Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force
Windows - 2000
Description of Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force Windows
One of many
Star Trek titles are two a penny these days, so you would be forgiven for feeling confused right about now. The important point to remember is that Activision's latest action shooter can actually distinguish itself from the generally mediocre pile of Trek games, which will be unjustly lined up on store shelves alongside it. In fact, while the others should be growing little horns and tails and wielding pitchforks for trying to con the punter out of their earnings, Elite Force can proudly glow in its white gown and shiny halo.
An old idea
In Elite Force, you play Alexander Munro (or Alexandria assuming you take the optional female role -- in-game dialog is the same regardless, because of the ingenious way characters refer to you with the unisex abbreviated term, "Alex"). You begin as second in command of the newly formed "Hazard Team" on the Starship Voyager, which several years ago, was suddenly transported to the other side of the galaxy and is now on a 70-year journey back home.
The idea behind the Hazard Team, invented by Voyager's chief security officer Tuvok, was to create a highly lethal, specially trained elite force of commandos who can handle the more dangerous encounters out in the Delta Quadrant. While the team is mostly comprised of your typically ineptStar Trek crewmember (ie. whiny ensigns who demonstrate none of the dignity and emotional maturity that Picard would always preach the human race had evolved to), fortunately with you in control of Munro, the crew of Voyager might just make it out of their latest predicament alive. Only to face a newly contrived challenge in next week's episode, of course, but you have no control over that.
The key part of Activision's new first-person shooter, powered by the Quake 3 engine, is that it absolutely, to the minutest detail, encompasses the atmosphere and feel of the TV show, cheesiness and all. And strangely, this is one of the main reasons why Elite Force is easily the best single-player FPS I've played since Half-life.
From start to finish, you are immersed in the futuristic world and characters that will be instantly familiar to millions of fans of the show and Star Trek universe. Elite Force has been designed in such a way that you're never made to feel like you're just in a game, halfway through level 3, looking for a special powerup, ready to take on the end-of-level boss. There are very few 'time skips' from one level to another -- usually, you'll return from a mission and actually live the transition time on Voyager, chatting with crewmates and testing new weaponry on the Holodeck before the next disaster strikes.
It of course helps that the entire cast of the show recorded the voiceovers in the game. The 3D renderings of each character are immediately recognizable and animation is superb (I unabashedly admit to noticing just how well Seven of Nine's been reproduced in a 3D engine). There are also the endless tie-ins with different plotlines from Voyager and other Star Trek incarnations, including Species 8472 (the Borg ass-kickers) and the chance to hang out in all the infamous areas of the Voyager craft, like the Bridge and Mess Hall. If I'm not mistaken, you also meet the crew of the alternate 'evil' timeline from the Old Series episode, "Mirror Mirror" (the one where Spock had a goatee -- they're wearing the same uniform, at least).
The story progresses on several planes, in much the same way as a real episode of Voyager, with the main plot constantly progressing while little subplots involving characters or new aliens you've met make small advancements throughout the game. By the end, the different character's personalities have become very familiar (Back to the Future star, Tom 'Biff' Wilson, plays Biessman in a seeming reprisal of his "Maniac" role in the Wing Commander games), possible romantic interests have arisen, alliances have been formed, and your career has taken a promising turn.
Another key factor to Elite Force's success is the wonderful and diverse range of locations you find yourself in, each requiring an adjustment in style and approach to finish the level. It's too easy to ruin the surprises of the game, so I'll avoid details, but rest assured the stark differences in aesthetics and level design gives the game a constantly fresh feel, and it all fits perfectly within the confines of the plot. Some levels require all out blasting, others Thief -style stealth and some are more puzzle oriented (simplistic, though they are). There are also decisions you can make which don't tend to directly affect any eventual outcomes but increase the excitement in the heat of the moment. For example, a Borg drone approaches at one point and a team member frantically cries, "do I shoot?!" Whether you do or don't open fire only makes a very short-term difference, but many of these minor occurrences add greatly to the overall experience.
Elite Force also comes out on top when addressing the ever-important issue of AI. Raven could have dodged the hard task of creating "Away Team" missions with many team members by developing a storyline where you're stranded alone for much of the game, but they instead confront the problem head-on. I can't imagine the level of play-testing involved in getting this game bug-free, but it's paid off. You participate in many missions as part of a team with up to 5 other AI-controlled crewmembers, and having played through the single-player game twice, I didn't encounter one moment where NPCs became stuck or acted dumb; they didn't fall off narrow walkways, get stuck on elevators or forget to do a pre-programmed task that's necessary to advance through the level (eg. open a door for me). They were admittedly a little temperamental when I accidentally shot them in the mayhem of some battles, but I suppose a Phaser burn does that to some people.
Enemy AI varies according to whom you're up against, but it's never particularly revolutionary. The humanoid bad guys are smartest, taking cover behind objects and repositioning to escape coming under fire. The aliens without weapons who can only attack close-quarters will usually charge at you in packs, but charge more like lemmings instead of intelligently outflanking you. Most of the challenge in battle situations arise from large volumes of enemies who tend to 'beam' into position surrounding you or your team -- but only if it obeys the (admittedly laughable) laws of the Trek universe. For example, Borg drones have always been able to willfully transport into all areas around their ships.
Another challenging task for the developers must have been inventing some decent weaponry for the game. Projectile-based firearms are non-existent in Trekdom, but this didn't stop the creation of some fairly imaginative alternates to the Federation-standard Phasers (with the infamous 'stun' and 'kill' settings) and Concussion Rifles. They do actually mimic the FPS standards somewhat, with weapons like the rapid-green-laser-fire Tachyon Disruptor paralleling the Hyperblaster from Quake 2, the electrical shock-generating Arc Welder copying Unreal Tournament's Pulse Gun and one of my favorites, the Photon Burst (your own personal Photon Torpedo Launcher) most directly comparable to the Rocket Launcher from any number of previous FPS games. And even the weapons play a part in the overall game experience as each one is introduced either as an appropriately evolved weapon by whichever alien culture you encounter, or as a newly developed Federation issue.
My only criticisms of Elite Force come in the way of the game's simplicity, which might put some hardcore vets off. Whereas most action games now come with a host of complex options and controls, inventories, special items, and the need to bind and learn 20 different keys, this game offers little extra other than an alternate fire button and a nifty zoom feature as part of your Hazard suit. The single-player game has few secret areas and even fewer conventional powerups like Quad Damage, Invulnerability and the like (note, these aren't omitted from the multiplayer games). This simplicity also makes the game rather easy by experienced player's standards, especially with the frequent ammo recharge points so only the most trigger-happy of players will ever run dangerously low. Admittedly, I've yet to try the game on the most difficult setting.
When you can tear yourself away from the compelling single-player element, there's hours more entertainment left in the multiplayer aspect. Sadly, there is no cooperative campaign play, but the included "Holomatch" mode is basically Quake 3 with a large range of Star Trek skins, weapons, and maps. Some welcome surprise characters from the various series are included, from the Klingon Emperor Gowron, to the Borg Queen, to the Romulan version of Tasha Yar, Sela. In fact, if you're currently debating the game's value, the sole argument that Elite Force provides you with basically everything Quake 3 does, but includes an excellent single-player game on top should sell you, regardless.
Holomatch modes are limited -- but more than most games provide -- including standard free-for-all deathmatch, team deathmatch and capture the flag. Players can customize their own level parameters and bot skills or you can play in 12 of the preset 'scenarios' provided. And of course, as with any Quake 3 title, expect fan-made modules and expansions to release in time with extra modes and options. Perhaps a Team Fortress version, where the different characters actually have varying skills and attributes instead of merely aesthetic distinctions, could be invented.
Raven Software have added another winner to their long action game line-up. Their trademark attention to detail has once again been realized with a Star Trek game (a license that is usually a curse in the PC gaming industry) that provides pure entertainment value for many types of gamers. The Trek environment aside, the game is a brilliantly produced FPS, with a gripping single-player experience where the developers prove they fully understand what made Half-life so engrossing. In addition, it has an excellent multiplayer module backed by the reputation of the Quake 3 engine.
But it's the little things like Tuvok mentoring you in the holodeck-generated boot camp, the "transporter buffer" which for once provides an explanation as to how your character carries ten weapons at once, the slick menu interface in the guise of a Federation computer that provides a wealth of trivial information while you configure your keys, and countless other gems that make Elite Force a dream for any Star Trek fan. If you've ever wanted to really live a feature-length episode of Voyager(ignore the snickering from your significant other -- you know you have), nothing could be closer than playing this title. It's authentic enough that you'll be wondering where the commercial breaks are after each cliffhanger.
Review By GamesDomain
Game resources available on TrekCore
Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force has an addon available: Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force expansion pack, don't miss it!
Comments and reviews
Retro Pixel Lizard 2020-02-07 0 point
As a Trekkie, this is great, the story + addition of Elite Force into the setting was good enough it was considered being added into the official show but never happened, and the virtural voyager expansion is a treat for those wanting to run around a good recreation of the ship looking for secrets and easter eggs.
For non-trekkies, this is a great FPS game with also great level design, voice acting (Provided by the actors from the show) and doesn't require you to know anything about Star Trek to enjoy.
krashd 2020-02-07 0 point
No, Norton likely detected the included crack for the game, many of these use 'hooks' or 'injectors' to bypass the copy protection and both of these methods tend to flag as a false positive due to their popular use in malware.
bigshrimp 2019-12-26 0 point
Utilize caution, and a good antivirus. Norton instantly detected and removed a virus from the folder once I had extracted it.
Norgy 2019-12-21 0 point
I downloaded the pre installed version because I couldn't get the iso to work. I tried applying the patch but it says it can't locate the game? I'm unsure what to do.
FXOjafar 2019-10-30 1 point
Put in the pre-install version in C:\Program Files (x86) and it will run.
CAM 2019-09-19 2 points
I have downloaded the Pre-Installed version onto my WIndows 10 pc, but when I try to launch 'stvoy' it comes up with the message 'couldn't load default.cfg' even when I moved the folder to C:
Locutus9956 2019-09-13 0 point
This game actually holds up surprisingly well despite its age... The preinstalled version works perfectly (you need to place the extracted folder on the root C: drive though or it wont launch)
n00bHaMmEr 2019-09-01 1 point
When I try to launch, it tells me to insert CD-ROM and try again. The Holomatch works fine. Any thoughts?
blahblah 2019-01-06 1 point
@TOPO ... when installing, it will ask if you want to register the game. Click "No".
That could be what happened to you. These old win games often asked for registration as a way to get folks signed up for news letters, or install secondary programs that would spam you with marketing. Back in the "bad old days" of Windows (98/XP), every program seemed to want to install a TSR (terminate, stay-resident) task bar program to always run and auto-update, or spam the end-user and what-not. So, when in doubt, don't register the game. These days, some third-party spammer / scammer may have gotten ahold of whatever site the registration redirects to, and they could be trying to auto-install malware. Never no. So, when in doubt, DON'T register the game.
blahblah 2019-01-05 3 points
1) download the ISO
2) download the "install" instructions below
3) with ISO mounted, click AUTORUN instead of SETUP (for older win games, it's always safer / better to do AUTORUN, because it may kick off some prep work to get ready for the SETUP that just clicking the SETUP file might skip.)
I was able to install it + expansion fine on Win 10 x64. Hope this helps
Wazaman88 2018-11-06 4 points
cant even install it, i click on the setup exe and it wont launch, in the taks manager it appears but still does nothing. i remember this game and love it, i remember also playing it my old laptop with windows 7 which i upgraded to windows 10 full for free when they were giving it away and still remember playing it. now i have a faster laptop and the setup exe just wont do anything. any help?
www.gamerdating.com 2018-10-25 0 point
I fixed the default.cfg error. You need to install the game on c:/ or it will give the error: "Couldn't load default.cfg"
As long as the folder is on c:/ you will be fine :)
Topo 2018-07-09 -3 points
This is bad! It downloaded programmes to my computer that scanned and wanted me to register for other stuff. Make sure you have a good virus checked and delete everything!
Chuck143 2018-04-09 0 point
Thanks for posting this game with a pre-installed version! It really helps not having to deal with pesky ISO files! :-) Mac users, this game will work with Wineskin.
Gjammer 2018-04-04 1 point
Runs under Windows 7 if you select "disable display scaling on high DPI settings" in the compatibility box otherwise the screen will run off the right side and the bottom. I ran it in Windows XP mode and as administrator although those two settings may not matter much.
I watched the series every week when it ran on TV. The game brings back lots of memories.
fr33kSh0w2012 2018-03-04 0 point
Thank you For this I played the demo Years ago but couldn't find the game ANYWHERE Thank you!
couldn't load default.cfg 2018-03-02 4 points
ST:V EF v1.20 win-x86 Apr 10 2001
----- FS_Startup -----
Com_sprintf: overflow of 128 in 128
Com_sprintf: overflow of 132 in 128
Current search path:
\star-trek-voyager-elite-force_windows_0k2m\Star Trek Voyager Elite Force Stand Alone No Install/baseef
0 files in pk3 files
Com_sprintf: overflow of 141 in 128
Running in restricted demo mode.
----- FS_Startup -----
Com_sprintf: overflow of 128 in 128
Com_sprintf: overflow of 132 in 128
Current search path:
\star-trek-voyager-elite-force_windows_0k2m\Star Trek Voyager Elite Force Stand Alone No Install/demoef
0 files in pk3 files
Com_sprintf: overflow of 139 in 128
Couldn't load default.cfg
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