Star Trek: New Worlds
Windows - 2000
Description of Star Trek: New Worlds
It wasn't all that long ago that the words "Star Trek" and "computer game" used in the same sentence sent a collective shudder down the spines of gamers everywhere. Even die hard fans of the series recognized that many of the games based on the Star Trek license were, quite honestly, just plain bad. The problem tended to congregate around the issue of sacrificing gameplay and established conventions in the name of staying "true" to the Star Trek universe.
Then all that seemingly changed. Developers realized that a title didn't have to break the mold of conventional gaming wisdom in order to appease trekkies, trekkers, or members of any other fan genus. All of the sudden we had an entire string of quality Star Trek games, including Voyager: Elite Force, Deep Space Nine: The Fallen, Armada, Klingon Academy, and Starfleet Command II: Empires at War, as well as several eagerly anticipated titles on the horizon, such as Dominion Wars, Bridge Commander, and Away Team. Interplay took a venture into the realm of 3D real time strategy with Star Trek: New Worlds at around the same time the above pack of revitalized Trek games appeared - but did it earn the right to stand proudly alongside them?
Star Trek: New Worlds is, from the outset, a bit of an anomaly, if for no other reason than the fact that it does not take place in the vast void of space but, rather, is completely played out on planet surfaces. The focus is not on Excelsior class starships, Klingon Birds of Prey, and Romulan War Birds battling it out for superiority of the quadrant. Instead, the game unfolds by depicting the struggle of newly arrived colonists on a remote settlement. Don't misunderstand. There are plenty of ships in New Worlds, but they are primarily shuttlecraft-like hovering vehicles used to construct buildings, mine dilithium, terraform, etc.
You can choose to play as the Federation, the Klingon Empire, or the Romulan Empire. Each of the three campaigns consists of 14 missions. Unfortunately, playing through the game as all three races will reveal that many of the missions are similar from one campaign to the next. Which faction you choose will play a large role in the type of strategies you adopt throughout the game. The Federation always seeks a peaceful solution first. They also have the advantage, however, of superior technological advancement and are not afraid to use force when diplomacy fails. The Klingons are warriors at heart and will not hesitate to charge into battle, but they also have a code of honor that precludes committing certain war crimes. The Romulans, on the other hand, are the most adversarial and cunning of the three species.
There is a limited multiplayer component, but it only allows for three people to play at a time (presumably so one can play as each race). Good luck trying to find even one other person to play against on the Mplayer.com servers, though. When I peeked in on it, the place was a ghost town.
The graphics in New Worlds are pretty decent. Detailed terrains abound that display a high degree of depth. Whereas, some titles feature a relatively flat terrain, the landscapes in New Worlds provide much topographical variety, from mountain ranges to subtle outcroppings. Visually, the terrain can be rather breathtaking. Trees, snowcapped mountain peaks, lakes, etc. are wonderfully textured. Equally impressive are the well-rendered buildings and vehicles. Great attention has been paid to creating a variety of original hovercraft while still retaining the visual distinctiveness of each race's starships and thus reinforcing the notion that this game is, in fact, based on Star Trek. Another plus graphically speaking is the large array of phaser fire, photon torpedo explosions and other effects in the midst of combat. All are well done and complement relatively calm task of gathering resources such as mining dilithium.
For the most part, Star Trek: New Worlds gameplay style is pretty similar to every other real time strategy title on the market. You must gather and manage resources, build up your base, construct "units" (in this case, all vehicles) and, ultimately, set out to conquer the other factions inhabiting the planet.
Where New Worlds meets its untimely (and excruciatingly gut-wrenching) demise, however, is in the area of usability. Considering how much of New Worlds is standard RTS fare, one would have thought that the game's designers would not have gone so far out of the way to break the rules in developing the user interface. A great many of the most rudimentary functions, such as selecting individual units, grouping units, moving units, etc. have been confounded by some poor design choices.
Fairly standard functions like selecting and grouping units work as expected, until you try the slightly more advanced techniques. For example, there is no way of simply "shift"-adding a unit to a currently assigned group; instead, you have to manually bring the new unit to the group and re-rope them together! Another problem involves the functions of the right and left mouse buttons being reversed from the norm of the genre.
Other conspiciuously absent features include the inability to cancel buildings in progress, formations, stances (passive, aggressive, etc.), rally points, etc. Perhaps the biggest oversight is the lack of any in-mission save feature. Nothing is more frustrating than playing a mission for 30 minutes to an hour and then, just before the end, making one minor error in judgment that forces you to replay the entire mission. Worse yet, sometimes it's not even your fault. Has anyone ever heard of computer crashes? Power outages?
The UI does contain some rather nice of features, such as the ability to zoom in and out (all the way down to ground level), locking and zooming in on specific objects, relative ease in placing and constructing buildings, etc. Unfortunately, actual implementation of these concepts once again suffers. The overall control of the view tends to be a little unwieldy (actually downright unmanageable). With numerous mouse and keyboard combinations required to shift the view left and right in a strafing manner, rotate left and right, move forward and back, raise and lower elevation, zoom in on an object from any direction, and more, just getting the camera to point in the right direction becomes a harrowing and utterly frustrating experience a majority of the time.
These may seem like hyper-technical criticisms. I am talking, after all, about some very basic elements here. Unfortunately, the collective effect of these myriad annoyances in Star Trek: New Worlds result in a game which is wholly unsatisfying and verging on unplayable. It's a shame, too, because it's apparent that a lot of work went into creating a visually appealing product with a popular license tie-in. Had the game's designers spent some time on correcting these glaring flaws, it could have been a welcome addition to the RTS repertoire. As it stands, this title must get lumped together with those that spawned the notion that Star Trek was the bane of gamers everywhere.
Review By GamesDomain
Comments and reviews
skroge 2021-04-04 0 point
i bought the original star trek new worlds on amazon but it cant run on my pc i tried to play it the only mission i played and it worked for a little bit is power corrupt.
Perry Rhodan 2020-10-27 2 points
Fixes for modern systems: https://www.pcgamingwiki.com/wiki/Star_Trek:_New_Worlds
Mount the image with Daemon Tools. Works but can still occasionally crash which is a pain as you cannot save during the long missions.
primusmega 2020-05-16 0 point
I can't run the setup. it keeps starting up but nothing else pops up.
eddsmad 2020-03-29 1 point
dose anyone know if theres away of getting unlimited rescources or something like that?
gaminglover 2020-03-21 1 point
loved this game when i was younger but so sad i cant get it to work now. game launches fine but when i try to do any of the campaigns or tutorial, game stops responding and just sits in a black screen
random nerd 2019-12-26 1 point
I detected malware in this game, then remembered someone else doing the same a long time ago
Steven 2019-04-30 3 points
Using daemon tools to mount image, make sure that it's a SCSI virtual drive and also make sure that the letter of the Virtual drive is lower than any installed CD or DVDRom, or any other virtual drives. Then it should be recognised and any music on the image should also play.
Dave 2018-12-06 -2 points
I also have the insert game CD issue. Very disappointing I loved this game, will have to look elsewhere
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