This weeks edition of Hi Five takes an opportunity to look at my Top Five Star Trek video games. Star Trek is officially the worlds longest running video game franchise. It has a very loyal fan-base and because of this has had more than 100 games (118 on the last count including arcade, commercial and console games). Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Crossroads of Time was a game that I found incredible at the time. Not only did it capture the magic of Deep Space Nine but it was a decent game too. Star Trek Online is a game I have dabbled in, but unfortunately I think you need to dedicate a lot of time to the cause to get far into it. Honor Guard, Starfleet Academy, Armada and Armada II are all games that I have played, and loved. Star Trek: Armada II was the first game I ever modded, adding new ships to the game to grow a substantial selection of vessels. Regardless of how many Star Trek games there are, most score badly in reviews, which makes it rather hard to make a definitive Hi Five. Regardless I believe I have managed to do so, and below are my top selections from this franchise.
Disclaimer – these are my top five and are in no way to be considered an official list.
5 Star Trek: 25th Anniversary
Star Trek: 25th Anniversary was released 26 years after Star Trek began. I remember first playing this game on the Commodore Amiga 500 and being swept away by its visuals. By todays standards they are not great, but that retro essence still looks amazing, with fantastic pixel art and an overall very enjoyable game.
My time with the game wasn’t a massively long time. I always found it rather hard piloting the shuttles. It took quite some time to work out how to land the thing on a planet, but getting back to the ship was another story for me. I would often completely miss the shuttle-bay hatch and fly straight into the ship or a warp nacelle. You could tell I had not graduated at Starfleet Academy.
4 Star Trek: Invasion
Star Trek: Invasion was the first game of the franchise that was developed for, and released on, the Sony PlayStation. The game is set after the Dominion War which was canonised in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. The Borg have become detected in the Titan system, near Klingon space, and the federation begin to rally their fleets to take on this invasion force.
The joy of this game was from the fact that it was not your “standard” Star Trek. Yes – it had a storyline, and great voice acting (with Patrick Stewart and Michael Dorn voicing their own characters) but the game was entirely space-combat based. The game was developed by the same team who created the Colony Wars series and it did seem more like an expansion on that series. You were a new recruit into the academy’s infamous Red Squadron – a group of heavily skilled pilots. Using your single-man vessel you are thrown into an engaging and rewarding space war with some fast and furious action that did not hold back.
3 Star Trek: Voyager – Elite Force
Elite Force was released in the year 2000, allowing Star Trek fans from around the world to “set [their] phasers to frag.” The game was developed by Raven Software and is a first-person shooter game set within the same universe as the series Star Trek: Voyager.
As a young man first-person shooters were already an intriguing and fascinating genre. I was already player Alien vs Predator 2 in 2001/2002 when I got round to Elite Force and the concept of the game, being a shooter, in Star Trek blew my mind. The game featured some familiar NPC’s such as The Doctor, and focused on story-driven combat throughout. The game was set in the second half of the television shows sixth season onwards and incorporated several species such as the Borg, Hirogen and Malon. As a young Trekkie, I could ask for little more.
2 Star Trek: Legacy
Agreed Elite Force looked great at the time, but when I got my hands on Star Trek: Legacy on the Xbox 360 I was blown away by the leap in graphics. Some big names were involved with the games release. It was published by Bethesda, and was developed in association with CBS Paramount Television and CBS Consumer Products. The game was also release just after the 40th anniversary of Star Trek.
The game allows player to control fleets of ships from the Star Trek universe. Four ships at a time and three different Star Trek eras (Enterprise, Original Series and The Next Generation (encompassing Deep Space Nine and Voyager). At this stage in my fondness for Star Trek I had witnessed the entirety of The Dominion War unfold in Deep Space Nine. I had grown interesting in technical manuals and weaponry, so this game tickled my taste buds really well.
1 Star Trek: Bridge Crew
This had to be my number one game! Ever single Star Trek fan, since 1966 to 2021 has dreamt or fantasiced about being about an actual starship at least once. Star Trek: Bridge Crew is the virtual reality treatment that was perfect for a game of the franchise.
Boarding the original Enterprise or the variant from The Next Generation is absolutely mind-blowing. You are also able to board a vessel that appears more like a ship from Star Trek: Discovery. You are able to take any position on the ship, and you can have labels on all the instrument panels or have them removed if you think you are knowledgeable enough. Be warned – the AI is not the best at all, so playing with friends is definitely the way forwards. But even two of you can struggle when you are both jumping between different positions during an attack. Regardless, ten minutes within this game will fulfill all the dreams of most Star Trek fans.
What will next weeks Hi Five be about? Well you can decide. Send us your ideas via Facebook or Twitter and we will pick one at random, no matter how obscure they might be! And the creator will get a mention too.