Star Trek: Invasion Preview
I want to start this hands-on preview of Star Trek on a little note. I am not a "Trekky", I honestly never seen an episode of any Star Trek series not even any of the movies, so this preview will be all judged based upon the game and not on my likeness of the franchise, not that I have one anyway. In the past we've seen Star Trek games done on systems like Sega Genesis and SNES, they never had the feel that the fans were looking for. I particularly never liked Star Trek, the concept and the weird looking characters never gripped my attention as much as Star Wars did. My dislike for Star Trek is about to change though, because I got a chance to get acquainted with Star Trek: Invasion first hand. Activison has sent us a preview build of Invasion and truthfully I wasn't too ecstatic when I popped the game into my PS. So see if my emotions were lightened or darkened as Star Trek was booted up in my PS. Check out the screens too.
The first thing that came to my mind was "wow, these visuals are breathtaking". When I first started the training stage the premier shot was the Starship Enterprise flying over the camera, at first I thought a CG movie took over again to grace my entrance into the world of Star Trek. But to my surprise the game was using its own engine to re-create the enterprise and get me ready to do some training objectives. Okay, okay enough about gameplay, this is the visuals department. First of all, the aircraft that you pilot is one detailed piece of machinery. The whole structure of the aircraft feels as if you are watching a big budget Star Trek DVD flick on a 50" screen. Alright so it isn't that pretty but for a PS game this is certainly something to talk about. Warthog (the developer) is pushing the PS' polygon limits, for the past three years I though nothing can beat Colony Wars or CW2 but I'm pretty wrong now. Star Trek not only has the prestigious texture detail but also has the eye popping lighting effects. Everything that transpires on screen is always worthy of an "oooh" or an "ahhh". Explosions are something that can easily be qualified as the some of the best explosions in any current generation game. The fire looks frighteningly real that you can almost feel the scorching heat. Star Trek: Invasion also has incredibly polished CG sequences that really add a lot more to the graphics. If the final version looks any better than this than expect Star Trek: Invasion being one of the best visual titles on the Playstation. Great graphics, can the same be said for the gameplay?
Yes! After playing the first areas in Star Trek I was quickly hooked on this shooter. The game starts off with an intro that explains some details of the game. Then when you first start your play you will be thrown into a training portion where you will be required to fly through loops, drag pods through their corresponding loops and a few more. After the training is over you will be able to move on to another training area or start Stage 2 for some action. I decided to go for every level so I did all of the following stages after Stage 1 which is the training stage. There are quite a variety of weapons to use including a few bombs and napalms as well. But the action isn't always just "go get them", sometimes it can be "destroy enemy ships and protect this or that". You aren't always thrown into a different area in space and just shooting bogies, nope. The gameplay in Invasion is far deeper than that, but it still is mandatory for you to destroy enemy ships most of the time.
Surprisingly Invasion has a great sense of speed when it comes down to double tapping R2. When hitting R2 twice your aircraft will blast off in the speed of light so you can get away from an enemy. I find Star Trek best played under the first person view, not only do I get the feeling that I'm in a Universal Studios theme park but it also feels like I'm playing X-Wing vs Tie Fighter on my PS. The Universal Studios feeling is given to me because of the fully orchestrated music which eerily reminded me of the ET ride. Star Trek Invasion is shaping up to be a frigin' killer game, Warthog is doing every thing right and when this title is released you must pick it up especially if you are a gamer who enjoys space shooters.