Star Trek: Legacy E3 2006 Preshow Report

The developer behind the Empire Earth series brings strategy to Starfleet.

Bethesda Softworks is teaming up with Mad Doc Software, the development house behind Empire Earth II and Star Trek Armada II, to bring the Star Trek universe back to the world of video games--after a three-year absence--with Star Trek: Legacy. This real-time strategy game will put the focus squarely on large-scale space battles, though it also promises to streamline the experience to minimize excessive micromanagement. Rather than being a serious space combat simulation, Legacy is being designed to provide a much more accessible experience.

But accessible doesn't necessarily mean simple, and rather than having you captain a single ship, Legacy will put you in the high-level position of admiral in command of a fleet of warships that you must lead into battle. You'll choose the ships in your fleet, the gear they're equipped with, and the captains that will command the ships. Unlike a certain Khan Noonien Singh, Star Trek: Legacy is able to think three-dimensionally, allowing for more dynamic combat while also promising intuitive controls that will make navigating all three dimensions of space much more manageable.

The single-player game will include three unique Federation campaigns that take place during the eras of Enterprise, the original series, and Next Generation. If playing for those Federation goody two-shoes isn't up your alley, don't fret, because Legacy will also feature full multiplayer support that will additionally let you control the fleets of the Klingons, the Romulans, and the Borg, and the developer has also hinted that the game will include a secret alien race. All told, the game will feature upward of 60 different ships from every single era of Star Trek, including Deep Space Nine and Voyager. The multiplayer game is said to scale from relatively small conflicts into all-out wars spanning multiple star-systems. Xbox 360 owners will additionally get all the benefits that are synonymous with the Xbox Live service, including player matching, extensive stat tracking, and player ranking.

Rather than trying to shoehorn a game focused on deep-space combat into its existing Empire Earth II engine, Mad Doc Software has built an all-new engine from the ground up for Star Trek: Legacy. You can expect to see some great-looking ships with full damage models, which means that you'll see shields fluctuate and ship hulls break apart, spewing debris and sparks as you bombard your enemies with various lasers and photon torpedoes. The universe itself will offer some impressive sights, including fully modeled nebulas, wormholes, and complete star systems.

The past few years have marked a major low point for the Star Trek franchise, and Star Trek: Legacy is looking like a step in the right direction for this beloved universe. You can expect to see Star Trek: Legacy on the PC and Xbox 360 in September.

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