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Head 2 Head Review: Star Trek: New Worlds

The Match-Up:

Name: Tristinian (a.k.a. Commodus) e-mail me

Favorite Genres: RTS, RPG, Adventure, Action/FPS, Sims

Favorite Games: Baldur's Gate, Half-Life, Unreal Tournament, Red Alert, Jedi Knight.

Tristinian

Topher

Name: Kristopher H. (a.k.a. Topher) e-mail me

Favorite Genres: RTS, RPG, Sims, Action/FPS

Favorite Games: Starcraft, Red Alert and Duke Nukem

Tristinian: Well, it's been a while since we've had much of anything to review...games of Quake 3 and Cue Club have been the things keeping us alive during this drought of games (in Topher's case, beer has been keeping him alive). But today we come right back with a review of the 2nd Star Trek RTS to be released this year. The hits and misses of the ST license over the years has disappointed many seeing as the misses have been so much larger in number by general consensus. So, it pains me to admit that this game by my calculations falls in the category of those ST titles that should be disregarded as failed attempts. And there are several reasons for this...

"You might see a lot of similar things to Force Commander in this game, and Dark Reign 2 and Dogs of War...and well...every other sub-par 3D RTS clone out there."

Topher: Yeah, i was one of those who thought Armada was coooool. But you couldn't use 3D a lot in it the way the 2D interface was arranged. Still solid though. But now you got a game where the entire thing is 3D and i am still stuck saying that you can't use 3D a lot in it- this time because the camera is just soooo bad. There are way too many buttons to use for the camera and they were the wrong ones-that is the first thing i noticed about this game and that's a bad first impression to make i think. Keep it simple. But the story is this, you play either as the Klingons, Federation or Romulans in a single player campaign. The campaign revolves around the initial movie in the game that shows an experiment gone wrong on the part of the Romulans in the neutral zone that spawns a whole series of new planets-new worlds! wow... All 3 factions race to get the new resources that the planets provide. It's as simple as that.

Tristinian: Funny enough, you might see a lot of similar things to Force Commander in this game...and Dark Reign 2 and Dogs of War...and well...every other sub-par 3D RTS clone out there. It's sad, but RTSs have been killed this year to large extent with the 3d revolution coming about in the genre. But where 3D helped some of the earlier RTSs that attempted it, it doesn't help the new uninspired games like this one. Now, some of you may say 'Hey, Dark Reign 2 was good' or 'Dogs of War was good'-and that's your opinion-but you can't say that they have done anything new, flawless or outstanding in any way.

Topher:Yeah, i have to agree. This game was a lot like those you mentioned and the graphics were pretty borderline as well. I mean, from a distance, they look ok, but, the way the units travel and all looks pretty bad. The control of the camera, again should be so important to a game like this and with the controls being what they were, it was disappointing. Also, the units and structures representing each side just didn't seem 'star trek' enough. They were OK, but not exactly what you saw when you did get those shots of planetary life on say Romulus or Vulcan on the shows. And with those silly limiting platforms you are forced to build on, you aren't given much ability to let your base grow.

Tristinian: Also, there are little options in the game save those used for changing the resolution (no details, lighting or other controls) and volume. Plus, i couldn't find a skirmish mode could you? Only online multiplay and the single player campaigns didn't even appear to support save game functions of any sort. But the camera, my god, you thought the camera is DR 2 and Force Commander was bad: The New Worlds cam needs 19 keys (mouse buttons included in this number) that we just found playing through the tutorial alone...a tad insane. Makes me thankful now for cameras like Dark Reign 2...their camera was FAR from perfect, but New Worlds has topped it big time. Didn't think that was possible.

"You thought the camera in DR2 and Fo. Comm. was bad: The New Worlds cam needs 19 keys that we found just through the tutorial... "

Topher: Oh i know...the camera was bad. All those ridiculous modes, 'sky view', '1st person view' etc. Who needs that? I know you've said this in one of your other reviews (if i'm wrong, i know you've said it to me personally) that a game like Earth 2150 and Homeworld gave the player the best camera control with like, 2 buttons in Earth 2150. As i said before, keep it simple. One thing i did like about the game though was the soundtrack-it keeps with the star trek theme and it is just great to chill to. The graphics for the game were below standards though..they were OK Not terrible, but, this game is essentially what Force Commander was to the Star Wars game series. I can't say much more to make my point.

Tristinian: Hey, yeah the soundtrack was awesome-that i'll admit, but it's true...the graphics aren't what they should have been. The lighting effects again are nice, as seen in so many new RTSs, but that's about all the beauty you get besides the environments which have been made very nicely though as well. I was impressed with those. The units and structures simply didn't match the quality of a lot of the terrain though. Another inevitable Dark Reign 2 comparison-although Dark Reign 2 didn't totally 'wow' me with it's structure graphics, they were far more pleasing to the eye than those found here in New Worlds which says something.

Topher: Yeah, it says New Worlds is really just an OK looking game at very best if i am not mistaken...hehe. But here is the key point...where a game like Submarine Titans was a solid RTS right down to its elements, New Worlds is nowhere like that. That is the real problem...and it's a problem that will rear its spooky head again when Red Alert 2 is released and probably schools a few of these RTSs on what it means to have a complete RTS from head to toe with or without the 3D. And plus...Kari Wurher...mmm...*drool* sorry. Anyway, umm...yeah! One more positive though if i may, the cut scenes still have that great quality to them though and at least that didn't disappoint me. The movie sequence at the beginning is probably the most graphically intensive part of the game, and very well done indeed.

"The cut scenes still have that great quality to them though...at least that didn't disappoint..."

Tristinian: Well to really sum it up, to be able to play either as the different factions didn't make much of a difference when it comes to gameplay. The whole experience was just disappointing in general and the game could hold its own a lot better if it even had a better camera system. But besides that, this game offers nothing new whatsoever. Nothing. There are so many recent RTS games that are superior to this so i can't recommend this game in the least. And i mean, in the LEAST. Ups and downs aside...ultimately, the gameplay just feels boring. Funny thing is, a lot of these 3D RTSs like New Worlds would have probably come up stronger had they been released as little as a half a year earlier, but with the very strong entrance of some of the other RTS players in the market, the niche for games of this calibre has passed in my eyes. Same goes for Dogs of War etc. etc.

Topher: I kinda disagree on how harsh you're being despite it being a low-end game. I still kinda found it an interesting take on the Star Trek Universe. Well thought out in how the game proceeds, with changes in the storyline, but it just leaves something to be desired in the graphics area and camera control. Won't give it a smidgen more than 60 percent.

Tristinian: Well, i feel i have to mark it lower than a game like Ground Control or DR2 because it is certainly worse, but its playability feels a tad better than a game like Dogs of War...and yet, the camera...ugh...hmmm tough decision. But i've said this before, if sub-par games like this (and indeed it is sub-par) keep becoming accepted as the norm, no one will learn, so i have to give the industry some tough love tonight once again. The RTS genre has become a problem to grade as of this year...the toughest genre to grade without a doubt.

 

Tristinian's Mark
Tristinian's Final Words
Topher's Final Words
Topher's Mark
48%
I grow weary of these RTS clones that sport nothing new or entertaining. The genre itself needs to improve.
The movie sequence at the beginning is probably the most graphically intensive part of the game
60%

Force Com...no... err...sorry...New Worlds!

If we didn't specifically tell you that these units were Romulan, would you have known? Do they even look Romulan? Do they even look good, period? Like Force Commander, the graphics are sub par for this game. The unit movements are some of the worst we've ever seen in a 3D RTS. Almost wacky at times.

 

The environments in New Worlds are actually quite nice. We liked them well enough. But we felt the buidlings along with the units were sub-par. We weren't completely huge on the graphics in Dark Reign 2 but at least that game showed a little more innovation in the applications of color and detail on their structures. And hey! You better not like being too creative, because the platform you're provided with for building is what you have to work with.

 

Like so many games now-a-day, New Worlds has learned to sport some nice lighting effects during battles. The game still feels like it is outside of the general Star Trek world though. The camera is also just foreign in terms of its user friendliness.