PC/Mac/Linux
enfrdeitptrues
System Requirements
OS: Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows 2000. CPU: 300mhz AMD/Intel processor RAM: 64 MB HDD: 1.3 GB VIDEO: 8MB DirectX 8.0a compatible 3D graphics card SOUND: DirectX 8.0a compatible sound card
This is a real-time strategy game based off of the Star Trek: The Next Generation universe. This game is the sequel to the first game in the series, Star Trek: Armada. That game was a surprise hit to many, as generally Star Trek games only have mediocre success. The first one of the series did well, and I would expect the second one to do well also. And, for I feel, a good reason: they are simply fun. There are 6 races for you to choose from here, with each having unique capabilities to set them apart from each other. There is the Federation of Planets, the Klingon Empire, the Romulan Empire, the Cardassian Union, the Borg Collective, and the mysterious Species 8472. In the single player campaign, you start out as the Federation, then you get to play as the Klingons, and finally as the Borg to finish it all off.
There are ten single player missions for each race for the single player missions. I found the storyline sufficiently engaging, though being a Star Trek fan may have had something to do with that. Overall, I found it enjoyable, if not overly exciting. Sufficient for any fan, at the very least. They also added a few new features not present in the previous game. Other than the new races, they also added a quasi-3d interface. Basically, ships can have a z-axis component to their location as well as an x/y. In practice, this seems to have little real effect on the game play, but it is helpful against human players where you can use the environment to your advantage to help conceal your ships, etc. Also, and my personal favorite, is the various autonomy settings. You can tell your ships how freely the AI is supposed to act with your ships. In addition to the red/yellow/green alerts from the previous game, which basically mean attack on sight, attack if attacked first, or do not attack, they also have movement and special weapon autonomy. These control how far the ship will move to pursue its target outside of your selected location, and how much the computer will automatically fire each ships special weapons. Very useful features, and ones I use all the time. There is also formations, which are helpful in that they make use of the 3D space, and can be helpful in arranging your fleets just so. And last, but certainly not least, they added Warp travel to the game. Many ships, and most warships, can travel at warp speed when they are not bound by a gravitational field or a nebula. An incredibly useful addition when you really need those reinforcements now! I found multiplayer to be quite fun as well. Though the AI seems a little slow, overall it\'s a lot of fun.
 
The game is very customizable, with many different game types/objectives. Also, in multiplayer, a player can be any one of the six different races. It offers a fair amount of variety within each race as well as between the different races. Though there is some similarity, for example, each race has a scout ship, a bomber, six other ships in the regular shipyard (with the exception of Species 8472), and four larger starships from the advanced shipyard (or whatever it is called for each race), there still manages to be a decent amount of variety. Some of the special abilities are quite fun. Now, some of the special weapons are also not quite real to the show also, but that does not bother me a bit. But a few may be offended by that, so I wanted to warn those who are into Star Trek \'canon\'. For me, it\'s a game: it\'s there to have fun. But at any rate, each race has something neat. For example, the Federation\'s super weapon is the incredibly powerful Temporal Research Facility, which allows you to temporarily freeze time for the enemy in a specific area range. Quite powerful! While the Borg have, well, two REALLY powerful things: their transwarp gate, which allows instant travel to any explored location, of not just one ship, but fleets, and the Fusion and Tactical Fusion Cubes. These guys are a combination of eight cubes to form one REAL powerful Fusion Cube. I tell you - a source for nightmares to an unprepared opponent.
 
The Graphics in this game are pretty good. Not great, but by no means bad. They are a basic upgrade from the previous Armada, which had great graphics two years ago. Mostly improved detail in the models and textures. I have no real complaints. The explosions still look great, and many can still look quite majestic :) The sound in this game is pretty decent as well. The sound effects are very good; the phaser and torpedo sound effects are quite convincing, if not taken from the show. Also, the voice actors did a fine job, as in many cases the actors from the show did the voices. From Jean-Luc Picard to the Borg Queen, the voices are very convincing. Also, the individual unit voices are very well done as well. Some of the sayings that units will make are even funny at times. This is most certainly exemplified by the Klingons. Not only do they occasionally spout off some unknown Klingon word, but they will also have funny phrases like \'Go Over There\' in a tone of voice that always makes me laugh, to the venerable \'Revenge is a dish best served cold.\' Anyone with any understanding of the story of the Klingons is not particularly surprised by those kind of statements. As for the music, it sounds good, and is well made. It can become a bit repetitive at times, but by no means annoying. Most of the time I did not even notice it, as I was far too busy listening to the explosions of my opponents :). It certainly never bothered me, and does properly set the mood. In particular, the music for Species 8472 is sufficiently mysterious sounding to warrant a mention. :)
 
From a Christian perspective, there is violence, in that there are ships firing at each other, and people obviously die. Also, a few of the comments, like the Klingon one quoted above, are a little rough around the edges. But overall, especially since there is no blood or gore of any kind, nor any seriously inappropriate language to speak of, it has a lot going for it. The only thing that is worth mentioning is that Species 8472, being a biological species, has a few skills, like \'Psionic Insanity\' and other Psionically named skills. I would say, though, that for the average player, they would just seem as another kind of neat technology to play with. With those noted exceptions, I would say that this game is appropriate for most anyone from age 10 or so, depending on their maturity level.
The game was easy to install, similar to many other Activision games. I found the stability to be pretty good, though on rare occasion it would crash to the desktop with no explanation. But overall, pretty stable. I ran this game on Windows 2000. There is a patch in the works, and it plans to address some of the little gripes that people have had. I personally look forward to it. There are also several MODs in development that I look forward to. They released the SDK for it, so there are already several user created maps and a few small MOD projects already. There are a few larger projects, like Star Trek vs. Star Wars. That one could be fun! My only gripe about MODs is that they have no integrated means to run them. You have to replace the existing game files, so to play the original again you have to restore the replaced files. Not the worst thing, but it can be difficult in cases where a person does not have a lot of hard drive space to back up the game data, or if they want to experiment with multiple MODs. Overall, I really enjoyed this game. If you are a Star Trek fan, and like simple, fun, real time strategy games, take a good look at Star Trek: Armada II!

Final Ratings

Graphics A- Game play A Sound A- Interface A Stability B+ Offensive Content A-

Overall A-

{pgomakase}

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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