As a fan of Star Trek myself, I was overjoyed when I read a magazine article revealing Legacy. It was promised to be the ultimate Trek game. A merging of all the major Star Trek time-lines. Now, in the world of gaming, I have learned that many promises are broken. That is why when I booted up the game and had a quick play, I wasn't surprised. Another promise had been broken."More Graphic than a Klingon bedtime story."
Let's start with one of the games strong points. Graphics. As you can see in the screenshots of the game, they are quite brilliant. The textures are all modeled very well, the ships are very nice looking (and are perfect renditions of their counterparts in the shows and movies) and lighting effects are really cool too. Nebulae are suitably Nebulaish and the weapon effects are excellent. But here, in the games graphics, lie a very big contradiction.
You see, the damage effects are astounding but the explosion effects (the two are pretty much linked together) are terrible. You would expect these giant ships to send out massive amounts of debris and huge shockwaves. For flames to consume the ship and then quickly die in the cold of space. What we get, however, is a little poof, a measly shockwave (that doesn't even shake nearby ships) and big chunks of quickly disappearing debris.
So what to say about the graphics.... I can't say: "Set your trousers to shrink." Like I could were I reviewing This!
But I can say: "They're pretty damn good all right."
"In space, no-one can hear you scream"
But if you were playing this game, you wouldn't want to scream anyway. (Well....) It is rare to find a Star Trek game with bad sound, because developers already have pretty much all of it handed to them. The ships engines, phaser fire, everything you would expect to hear in an episode of Star Trek is all here.
So I guess I should focus on the voice over work. BRILLIANT! All five captains voices, and some pretty good generic character voices, all very good. How's that for focusing eh?
I was surprised at the games story. How can they possibly intertwine all the era's? I asked myself repeatedly. I thought it would be a big mess, with little substance. Boy was I wrong. I won't give the story away, but it is a great one, and gives a valid reason for the time jumps. It involves a renegade Vulcan, who through dodgy dealings with the Romulans and Klingons, hopes to become the Borg queen. Haven't a clue what I just said? Need a translation? A woman from another planet wants to become the leader of very bad, very powerful cyborgs. Simple.
"A brief Intermission"
This is a brief intermission in which I would like to make a complaint. This regard the lack of usage of the traditional Star Trek LCARS interface. The interface used in this game is a load of boll*cks. It is clunky, confusing, slow and downright useless. Thank you."Gameplay"
In Star Trek, ship to ship combat is always excellent. Luckily this translates well into videogame action. Dogfights are brilliant. One of the game's high points is ship control. You can really feel the difference between small and large ships and the ships all turn slowly as you would expect. Ingame there is a dodgy tactical side. You basically pull up an overview map of the level and see all visible ships and objects. From here you can order your ships around.
The problem is... space is not just a 2d map. This map is. So in ordering your fleet of ships about you never really know where they'll end up. Annoying, but trivial. Anyway, during combat, you have a few different options available to you. These include, diverting power to three main systems when needed, (Weapons, shields and engines) repairing damaged systems on the fly and ordering your fleet about. As you progress through the campaign you receive command points to purchase new ships. (Of which there are around 80 in total) This leaves you with some decisions to make. Should you construct a fleet of metaphorical tanks? Or have a fleet of quick ships to zoom in and out of danger zones? Unfortunately, these are pretty much the only tactical decisions you make outside the game itself.
Missions are quite difficult and are varied enough to keep you interested enough to continue playing. Their is a second offline mode other than campaign called skirmish. This let's you pick a level set some options and play against bots. While you can choose your own ships, you cannot change enemy ships. Because they AI always picks the most powerful ships it can, you are left unable to play around with the smaller ships. It's also a pity that there is no "Historic (or futuristic?) battle" mode, where you could relive some of the famous battles from Star Trek.
Also missing, is the rumored "Movie Maker" where you could record battles, edit them and play them back as movies. Alas, 'twas not meant to be....
I cannot review multiplayer because It won't let me play it! (My only 360 game that does that.)
While truly in need of some work, (maybe a few patches over Xbox Live) it is a decent game nonetheless. A good rent, perhaps a good buy. Sadly, all good things must come to an end, so I'll leave you all with a few Links to help you make up your mind on this game.