Worf finally gets to command his own ship.
Well, actually Michael Dorn gets to command his own ship, the U.S.S. Lexington. Your mission is to explore and possibly retrieve an alien artifact. Unfortunateley, as soon as the Lexington arrives in system you are ambushed by a U.N. ship. This is where the video ends and the game begins. You are the sole survivor of the attack. The ship is leaking. The reactor is on the way to going critical. All you have to do is fix the ship and explore the Alien artifact. No problem. Except that the computer is down. And the communication array on the outside of the ship is down. The spacesuit has no oxygen. And do you really think you are going to solve all of these problems before the U.N. reinforcements arrive? After that you have to get to the planet's surface and explore the alien installation.
The game-play is great. You must explore the ship and grab everything you can, but it does not degenerate into "find the hotspot." There is consistent logic about what items go together and how to solve problems. The couple of times when I ran out of ideas and resorted to trying everything the solution made sense once I found them. There is a constant sense of urgency created by the story. The only problem with this is that in order to fit into a complicated story the game is too linear, but on the whole I think that sacrifice was worth it.
Everything about the game has a detailed background. Which you can read and hear about. At times the detail was more than I wanted, but the answers to many of your problems are embedded within the story, so pay attention. The story actually drives the gameplay and I was surprised to discover that I wanted to find out what was going to happen next. I think this is the only game where I have really gotten involved in the story.
As you wander around you will find puzzles to solve, some videos to watch and question, and a cool litle strategy game. It only uses line drawing, but packs a lot of fun into a 3-D space battle. This is a cool little strategy game with a simple interface, but has more depth than it seems at first. If strategy games scare you there is also the option of letting the computer run it for you completely. I, on the other hand, have gone back after completing the game and fought some more battles.
The graphics in this game are slightly dissappointing. The interface is similar to MYST but with an inventory and some other minor additions. Compared to the smooth scrolling Zork Nemesis, the interface is not up to today's standards. But it came out last year so that is not a completely fair comparison. The artwork is not great, but it is good enough not to detract from gameplay. The music was repetitive. I turned it way down soon after the game began. Although the gameplay was good, Mission Critical was too short and it has no replay value other than the aforementioned space battle. I finished Mission Critical in about a night and a half. This game is fun and I would recomend it for someone who is new to gaming or is looking for something to play on a slower machine.