Star Trek: Armada
Windows - 2000
Description of Star Trek: Armada Windows
When it comes to space operas like Star Trek or Babylon 5 you can have all the square-jawed heroes, but what you really need to give a show that extra edge is some really nasty baddies. Bablyon 5 pulled this off well, featuring the evil Shadows, with their jet black ships and sneaky plots. And the entertainingly off-kilter Lexx's central antagonist was a strange shadowy lifeform who initially ruled a rather macabre universe dominating empire (which Star Wars' Imperial Empire had nothing on) and later became a sort of half machine creature who succeeded in destroying the entire universe piece by piece.
But the creators of Star Trek: The Next Generation must claim the prize for creating the best evil baddies ever - the Borg. The Borg are half human, half mechanical and uglier than the Daleks ever were. Except that is, for Voyager's Seven of Nine who has been shorn of most of her robotic appendages and appears to be the only member of the Voyager crew with a with access to unlimited supplies of lycra and special Borg 'implants' which probably contravene every Starfleet clothing regulation. Still, she's more a blip than an emerging trend amongst the Borg, and the rest of the Borg remain thoroughly nasty, their nastiness rating boosted by the fact that they spend most of their free time mercilessly assimilating all species they come across, turning them into Borg drones and stripping them of their individuality.
And if that wasn't worrying enough, they're virtually unstoppable. They're so nasty, in fact, that I suspect at least half of all the people who bought Star Trek: Armada bought it just for the chance to play as the Borg. After all, everyone knows that the when it comes to lethal weaponry and bottom-kicking ships, bad is best.
Unfortunately, those looking forward to assimilating the universe in one fell swoop may be a little disappointed upon picking up Star Trek: Armada, for a couple of reasons. The first of the reasons is that the Borg campaigns, like those of the other races, slot neatly into the storyline. This is an interesting approach in itself but does have the downside that you can't do anything that would alter the storyline. You can't assimilate the Enterprise for example, or assimilate the Earth and rule the galaxy (on a permanent basis, at least). Having the bad guys win is apparently not on the cards - the Federation always manage to save the day. Secondly, as David Finn points out in his pretty comprehensive review, the Borg in Armada are rather weak compared to their counterparts in the Star Trek: First Contact movie and the ST:NG.
In the series, the Borg cube dwarfed the Enterprise and the only way the Federation could defeat the Borg was by running around like headless chickens for 40 minutes and then coming up with some techo-gibberish to miraculously disable and or destroy them. In Star Trek: Armada however, each cube is about the same size as the Enterprise and about as strong. The series and movie Borg ships also had the ability to remodulate their shields thereby negating any phaser damage they may have received - this too has been taken out of the game, despite the fact that the Borg ships, when ordered to move, often say 'remodulating shields'. 'Resistance is futile?' - resistance is too flipping easy, more like. Oh, how cruel it is to have your plans for galactic domination crushed...
On the plus side, you do still get a variety of Borg weaponry that you can use against your foes, such as the combined holding beam and assimilator attached to the Borg Cube that can grab and assimilate the crew of any ship, even if their shields are up. Other races can take over ships too, but they have to wait till their opponents' shields are low - but it's still worth doing as there's something ego-boosting, especially in multiplayer mode, about nicking your enemy's ships and then using them to take out their own. It's one of the rather nice touches that makes Star Trek Armada such a promising game when you first pick it up.
Other nice (or 'neat' if you're an American) touches include the multiplayer game which features a skirmish mode so you can take on AI opponents in lieu of kicking arse on-line and getting some practice in. Plus, should you go about setting up your own multiplayer game you can customise pretty much everything in the game - including whether or not the Ferengi put in an appearance. When this race is in the game they'll fly around the game area and nick any crewless derelicts, hauling them away before you can re-crew and rescue them.
At least in theory that's the way it's supposed to happen - in truth, I witnessed a rather monumental Ferengi bug not once but twice while playing Star Trek: Armada. Not only did a Ferengi ship manage to capture one of my ships that was fully crewed with Borg, having recently been assimilated, but on traversing an asteroid belt the Ferengi ship cleared the belt okay but my ship got stuck behind an asteroid, so the Ferengi's blue tractor beam stretched, and stretched, and stretched. Until, no - my ship didn't escape, the ship was mysteriously pulled through a solid asteroid and taken off the map.
Buggy of Borg
And the above bug wasn't the only one I ran into either - even with the Beta Patch installed I ran into a number of others, some minor, some major. The worst one was on the fourth Federation mission - after destroying all the Borg vessels and bases I found myself unable to complete the mission as there was one green dot on the map. This dot turned out to be nothing at all - not a ship, not a Borg base, just a strange dot that could not be destroyed, so I ended up skipping the mission as have dozens and even hundreds of people if the strategic newsgroups are anything to go by. Shipping a product with this many bugs just isn't on and it's especially annoying as Star Trek: Armada had the potential to be a real corker.
In strategic terms too, Armada is a little under par - it could have done with a little more unit tweaking and unit variety. Granted, the differing special abilities of the ships do add some variety to the game but they don't disguise the fact that each side has pretty much the same basic types of ships and units. In Total Annihilation - a comparison that's especially valid since Armada is just a 2D strategy game in space - no single unit could kick the electronic cack out of every other one. You could blitz Big Bertha guns with aircraft, manufacture anti-aircraft units that could take out flying vehicles and use smaller craft to take out the giant stomping robots and tanks.
But in Star Trek: Armada - even when you have the 'director's cut' mode turned on which means ships turn and zoom around in combat - you need only to manufacture six or so of the big units such as the large Enterprise starships or the Borg Cubes to be able to take out pretty much everything in your path. Even a swarm of fighters doesn't stand much chance against a heavily armed starship - although you'd think the fighters would move too fast for the bigger ships to be able to get a lock on them. Still, no-one said Sci-fi had to be realistic. Or indeed that Star Trek: Armada had to be an entertaining and bugless game, more's the shame.
The real telling point is that if it wasn't for the Star Trek licence, Armada probably wouldn't have even made it to market. As it stands, Star Trek: Armada does, as David Finn states, feel like a rushed product. In fact, it feels like the production team were working on it happily, making good progress, when someone in marketing decided they needed it released next month, and they shipped it way ahead of time.
Star Trek: Armada could have been a good game, but as it stands it's just a case of big name, shame about the game.
Review By GamesDomain
Comments and reviews
Nanox 2019-04-09 -1 point
So I mounted the .mds file and this still ask for a cd... what do i do?
KrisC1337 2019-03-06 1 point
it didnt work for me... did everything and tries to load. Get a black screen and then a loading cursor, then it closes and windows compatibility pops up. Ran compatibility as well and no difference.
Leck 2019-02-09 4 points
i figure i would answer the question everyone seems to have because i was trying to get this to work for 10 years and finally did. i cannot take most of the credit, even though i have some additional comments beyond just giving links. these are instructions how to get armada1 to work on windows 10. on windows 7 you can simply install patch 1.2 and it should work. i believe windows vista only needs patch 1.1, and on windows xp and 98 this game should run natively without modification.
first thing is you need the iso or cd of the game (you need the game). both should work the same way. if you have an iso, you need software to simulate a physical cd (or you can burn a physical cd is another option). the best free software for different purposes changes from year to year so i suggest 'virtual clonedrive' in 2019 as the best free software to mount iso files. any mounting software will do.
open the cd in your file explorer (double click on the cd drive) and run the "setup.exe" . after armada is finished installing you can install a mappack into your addons folder. here is a link to get patches and maps http://armadafiles.com/files/armada. if you don't want to bother with the mappack, skip this step. you might be able to add maps later, i'm not sure. install patch 1.2. then install patch 1.3. then get the "armada-fix" file from https://github.com/elishacloud/dxwrapper/wiki/Star-Trek-Armada-1 and follow the instructions on this page (if this link is broken simply copy the 3 files in the armada-fix into your main armada directory. if you don't have access to "armada-fix" i am saving these files for decades, so you can contact me directly and i can send them to you)
you should be able to play single player at this point. i was unable to find a way to get out of 640x480 resolution or mute sound, but the game is still perfectly playable in this way on windows 10. i had to alt+tab out and back in to see anything but a black screen every time i started the game, but that's a small price to pay to play a game i've been trying to get to work for over 10 years.
i have a method i am going to try to get multiplayer to work i have not tried yet. it should work. it involves using the "stvssw" mod and using tunneling software to connect 2 computers. again i'm not going to write this here because this method is more complicated than just getting the game to work, and i haven't even tested it yet.
TJ 2019-02-04 1 point
Okay, I have no idea what to do with the ISO files. Why can't you just have the whole game file without having some silly ISO file? I don't like installing multiple apps to get one game "unlocked".
Jonnief83 2019-01-03 -2 points
I was trying to change the ini file but i have noticed it is locked tight, any ideas ?
Thatonethere 2018-12-27 0 point
I remember playing this game with my dad. Had some flashbacks to it over Christmas hoping it holds up to my memories
Aserez 2018-12-08 0 point
When I was playing this as a teenager i found the full conversion star wars mod which was the absolute BEST. Loved it but my old pc could never handle it, now my new old pc can run it in its sleep!
Cao 2018-11-03 0 point
I used to play this game NON-stop, I got so many mods and played online as often as I could. It's too bad it's tricky to get working, I was kind of hoping somebody would have modified it so that it works on WIndows 10 by now. There are ways to get it to work, sure, but it's a pain in the arse...unless I'm missing something?
Oh and I should say I still have my favorite old mod which I don't mind sharing (if they're not online anymore): AresV3, and some maps to go with it: 8fallen, 6war, 3contact.
Tinker 2018-10-06 0 point
i have always used Deamontools lite for both making ISO image files of disks i currently have and mounting ISO files as well. it is totally free and work likes a champ!
it is also a great way to get those old CD games into a nice digital form so that you dont have to worry about the disk getting lost.
Ace86 2018-09-23 1 point
You'll have to make sure it's iso and not msb then you'll just use the file view and on the top left of the window is a mount option.
PC_Junkie_17 2018-07-10 1 point
i remember playing this game when i was 10 years old. this game is what got me into science and the star trek universe in the first place. its nice to see it preserved.
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