactical games in the ongoing franchise’s video game history. This time around, players are given the choice of playing for the Federation, the Romulans, the Klingons and so forth. They are asked to lead their chosen heroes into victory, traversing a map and taking over the other factions. Hoo-rah. As players move about the map, they’ll have other encounters with other well-known “Trek” inhabitants of the universe, and will have to take them down one at a time.

These battles are played out either through mind numbing arcade-style space shooting action, quick and painless simulation mode, or the short and sweet instant action/result option. None of these are satisfying or much fun to witness. If a player wins one of these skirmishes, he gets the chance to set up a mining station or research colony along with a new star base. Of course, upgrades lead to success and upgrades cost money, so therefore it is wise to set up more mining stations than research facilities. Not that any of it really matters.

Don’t look for any actual “Trek” talent in the game, and don’t look for much of a “game” here, unless you’re just an out and out “Star Trek” nut who has to experience every little thing related to the franchise that comes down the line. This game is so simplistic it feels more like freeware and shovelware than an out and out release. Perhaps that’s why it’s budget priced at a cool $14.99. Graphically, this game could have been made on a PS1 with no problems. It’s hard to imagine that a whole lot of time went into making this game, and it shows.

So who wants it? Again, probably just those “Star Trek” fans who feel the need to experience anything related to the franchise. Non-fans, and even general fans of tactical/strategy-based games, will find “Star Trek: Conquest” a complete and disposable yawn. If you absolutely must play this game, then rent it for a day and quickly realize it’s not going to get any better beyond that length of time (if for even that long). Otherwise, just treat it like all those other subpar “Star Trek” games that have come down the line. Perhaps one of these days someone will get it right. But the series will probably have three more spin-offs before that ever happens.

~Jason Thompson