Star Trek: Voyager Elite Force Expansion Pack Q&A
We talk to Activision producer Graham Fuchs to find out details about this exciting add-on.
Released last year, Raven Software's Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force was the first action game worthy of the Star Trek license. While Elite Force focused on familiar Voyager settings and iconography, it was still an action game with gorgeous graphics and a scripting system that ensured its pacing never dipped to a lull. So it should have come as no surprise when Activision announced that it would be publishing an expansion pack to Elite Force aptly called Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force Expansion Pack. Scheduled to be released right around this year's E3, the add-on has you reprising the role of either Alex or Alexandra Munroe, a lieutenant aboard the USS Voyager. Expansion Pack actually takes place during the events of Elite Force, between two of the later campaigns in the original game, and it lets you try your hand at a number of new holodeck missions. You'll even have the ability to explore the Voyager itself, which is re-created from actual Star Trek schematics. We sat down with Activision producer Graham Fuchs to find out more about this upcoming add-on.
GameSpot: Is "Expansion Pack" the final name of the add-on? Have you guys not an original bone in your bodies?
Graham Fuchs: If we added any more words to the title, "Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force Expansion Pack," we would need a bigger box.
GS: Does the game take place after the events in Elite Force? Will players assume the roles of Lieutenants Alex and Alexandra Monroe?
GF: The player will still be able to "choose their Monroe," and the tour mode takes place during some of the downtime in the original Elite Force game.
GS: How many levels does the new single-player campaign encompass?
GF: There are 10 decks of the Voyager that you will be able to explore in tour mode, and there are three new missions to play in the holodeck: a Captain Proton mission, straight from the TV show (it is even in Black and White!), [a] Raid [of] a Klingon Stronghold, and a Garden Relaxation Program, which winds up not being all that relaxing. Plus, there is a fun "Borg slayer" video game hidden somewhere on the ship.
GS: Can you talk a little about the virtual Voyager tour mode? Is this a separate mode from the rest of the expansion pack?
GF: The expansion pack basically consists of two parts, the virtual Voyager tour mode, and the multiplayer holomatch additions. As discussed above, in the tour mode the player will be able to access all the decks of Voyager and be able to interact with all the stuff they see that was just scenery in the original Elite Force game. You can use replicators, read personal logs, access computer files, etc. We have also built out several levels not in the original game such as Astrometrics, the computer core, and the officers' quarters. Basically, during the original EF game, every time you were on the ship you were running from one crisis to another, so you didn't have time to really explore the cool ship that Raven had built. This was a feature that lots of fans asked us for after the release of Elite Force, and we are happy to provide it for them here.
GS: Are you adding any new weapons or items to the expansion?
GF: There is a new tricorder you can use to examine objects on the ship, and there is a Captain Proton pistol for the Proton mission. There are also various surprises and hidden items scattered around the ship for the players to find.
GS: How long is the game as compared to the original Elite Force?
GF: This game isn't a continuation of the Elite Force story, so you can walk around the Voyager as much as you like and do the new holodeck missions at your leisure. On the multiplayer side, there are five new game modes, seven new holomatch maps, nine new capture-the-flag maps, and five off-the-top fan-made maps from the Elite Force online community, so that's 21 new maps in all. Basically, there is whole bunch of new stuff to play with.
GS: How many new player models have been included in the game?
GF: There are 11 new models, including Janeway as Borg, Captain Proton, and even Boothby.
GS: Have the game's graphics been updated in any way? High-resolution textures, increase in poly count, etc?
GF: No, but there will be some exciting new voice-over additions. Keep your ears peeled for an announcement soon...
GS: The expansion includes five new multiplayer modes. Can you briefly describe each one?
GF: In assimilation, one team plays as the Borg, the other as the Federation. The Borg must assimilate the Federation players, and the Federation players must destroy the Borg Queen. Once a Federation player gets assimilated, he will respawn as a member of the Borg team.
In the specialties game you chose from [five] player classes, medic, technician, heavy weapons, demolitionist, infiltrator, and sniper. Each class has their own specific abilities (speed, armor, etc) to enhance team CTF and deathmatch games.
Disintegration is your basic fast and furious "instagib" game where everyone is armed with a compression rifle, and each hit results in a disintegration.
Action hero is kind of a "king of the hill" mode. One player starts as the action hero, with all the weapons and 300 points of regenerating health, and the other players try to kill him. The player who kills the action hero gets five kills and becomes the action hero himself.
In elimination, once you are killed you become a spectator and watch the remaining contestants battle to the finish. Last man standing wins the round.
GS: How long have you been working on this expansion?
GF: About four months.
GS: Will players need an original Elite Force disk to play the expansion?
GS: When can we expect to see it in stores?
GF: In mid May for a suggested retail price of $19.95.
GS: Thanks, Graham.