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Star Trek: Bridge Commander

Score: 85%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Totally Games
Media: CD/1
Players: 1 - 8
Genre: Miscellaneous/ Adventure

Graphics & Sound:

Realism and detail are definitely two key factors when looking at any kind of simulation. With a Star Trek game, Trekkies have long sought for a game that will maximize their senses in realistic scenarios straight out of the hit television series. Star Trek: Bridge Commander definitely gives the gamer what he wants. The stunning visuals of the bridge and crewmembers of a Federation star ship capture the same feel as that of the Enterprise from The Next Generation. In addition, the cut scenes and cinematic battle modes, covering various angles and camera positions, are amazingly movie like and are almost entirely controllable by the player.

Just as the television and movie series are known for memorable soundtracks, Bridge Commander has a remarkable, ever present soundtrack that changes mood perfectly with the situation. Furthermore, sound effects are clear and well initiated, heightening the mood of explosions, hull breaches, and other sounds.


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.


Three levels of difficulty are presented in Bridge Commander, but beware. Even the first difficult level, First Officer, could cause troubles. Because the tactics in this game feature only pass or fail, hesitating a command for even the slightest second could spell defeat, forcing you to play most of the mission over again. The proper destruction techniques for the various enemy ships could get tedious and are quite tough to accomplish on the first try. Nevertheless, managing to get through battles is the only true difficulty this game presents. The storyline is easy to follow, and makes for mostly common sense decision making.

Game Mechanics:

The graphical interface overlaying the camera view at each crewmembers command post makes controlling your post self-explanatory, although there is a thorough introduction and tutorial led by Captain Picard at the beginning of the game. Furthermore, a separate list of keyboard commands can be used if you want to control the ship operations single-handedly, and there is even minor support for voice-activated commands.

With an excellent user interface, and such a world class plot and story development, Star Trek: Bridge Commander could work as leader into the next movie or series for the genre. This game will put you in the middle of the Star Trek Universe leaving not much else to be wanted. This game is a definite must have for all die-hard Trekkies, and could serve as a great introduction for even less involved fans of the series.

-==Boy, GameVortex Communications
AKA Kyle Prestenback

Minimum System Requirements:

3-D Hardware Accelerator (with 16MB VRAM), Microsoft Windows 95 or higher, Pentium II 300Mhz processor or Athlon Processor, 64 MB RAM, 650 MB hard disk space, DirectX 8.0 or higher, Quad Speed CD-ROM drive, Internet or LAN connection (for multiplayer

Test System:

HP Pavilion 8776C, Windows XP, AMD Athlon 1Ghz, 512 MB RAM, 12X DVD, Vanta 16 MB 3D video card

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Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated