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Convention Coverage: GenCon 1999 -- Wrapup
Dates:Thursday, August 5th through Sunday, August 8th
Location: Midwest Express Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Event Management: Wizards of the Coast
Required System:Your feet and a willingness to have some fun.
Author:Michael Ahlf      Date: August 15th1999
Page: 1

Preview #1: Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force

Publisher: Activision

Star Trek franchise games have in the past been mediocre, leading to both fan and designer disappointment. The last offering in the first person shooter market for Trek fans was Interplay's "Klingon Honor Guard", based on the unreal engine, which "laid a big stinky one". So what can fans expect for Elite Force? Surprisingly, from the gameplay I saw in even the very early demo being shown (very few weapons, or levels, and only rudimentary levels) the game is going to be impressive. Already, the Quake 3 engine's curved surface capabilities and enhanced figure rendering proved incredible -- seeing a few klingons, I was surprised to find that their faces were still well drawn even when they filled the entire screen. Likewise, the level design -- incredibly accurate to the TV series when on Voyager or other familiar locations -- looks like a winner.

The Storyline:You are part of Voyager's "Elite Force", a special detail set up by Lt. Tuvok to take on the especially dangerous missions which sometimes confront Voyager's crew. In other words, you're an incredibly well-armed red-shirt (though if you're lucky, you can beat the odds and be the red-shirt who doesn't die). Throughout the game, you face off on familiar foes (the Maalon and the Borg)) and unfamiliar aliens as well. The storyline is helped by the actual cast voices (no soundalikes, hopefully -- negotiations were under way at the time of the convention) and has been Paramount-approved. In between missions, characters will find themselves with duties on Voyager such as going to sickbay (if they are injured), helping engineering make repairs, and of course reporting to Tuvok for the next assignment: there won't be time sitting between missions idle, as Voyager is a pretty small crew and everybody pitches in.

Weapons:Standard starfleet weapons are all there -- hand phaser, phaser rifle, and heavy rifle. Also present will be alien weapons, as well as a weapon designed by Seven of Nine which merges Borg and Starfleet phaser technology to combat the Borg drones.

Multiplayer:Elite Force will feature traditional DM for all the hard-core FPS gamers who just want to kill their buddies online, as well as a Co-op mode (yes, the return of co-op is upon us) which features its own specially designed levels and its own, somewhat smaller, storyline. Designers would have liked to set up co-op for the entire game, but it wasn't feasible in the time allotted (though a patch might be released to make it possible, don't hold your breath).

In Short: Look for this game. Buy it. It'll be worth it.

Back to the main wrapup page.

Gencon '99

Added:  Sunday, August 15, 1999
Reviewer:  Michael Ahlf

Page: 5/10

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