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Head 2 Head Review: Star Trek DS9: The Fallen

The Match-Up:

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

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

Topher

Silver Surfer

Name: Silver Surfer (editor of video cardz.com)

Favorite Genres: Almost anything

Topher: *BEEP* Reviewers Log stardate 001208.11 - While exploring the vast reaches of the Gamers Galaxy, i've stumbled upon what appears to be....yes i think.....a GOOD star trek game!! Yes it is Deep Space Nine - The Fallen and those that think "oh crap another dud for the trek universe" well, you're just wrong.

Poor Worf...to be killed by a stupid robot is not honourable

Surfer: Well, let's not skim over that point so quickly "captain". Elite Force was kick ass....and Armada was solid too. So is it a surprise that this Star Trek game is actually decent? Well...kind of-but at the same time developers are LEARNING...and based on this game and Elite Force before it, they're "LEARNING REAL GOOD"! (ST: New Worlds aside of course...ptooie) Pardon my 'hick' lingo. Plus, i think after the demo, some saw this coming.

Topher: Oh for sure - i'm not putting any of the other games down - but the Trek Universe has been known for a few duds - some even say Elite Force...but anyhoo - we're here to review DS9 - The Fallen. A game taken from the third Star Trek television show about a Space Station. The game is a 3rd person strategy, using the unreal engine - which i may add is pretty sweet here, using phasers and tricorders AND 3 different characters from the show - you make your way through a story line that has each of the 3 characters start differently but meet up at the same spot! Almost a mini-episode you might say. You pick either Sisko, Kira, or Worf. Sisko and Worf start off on the same mission. Inquiring about the distress of a ship only to find 'dun dun dun DA!!' Trouble! (and with a mysterious race I might add) Then on the other side of the story you have Kira who goes to visit a Bajoran friend only to get into trouble herself. Eventually the two storylines collide and well you have to play more to find out...

Surfer: Yeah,the story is typical episodic Star Trek. Now in terms of pixel-pushing where we had Elite Force using the sweet Quake 3 engine, this baby uses the Unreal engine and looks just as good if not better. The game is a 3rd person trek as opposed to an FPS like Elite Force, but this also makes for the inclusions of more intricate details like the use of comm badges, tricorders and even the adjustment of phaser frequencies.

Topher: Yep the details in this game are pretty phenomenal. Especially when using the Unreal Engine. The textures and colours used are sweet to the eye. The character modeling is good enough to look at someone and say 'hey! i know who that is!'. But aside from graphics, comparing the game to the Trek universe - you get to do what they would do in the trek universe. Scan an area with your tricorder in order to find out what lurks behind walls and communicate with other away mission members. The detail alone in the Promenade is overwhelming as well. I mean its like your actually there going to Quarks! Mmm, Dabo Girlz......Also when looking outside a window - low and behold it's the space station! - you're even able to see the arches that ships dock to. OH and those Cut Scenes!

Surfer: You talking the in-engine cut-scenes? They weren't mind blowing to me...personally i'm still a fan of pure full motion video cut scenes, but i have to admit, there are moments when the cut scene details seem to max out the engine and the camera perspectives during the movie action are well done. This doesn't happen for ALL cut-scenes, but the quality is certainly there for a good portion of them.

The DS9 station in The Fallen is reproduced wonderfully

Topher: Yeah FMV is obviously the best choice - but these cut scenes were prime - some of the best I've seen. The character acting was true to form as well. Although the voice for Sisko could have been different - it just didn't seem authoritative enough And if you think Kira, Dax and Worf are the real actors - you'd be right!!! O'Brien isn't and in my opinion doesn't cut it as well. A mock of an Irishman. Back to the game though. As mentioned before its a 3rd person shooter/strategy. You go on various away missions, with objectives to be fulfilled. You have an assortment of weapons like hand phasers and rifles etc. --and there's a cool zoom in mode for the rifles too. For the most part fulfilling the missions is mostly about trying to find key cards--a lot of'm. 'Key and door' missions as a lot of people refer to them as.

Surfer: Well, i feel it's only right to be tough on games as a consumer, and since first reviewing here at H2H I've only reviewed DUDS! But i have to admit, the graphics here are damn sharp, the voice acting like you said had its weak moments but was predominantly aces. And the soundtrack was an ass-kicker of its own. It perfectly fit with the Star Trek theme. BUT, i have to say, as good as this game is, PLEASE, can we move away from the key/door puzzles???

Topher: Yes the key/door puzzles are well....lame.....but if you're a Trekker, then you probably won't care because you'll want to get through the game to get to the rest of the story. And yes that sound is killer. The sounds of the tricorder, of the comm badge, phasers, doors, you name it - all well done. The music fits true to episodes as well - its eerie and dark at almost all the right times. Being a 3rd person you would expect the controls to be well the same as most others...and well - it was.

Surfer: Well, i don't know. i can't say this game is any worse than Elite Force, nor is it better. For where Elite Force had a bit of a downer in length and plot, The Fallen has it in key/door bullsh*t. So, i'd have to say these two games are just as good as one another and damn it, it puts a smile on my face. Not only to say that about the Star Trek series of games, but also because this is the first good game I've reviewed all year for this site!

Topher: I'd have to class it higher than Elite force based on story alone - it got me hooked good. A good game yes - but it has its flaws in the switch puzzles etc. where you have to hit switches in a certain order to gain a certain outcome. And of course, the answer for the pattern is usually around the corner--literally. But, anyone-regardless if they're into Star Trek or not - will probably want to give this game a go. You get to run around, shoot stuff, and just have fun. And hey that's why we're here right? Beam me up Scotty. This game is definitely in my good books.

Surfer: I'm going to have to stick to my phasers on this one-it does for the 3rd person genre what Elite Force did for the FPS genre on behalf of the Star Trek universe...no more, no less-but at least we both agree that it's good. It's just been a surprisingly good year for Star Trek on the PC. And i bloody well hope that Bridge Commander and Away Team won't disappoint us when THEY rear their heads.

 

Silver Surfer
85%
86%

 

We have no shame. Our first goal with the funky ass phasers was to phaser our name into a local Bajoran wall. Other's might call it graffiti...but we call it art. Apply sarcasm when you're ready to move on.

 

Worf reaches back here to give this robot a hefty blow. Why not a phaser? Some creatures in the game don't respond to phasers. And if they do, you might have to change their frequency in order to penetrate their personal shields, so do be wary.

 

Ops, like the station's exterior, has been reproduced exceptionally well. We were astonished at the level of detail provided-including the baseball you'll find on the captain's desk. It's a REALLY polygonal baseball though...would making the damn thing rounder have made the frame rate sink or something? Sorry....enough stupid complaints.

 

Walking on the outside of giant crashed Federation starships is another goodie you'll be treated to. it actually it quite cool to be able to do this-and THEN go inside of it after. 2 thumbs up for the level designers on this one.