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DS9: The Fallen-Preview



So which of you can honestly say that Star Trek has come out with a game deserving of bearing the 'Star Trek' name? With the tons of ST titles out there, the one that seemed to get the most praise from everyone was ST: Armada-and even that game was admittedly a very toned down RTS with a highly advertised yet under-used 3D game perspective.

Can The Fallen give us what the other ST games failed to offer up? As of right now, the answer would probably have to be 'uhh...maybe'. And funny enough, with previews of unfinished games you get that answer a lot.

So let's break down what The Fallen is. A 3rd person shooter/adventure using a highly modified version of the Unreal engine, DS9TF at this point in time stands out a lot in the graphics department. It looks superb (a far cry from Deus Ex's usage of the engine) and the phaser and transporter effects are eye pleasing indeed. You play the role of anyone ranging from Worf to Sisko to Kira as you solve predetermined mission objectives and using everything at your fingertips to do it. Yes, even the lovable phaser rifle (with a nifty zoom ability and everything on the sucker). 11 different weapons in total.

But interestingly, one of the main tools you are likely to use more often than your sidearm phaser is a tricorder. Using this device in DS9TF is crucial to seeing things in your area (including things through walls), mapping out your surroundings and getting a grip on things such as the structural weaknesses of walls and rocks. This is an example of where DS9TF seems to go in a slightly different direction from the typical 3rd person shooter. The game seems to be heading towards giving a player more than just weapons to shoot with, it is giving a player tools to play with and use on a frequent basis throughout the game. At times, you are far wiser to have your tricorder out for example than a phaser as previously mentioned above.

The tricorder alone kept us glued to the screen at times, as it has the ability not only to accurately display life forms etc. in your vicinity in both 2D and 3D grid modes, but it also displays a full information set for a particular focus item that you may choose to scan, accompanied by a 3D grid-drawn version of the item/life form. The image of the item on the tricorder also often copies the movements of the item being scanned in real time. So, if you are scanning a crew member walking around, your grid-drawing will showing him doing just that, step for step. We found this happened most of the time anyway.

A few things that might disturb fans at this point in time is that in playing what we did, we didn't find anything else that was terribly ground breaking. The tools we liked...the graphics we liked...but everything else at this stage looks pretty average. The action isn't anymore exciting than what you would expect for a 3rdPS, but the skin modeling of the characters in the game are impressive and at least when action takes place, you are convinced that you are engaged with enemies from right out of the TV show.

Other than that, DS9TF seems to be textbook 3rdPS. It certainly can go in new directions though and we hope it does. We just don't want to see it turn into something that is more glitz than gusto seeing as right now, if the tools aspect of the game is maximized, the game has a decent chance of scoring higher in terms of playability.

While it is certainly a game to keep an eye on, we won't go off suggesting that you wait up nights for DS9TF's release. As with all game genres, the formulae used now-a-day are getting stale and even though this game seems fairly decent, visually etc. we are hoping that the potential that it shows will be fulfilled in order to make it feel more like a 3rd person Star Trek shooter than simply a 3rd person shooter using the ST license.


'Lifeboat 13' eh? With a name like that...spooooky...need we say more?


2 on 1. Not good odds. Especially when you just ran out of phaser rifle shells.


Firing away at a column to take advantage of the structural weakness in the nearby rock.