The Next Generation crew is preparing to boldly go where no one has gone before (again) in MicroProse's latest Star Trek adventure. But this time their travels will be logged in a journey familiar to Star Trek movie fans. Star Trek Generations, an adaptation of last year's Star Trek movie by the same name, will teleport players into the movie's story line with multiple gameplay elements, the latest 3-D technology, and many voices from Generation's crew, including William Shatner as Captain Kirk and Malcolm McDowell in the role of Soran, mad scientist extraordinaire.
As in the movie, the objective of Star Trek Generations is to find Soran, an El-Aurian obsessed with returning to the nexus, a heaven-like place in another dimension where life is always good. Soran must direct its gateway, an energy ribbon traveling through space, to a specific planet, where he'll be able to enter the door and return to his Mecca. Unfortunately, his efforts to get home involve destroying stars, collapsing solar systems, and inadvertently wiping out millions of innocent lives in the process, so someone really has to make him quit.
If you're expecting nothing but a replay of the movie, you'll be pleasantly disappointed. Although Generations the game aims to generate the same sense of urgency and tension as the movie, the story line serves as a framework - not a blueprint - for immersing players in the world of Picard and his crew. And while the beginning and ending might resemble the cinematic event, woven into its core is an adventure filled with away missions and space combat encounters that are completely new.
The majority of the adventure plays out in a series of one-person, away-team missions. Every main crew member, including Captain Kirk, will have at least one mission to complete, with each tailored to that particular crew member's strongest attributes. For example, Counselor Troi is sent to a Romulan base where she poses as a member of the Romulan secret police to conduct a mission of espionage. Although she can enlist in combat, remaining inconspicuous is a better way to complete her assignment. Engaging in combat and setting the phaser to kill are decisions players will be faced with throughout the missions. However, partaking in actions unbecoming of a Star Fleet officer may be unwise, and may even hamper progress. Maintaining the composure of one of Picard's finest will definitely work to your advantage in ending the game on a happy note.
Using Stellar Cartography, players will set and modify their course in the game. From an interactive planetarium, short- and long-range scans of solar systems can be conducted, and players will be able to find information about Soran's whereabouts. Once he's located, the action moves into a first-person mission or space combat, depending on the situation. Space combat is played out with a single-screen interface where players can test their ability to manage the U.S.S. Enterprise in tactical situations by targeting strategic elements on the enemy's ship while maintaining command and regulating the ship's resources.
With MicroProse poised to release this fast-paced, multilayered, nonlinear Star Trek adventure featuring the entire Next Generation crew and the legendary Star Fleet captain, Kirk, renting the movie might be anticlimactic. After all, why limit your participation to simply watching when you have the chance to jump on board the Enterprise and make a difference? Who knows, maybe you can play the hero and rescue Kirk from that nasty tumble.