Beam me out of here.
In Deep Space 9: Harbinger you play a Federation ambassador
assigned to DS9. You
must help open relations with a new alien race known as the Scythians from
the Gamma Quadrant (which is located on the other side of a worm hole next
to the space station). You must also help solve two mysteries, one
involving that alien race and robot ships that attacked the station, and the
other concerning the murder of a Federation ambassador.
When the game begins you are just
a recently arrived envoy. Shortly after arriving on the station, it is attacked
by mysterious alien robot ships. Following the attack, the ambassador you have
been assigned to assist is found murdered, and you are assigned to take his place.
This sets the scene for your two main goals during the game. First, you must help
find the ambassador’s killer or killers. Second you must also try to negotiate
with the Scythians who may hold the key to the mysterious robot ships that attacked
the station. Along the way you will encounter 5 of the main characters from the
television show: Captain Sisko, Lieutenant Dax, Odo, Major Kira, and Quark, in
addition to various other characters. The game takes place both on and off the
station; and you even get to visit a holosuite. There are several space battles
on a runabout. You will also have phaser fights on the station and on an alien
planet. Finally, you will encounter various logic puzzles, which you must solve
in order to advance the game.
The graphics in the game range from
adequate too excellent, although most of the characters only look like caricatures
of the actors who play them. The play control is slow and awkward, especially
when trying to navigate your way through the station. During the game you are
unable to use the keyboard to move the character; you must use the mouse to move
around. The way the control is set up can be confusing at times. It is not always
clear how to get to specific areas of the station. This is made harder, because
at certain times during the game you will be unable to access certain areas of
the station, which at other times are accessible. You never know if you can not
access a certain area because of the stage of the game you are in, or if it’s
because that area simply cannot be accessed.
However, you do have a
wide variety of options when speaking to people. Harbinger allows you to
have completely differently conversions with the same characters based on
your individual personality. For example, the characters will often ask
your opinion on what to do; you can demand action, ask questions, or defer
responsibility. In addition, with the game’s save feature, you can save the
game before critical moments and then backtrack to see the various ways in
which they can be played.
The sound and music are give the station a more realistic feel. Fortunately, the
actors from the show did the voices of the main characters. However, do not
expect the voices to be in sync with the character’s lips; they look more
like marionettes than real people. The music adds that extra Star
Trek ambiance as you play through the game.
As a die hard
Star Trek fan, I found Harbinger to be satisfactory, but
could use some major improvements in play control; I found moving around
the station to be more
like work than fun.