Top positive review
17 people found this helpful
One Heck Of A Game
on September 1, 2001
For me, the 'Star Trek' story has always been about the thrill and adventure woven into the lives of those characters who live and serve aboard 'Starships'. Just the concept of such machines as those portrayed in the series' leaves me literally quivering with excitement. In every new episode I look forward to the dedicated work of those special effects geniuses who bring starships to life. Whether they're jumping to warp, combating the enemy, or simply gliding through space, I can't help but be captivated by the sleek gracefullness of these magnificent creations. I believe this feeling of captivation is what 'Dominion Wars' was founded upon. The creators used the war with the Dominion as the perfect background to at last give the player that sense of true command which previous Star Trek games lacked.
I'm talking about being able to watch the ships under your control perform graphically beautiful maneuvers from literally any camera angle you prefer. Because of the completely interactive, 3D environment, the player comes to feel that they're truly there, right in the heart of the action. With so much control over the vessels, it's hard not to get excited when you manage to pull of something cool.
I remember at one point in the game, and this left me truly breathless (if you're not an avid Star Trek fan, this will sound geeky). I was engaged in a fierce battle with several Jem'Hadar fighters, my two Akira class starships were taking heavy damage while holding the line against the opposing strike cruisers. Meanwhile my Flagship, an Achilles class vessel (with shields severely damaged and venting plasma - which looks really cool graphically by the way) was frantically attempting to gain the edge on a circling Jem'Hadar War Cruiser. The USS Bastion (my faithful 'Steamrunner') was a flaming pile of wrekage spiraling towards a nearby planet. The long range sensors aboard my 'Achilles' were picking up Cardassian reinforcements moving in fast. Frantically, I checked the progress of my 'Defiant' class vessel, whose engines had been damaged and was at least 30 seconds away from the fight. Knowing I wouldn't be able to survive without the quantum torpedoes aboard the 'Defiant'. I re-routed all available power to the rear shields on each of my engaged vessels and high-tailed it back towards the Defiant so that I could make my last stand with all guns blazing. Unfortunately, one of my Akira's wasn't fast enough and was dispatched readily by the pursuing Strike Cruiser. Panicking, I re-group and wait for them to come to me. I figure I only have one chance: The Secret Maneuver! It doesn't always work, but I figured I had nothing to lose. As the blips on my sensors get closer, I form my remaining ships into a sort of 'V' and prepare to 'joust' with the enemy. As soon as the Jem'Hadar and Cardassian ships were within visual range, I brought my ships up to full impulse and charged the War Cruiser (their ultra omega death ship), targeting its shields with one concentrated alpha strike in an attempt to knock em' down, if just for a second. As my beleageured fleet charged, I swiveled the camera angle to the get the best shot of the action. The specially equppied long range phasers aboard my Achilles were the first to light up the scene, followed by multiple spreads of torpedoes and intermingled phaser bursts. Scanning the War Cruiser, I could see that I had almost done it, I just needed a little more. The quantum torpedoes aboard my defiant were the last to fire, and in a blaze of graphical magnificance, the shields aboard the War cruiser dropped. Instantly I beamed aboard all available boarding teams in an attempt to gain control of the vessel. I had equppied extra security personel for just this purpose, with upgraded weapons to provide that extra punch. While the battle raged on the War Cruiser, my fleet held against the Cardassian Tonga's just long enough for my boarding teams to gain control of the War Cruiser. I had 2 security dudes left after that fight, the image of the War Cruiser popped up in my ship bar, signifying control. After that, it was only a matter of beaming aboard a small command crew, and mopping up the competition with the heavy weapons aboard my newly aquired vessel.
Nacelles smoking, my fleet limped back to starbase for repairs. It was a close fight.
See, this is what I'm talking about. This is the kind of gaming action that every trekkie dreams of. The creators did a superb job of adding just the right amount of detail, without flooding the player with list upon list of complicated commands. The learning curve is about 2 hours, after that, you're ready to rock.
The graphics in this game are absolutely amazing, providing a level of detail and style that is breathtaking in all its glory. Nebulas, planets, and gas clouds offer a spectacular setting to fight your way through, while the ships just look gorgeous.
The story is based upon events from the Deep Space Nine series, so if you weren't into that show, you probably won't get as much out of the plot as the die hard trekkies. There are a lot of references to particular circumstances that only a portion of gamers will recognize. However, the basic plot line is laid out for those who know nothing of Star Trek. The Jem'Hadar, who abide in the Gamma quadrant are seeking to conquer the Alpha quadrant. Due to the vast distance between the two areas, they must use a wormhole to transport their fleet. This wormhole exits near and is monitored by the Space Station 'Deep Space Nine'. The baddies come through, despite resistance, team up with some Cardassian dudes and duke it out with the Federation. You will participate in many battles in two separate campaigns (good guys and bad guys)...Ya.
Of course, from what I've said so far, I would love to give this game 5 stars, and if it weren't for all those damnable bugs, I would. The game doesn't seem to be compatible with certain 3D cards, in certain combinations with different PC's. These combinations seem to vary with each copy of the game. So, if you're like me, living with a 500mHz Pentium 3 (that's pretty bad now a days), you could be hooped, even with a 3D card. The game doesn't actually even work on my computer anymore. When I upgraded my 3D card, the game looked nicer, but got really slow and choppy. How does that work? Then there's all those multi-player and sibgle player glitches that detract from the game. Patches are available, but still...
Anyway, if you have an Ultra Death Dream Machine Pentium 4 or something, you'll probably have nothing but good to say about this title.
In summary, Dominion Wars provides players with the type of action and visual prowess that demands attention, while keeping the player interested in the evolving story. Despite bugs, a great buy!
The Starship creator that comes with the game is also a blast, almost as fun as the game itself, with rotating 3D customizable models and such. Good fun was had by all!