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Reviewed: Star Trek: Hiddel Evil
Author: Michael "" Ahlf       Date: December 31st 1999
Page: 2

Enjoying the scenery is the main point to this unfortunate game. Especially problematic is that that's all that can be done: movement through levels happens with the player's 3D-rendered body running around in static backgrounds. This leads to the game's first trouble: navigation. With practice it is possible to get anywhere quickly, but the nature of the motion leaves too much to be desired and it is much too easy to get turned around in the corridors of a space station or the Enterprise.

The object usage menu is equally silly, as every object which can be held is mapped to a number key (1 thru 0) when it can be used. That's right, only 10 items usable at a time, and that includes basic firepower and communicators. To uncomplicate matters even further, the communicator is virtually useless (Picard and Data are always busy if you're going to think of asking for assistance) and the two guns are pretty much identical. While this may be appealing to some, at a certain point it can get pretty boring. Adding to the annoyance is the apparent inability of Ensign Sovok to use both his hands: if he has a tricorder or phaser equipped he won't access a computer panel with the other hand, ever.

Beautiful cinematics, if you have the
hard drive space.
Don't you wish polygon people blended
better with painted backdrops?
Eek! A Romulan! Oh wait nevermind,
he's out cold.

In terms of plotline, the game is well done. The best parts are early on, when exploring the new Sona colony can give great background information on the various people in the area. As soon as the action begins, however, exploration dies out quickly as the limits of the combat system are exposed. Given the static nature of the backgrounds, the aiming cone for the weapons desperately needs work. The main difficulty of the game isn't the puzzles, it's managing to go anywhere without being killed by the endless supply of small enemies everywhere. If ever a game had too many, this is it.

Searching is less a matter of fun and more a matter of necessity in the game. As an unfortunate turn of events, you are never told more than the bare minimum of what is required to do your job... EVER. this can lead to some interesting situations such as dying over 40 times in a room before realizing that, in another corner of the map, there is a control to turn on a force field and totally neutralize the aliens in the main room of interest. This also makes it extremely difficult to determine the real objectives of what have to be done in a mission, as the pieces of the puzzle come together more by accident than design.

Your briefing during load times...
appropriate if boring.
Your inventory below, and
that's as big as it gets.
Welcome to a beautifully painted colony.

Cinematics seem to be the best part of the game. The full install gives richly detailed, high-resolution cutscenes which flesh out the action and show nice details like the Enterprise rescuing your shuttlecraft or the ejection of a warp core. The other installation options, unfortunately, don't do as well as the low-resolution movies just don't have the same thrill to them. The rest of the plot points don't do as well, unfortunately, since the mouths of the characters are well articulated but their hands just don't move and the fingers are composed of lines on a pretty un-detailed polygon matrix. In terms of storyline and plot, this is pretty much a two-part episode with one major actor.

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Added:  Friday, December 31, 1999
Reviewer:  Michael Ahlf
Page: 2/5

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