As the title assumes, your only responsibility in Star Trek: Bridge Commander
is as captain of a Federation star ship. The game follows a linear plot, as you must accomplish certain tasks to progress through your mission. Accomplish your tasks and you move to the next mission. Fail and be forced to start over from the last saved position. The game saves after each mission subtask is completed, and at the end of each mission, you are rewarded with plot revealing cut scenes.
The specific objective in Bridge Commander is to uncover the truth behind a catastrophic star explosion that killed the previous captain of the ship you now control, the Dauntless. Throughout the voyage, you control every order placed to one of five bridge crewmembers. Each member is responsible for his/her own set of ship operations. These operations range from tactical warfare, navigation, ship energy and repairs, and sensory mechanism operations. You also have a first officer who will keep your priorities straight and informs you of any error in your commands. As Captain, you must relay your orders to the crew, hopefully building up your own strategy and tactics as you encounter both allies and enemies of Klingon, Cardassian, Ferengi, Romulan, and Federation decent.
The game features cameo appearances of both Captain Picard and Commander Data, both of Next Generation fame. Though each only appear briefly at interspersed positions in the game, their presence makes the game more enjoyable, creating a more realistic game play, and places the game in continuity with the rest of the Star Trek Universe.
An interesting Multiplayer mode is available through LAN or modem and pits you against up to eight other players in strategic warfare. It is an enjoyable twist on a 'Deathmatch' styled game play as you and your opponents must seek out and destroy each others ships honing the skills you gain in the traditional story based mode.