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Star Trek: Shattered Universe Reviewed by Adam Wallace on . Rating: 30%
Star Trek: Shattered Universe
Star Trek: Shattered Universe Star Trek: Shattered Universe Star Trek: Shattered Universe Star Trek: Shattered Universe
  • Review Score:

  • D+
"Mirror, Mirror" was one of the greatest episodes in the entire Star Trek franchise. The idea of a parallel dimension where everything was the opposite of the familiar struck a chord with sci-fi fans. The idea worked so well that the mirror universe was revisited in later Star Trek shows, even providing one of the only watchable episodes of Enterprise. Considering the conniptions die-hard fans got into over Star Trek: Invasion, a space dogfighter set in the mirror universe would seem like the perfect concept to appeal to both Trekkers and gamers. Unfortunately, Star Trek: Shattered Universe shows how a can't-miss idea can still be botched.

The game takes place after the events of Star Trek 6. Capt. Sulu of the Excelsior goes through an ion storm and ends up in the mirror universe. While trying to find a way back to their own dimension, the Excelsior deals with mirror versions of threats faced in the original series like Balok and the Planet Killer. All the while, Sulu is being hunted by the mirror version of the Enterprise, commanded by Chekov. The plot works well, paying homage to moments from the original series while not coming off as a rehash. George Takei and Walter Koenig put in good performances in their signature roles, even though their CG forms in the cutscenes are absolutely hideous. It feels very legit.

Star Trek: Shattered Universe (Xbox)Click For the Full Picture Archive

The space combat gameplay works well. The controls are tight; maneuvering was never a problem. The weapons look, sound, and act powerful, and the lock-on makes it easy to keep enemies in your sights. The starfighters all have their strengths, weaknesses, and weapon load-outs, and all are useful. The game even looks and sounds great with colorful maps and awesome ship designs.

By now, you must be wondering why the score is so low considering all the praise above. Every one of those great aspects was ruined by the absolutely terrible mission structure. There are too many escort missions which, no matter the game or genre, are the worst missions to come up. Each mission runs from 10 - 30 minutes a piece with multiple main objectives and a couple of side objectives. Failing one main objective means a restart. This wouldn't be so bad were it not for one thing: THERE ARE NO FRIGGIN' CHECKPOINTS!!! If you get killed on the last objective of a thirty-minute mission, you have to do the whole thing all over again. That one omission makes the game needlessly frustrating. It's especially inexcusable considering Star Trek: Invasion provided checkpoints on the PS1. Don't tell me the newer game on the Xbox couldn't do it.

Star Trek: Shattered Universe pissed me off more than any other game I'd played with the Star Trek name. How can a game with such promise get screwed up this badly? It had everything going for it: familiar characters voiced by their original actors, a great premise, cool call-backs to the original show, and sound gameplay mechanics, all ruined by awful missions. Throw this game in the Agony Booth, and leave it there.
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