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Star Trek: Conquest Reviewed by Adam Wallace on . Rating: 64%
Star Trek: Conquest
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  • Review Score:

  • B-
Some TV and film franchises are limited in what can be done in video games. For example, The Matrix is pretty much stuck providing action games since it can't work in other game genres without forcing it big-time. Star Trek doesn't have that handicap. The wealth of set-ups and stories in the franchise allow for it to fit in almost any genre. This makes it weird that it took until 2007 for the franchise to enter strategy territory. Fortunately, Star Trek: Conquest was a decent trip into that unknown area as long as you can ignore a few hull breaches.

Like most of the Star Trek games I covered, there is a set-up but no plot. The campaign mode is all about taking one of six races (Human, Klingon, Romulan, Breen, Cardassians, and Dominion) and conquering the other races with them. There is no story arc (despite the fact that this can easily be set during the Dominion War from Deep Space Nine), and the set-ups for each match are about as open as a simple game of Civilization. The only difference between the campaign and skirmish modes is that there are a few more options in skirmish.

Star Trek: Conquest (PlayStation 2)Click For the Full Picture Archive

Turn-based matches are easy to follow. Three fleets can be out at any given time, and conquered star systems can be set to produce research for upgrades or mined for resources. The ease of the game is both its biggest strength and its greatest weakness. Options are extremely slim with only four facilities available for each race, three ship types, and three Admirals to command. Even chess provides more options than that! On top of that, the six races have balance issues. Playing as the Dominion, annihilating the Federation was a cakewalk, but defeating a Klingon fleet was nearly impossible even when I had them outmatched. The balance issues became worse in matches involving more than one opposing faction.

Balance issues reach their zenith in battle. In an interesting twist, battles can be done in "Sim" or "Arcade" mode. Arcade mode shifts the game to twin-stick action set-up lifted straight from Star Trek: Encounters. While the idea is interesting, the execution is botched. Switching between the ships in the fleet is a pain, and the friendly AI is dreadful. I never managed to win a battle in Arcade. Thankfully, the Sim mode works much better through stat analysis and invisible die-rolls.

Aesthetics are decent for a late PS2 game. The battle visuals when in Arcade mode are well-detailed, and the visuals elsewhere get the job done well enough though they are very simple. The music fits the game perfectly, but the voice acting sounds lifeless like all the parts were done by NOMAD.

Star Trek: Conquest may bore strategy veterans due to the limited options, but it is still a decent strategy game. Strategy games have never been my strong suit, but I was able to handle this one okay. This one may not win the Legion of Honor, but it is worth at least a promotion.
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