Released in 2006, Star Trek Legacy was a real-time space combat game in which the player can control up to four starships at once and takes them through all the eras in Star Trek from the original Enterprise (the NX-01) from the prequel series through to the Next Generation era. The game features Scott Bakula, William Shatner, Patrick Stewart, Avery Brooks and Kate Mulgrew reprising their roles as Captain Archer, Kirk, Picard, Sisko and Janeway respectively. This was the first time that the five actors had all been involved in working on a project together
I may have mentioned before that I am quite a fan of Star Trek, now I got into The Next Generation and although I tried to watch The Original Series the acting was over the top and cheesy plus the special effects were…well cheesy…but they were the best that a TV budget in the 1960s could afford. I also watched Deep Space Nine which started off slowly but found its stride after Worf joined the crew, and Voyager came to my attention during the episode Scorpion in which the USS Voyager forged an alliance with the Borg which interested me enough to keep me watching the rest of the series. Then after Voyager finished Enterprise hit the small screen, and I tried to watch it but found it sadly lacking. Trying to rewrite the canon and fit a prequel into the established universe fell pretty flat with me, still this is not the time to critique the Star Trek television shows, but thinking about it, that is something I could do at a later date. Anyway, here I am going to talk about Star Trek Legacy.
So…all five captains together in one game, a game that spans two hundred years, how do they all link together I hear you ask, well, if you are sitting comfortably then I shall begin…
In 2159 Jonathan Archer and the crew of the Enterprise NX-01 are sent to look for a missing Vulcan ship, and eventually comes across the vessel being attacked by Romulans. They rescue the vessel, and the captain of the Vulcan ship, T'Uerell, asks for Archer’s help but subsequently abandons the Enterprise and escapes. She leaves Archer to contend with increased hostility from the Romulans who start an offensive against Earth.
Skip ahead to 2270 in which James Kirk is dealing with increased hostility from the Klingon Empire who have developed a super-weapon designed to attack Earth. After infiltrating Klingon space Kirk sights a Vulcan ship commanded by T’Uerell who has been helping to develop the weapon. Later the Vulcan ship reappears after a number of Klingon ships are transformed into a cybernetic organisms that attack the vessels under Kirk’s command. Kirk defeats the Klingon ships, unfortunately T’Uerell is able to escape before she can be apprehended.
We then jump ahead again to 2333 and share the captain’s chair with Picard as we take over control of the USS Enterprise-D (and later the Enterprise-E), it is this story that the players can have the USS Defiant and the USS Voyager and this is where the Next Generation era captains all appear to voice their respective characters. Needless to say it is ultimately down to Picard to finally stop T’Uerell and her plan to assimilate the Federation with a little help from Sisko and Janeway.
In the game the players can control up to four ships, one of which is always going to be the Enterprise, in later eras the Enterprise is the most powerful ship in the Federation fleet, however in Archer’s era you can build battleships which are more powerful than Enterprise although this does sometimes mean babysitting Enterprise because it is quite easy for this ship to be overwhelmed by enemy numbers. The ships function as huge ships would, their turning circles are slow, their weapons need to recharge after firing, and smaller ships can outmanoeuvre them.
During the game you have a series of missions in each era and through completing objectives you’ll earn xp points that can be used to buy more powerful ships that you can utilize in later missions. The vessels you purchase will remain in your fleet until you decommission them to buy better ships to use in later time periods however there is nothing to prevent you keeping older ships to use in later eras. I have to say though that here I do find this game to be a little bizarre and here’s way. The ships from Archer’s era do not have shields because that technology has not been developed yet, however, if you keep a ship from Archer’s era in your fleet once you jump into Kirk’s time that ship still won’t be equipped with shields. I know that some of the ships from other eras in Star Trek are old, hell, in The Next Generation ships are upgraded as new technologies are developed so why would a ship from Archer’s time not have been upgraded to include shields?? As a result there is really no reason to keep older ships, and so as a new era begins you might as well sell all the vessels in your fleet and buy new ones. Thing is, I found that there is really no reason to buy any other ships apart from the battleships which you can easily afford as long as you are remotely competent in commanding your fleet.
The ships can be difficult to control in three dimensions fortunately you can switch to a 2-D map whenever you want, and in this mode it is easier to target enemy ships or tell a damaged ship to warp the hell out of trouble if is in danger of being destroyed. As you have got a run-the-fuck-away button it is pretty easy to keep your fleet in one piece and more often than not the larger enemies will target one of your ships leaving your other vessels alone whilst one is assaulted. The enemy AI is…well…it is not exactly terrible but they are not especially co-ordinated so as long as you keep all your ships highlighted you can take the enemies apart without too much trouble. The missions are not especially varied and more often than not you spend your time flying your fleet around a certain sector destroying enemy vessels, sometimes you have to protect other ships, and you even have to take on a couple of Borg cubes fortunately they are not as tough as they are in the actual Star Trek universe. There is no diplomacy option so there is no talking to other ships and attempting to avoid a fight.
Story-wise there are not many enemies that can span a couple of centuries so having a Vulcan as an enemy makes sense especially considering that T’Uerell believes that the Borg represent true logic. Combining these two elements works in the context of the Star Trek universe as you could see a Vulcan trying to use the Borg Collective as a means of spending logic throughout the galaxy.
The five actors who made the roles of their respective captains their own all step back into the characters with ease. Of course we never see any of the captains and only hear their voices during the introduction of the missions via the Captain Log or through communications between different ships.
I played this game because I am a Star Trek fan and wanted to play a game in which all five captains reprised their roles. Legacy was a pretty decent game and I have to admit that I did like playing it, however, the majority of the time you are flying around shooting at enemy ships, automated turrets or space stations. There is no +game mode so you cannot import a few Sovereign-class ships into the Enterprise-era in a subsequent play through which would have been both fun and hilarious. The missions are pretty similar and not being able to upgrade your ships is a little irritating, still if you are a fan of Star Trek then there are certainly worse ways to spend a few hours of your life.
I will give Star Trek Legacy a Thumbs Up because whilst it is not the best game in the world it has the pedigree of having all five captains lending their voices to the game so self-respecting fans will want to check it out.
6/10 – The enemies are not especially varied, the majority missions involved blowing up other ships and stations but what lifts this above being bad or dull and repetitive is the fact that it has all five actors returning to reprise their roles as Starfleet’s legendary captains.