Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Fallen
Deep space nine was launched in 1992 as a classy new arm of the Star Trek industry. Set in the familiar world of ST: The Next Generation - plasma conduits, tachyon emissions. Marina Sirtis's bazookas -DS9 explored the grimy 'outback' of the Federation, where the feisty Bajoran race had overthrown its Cardassian oppressors and was forging a new life near a stable wormhole which - magic oh magic - led to the Gamma Quadrant, a zillion light years on the other side of the galaxy. StarFleet had taken over an abandoned spacestation called Terek Nor, and installed its own crew of desperadoes plus a few feisty locals, a changeling constable, and a few comedy aliens to round out the numbers.
Harbinger puts you in the jumpsuit of StarFleet envoy Bennig who. on returning from a diplomatic mission in the Gamma quadrant, is set upon by a bunch of lethal probes and emergency crash-docks into DS9. Coming to. on a more or less deserted spacestation. you find yourself joining a skeleton crew - regulars Sisko. Kira. Dax. Odo. and Quark - and stuck in the middle of some intrigue, a bit of phaser action, and some weird goings-on at DS9 HQ.
It's looking good, Vern
The format of Harbinger you've seen before and will probably see again. In what is becoming the blueprint for all 3D environment 'em ups, you get beautifully rendered flick-screen locations (confusingly pasted together from weird camera angles), beautifully constructed 3D models of the characters which actually do resemble their real-life counterparts (bar the triangular shoulders and chronic rickets), beautifully pacey arcade sequences (basically the usual fmv sequences-mit-cursor stuff) - and beautifully impoverished and tedious gameplay.
The game is about as interactive as a spoon. You can chat to characters and move around the station, but all in a very 'you can choose this question and that reply' or 'move here, but not there' kind of way. The gameplay is very linear; the plotline forces you to perform humdrum tasks in a very specific order, and you often find yourself trapped in a long and tedious exposition of facts. The difficulty level only controls the trickiness of the fmv action scenes, and doesn't allow customisation of the interactivity (a la Final Unity).
It's all a bit contrived really. The station has been evacuated by a pesky plasma storm, which accounts for the missing crew members and easy-to-render empty corridors. Then, the station is damaged in a probe attack, neatly knocking out most of the turbo lifts and doors, and restricting access of the station to prerendered bits. Even so. due to the poor interface, to wander around you have to rely on the map which aptly shows just how limited the playing area really is. Even the storyline skirts the gritty Dominion, Klingons, Jem Hadar TV series plots, to deal instead with the Sythians (who?) and a bunch of unknown ambassadorial crap. The subtlety of characterisation is lost too when your apparently unassuming diplomat suddenly "has a weapons proficiency rating of eight" and a reputation for kicking terrorist's butts.
There are some good bits, though. The station is faithfully recreated in 3D. albeit more garishly coloured than the original. The rendered character models are superb, looking, moving and even standing just like the actors do - clearly mega bucks of development invested there. The original voices of the cast add an essential authority, and all the cool ambient sound effects blend joyously in the background. All in all. this is really just a 3D interactive game by numbers which, as a game or a Trek product, offers very little to entice even the most gnarled DS9 addict such as myself.
Processor: PC compatible, P-100
OS: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game Features:Single game mode