If you’ve played Bridge Commander before then you will be familiar with the game play offered in Legacy. You command a space ship as one of Captains of all the Star Trek eras, including the orginal series, The Next Generation, Voyager, Deep Space Nine and Enterprise. It also includes some missions from after the last Star Trek movie: Insurrection.
Bridge Commander was a reasonable game, but let down badly by it’s poor selection of ships and below average story. Legacy includes ships from all Star Trek eras, including the USS Voyager and USS Defiant which aren’t even used in the games story1 and all other major ship classes like Excelsior and Akira related to their eras.
Unfortunately, the story in Legacy isn’t that great or original either. Although it manages to spead the arc of the story across from the Jonathan Archer Enterprise era to past the end of The Next Generation movies era, it follows an overused theme of: Borg attacks Federation, Federation joins as allies with Klingon and Romulan, Allies destroy Borg.
But the problems don’t end with the story, it’s obviously an XBOX game, and the PC port suffers from it. The controls are absolutely terrible, three or four pop-up tips offered in the first mission go to nowhere near enough depth. The targeting system is terrible, you’re given the choice of choosing the closet target or moving your cursor to your chosen target, however it also puts your ships onto auto-pilot towards that target. You also cannot put your ship into reverse and a bug prevented me from selecting all four ships in my armada at once so I had to order them all individually.
Some missions involve you to target individual systems on ships, like their engines to disable them. But the method for sub-system targetting is so complicated I didn’t bother to use it. And then there’s the collision detection, or the non-existance of it, you kind of loose the atmostphere when you see the Enterprise-D bounce off a planet.
But this all pales in comparison with the annoyances with the auto pilot and map system. Firstly I didn’t know there was a 3D map available until I browsed through some screen-shots and saw it, and I had to look. There is no way to get a good balance between cursor speed on the map and sensitivity when looking around your ship. Then, setting your ships to warp to destination is unreliable, especially when you want to warp them out of danger, it can be incredibly frustrating and lead you to fail your mission when your main ship is destroyed.
But enough of the negative, at times the game is very satisfying. Seeing the Enterprise-E with a Galaxy, Excelsior and Nebula class flanking it does bring a smile to my face, and for some reason I felt a compelling urge to complete the game, which I managed to do in three days.
Maybe the XBOX version is better, as it apparently doesn’t suffer from some of the control problems, but overall this game is a big let-down. As with almost all games in the Star Trek franchise, it had potential. A lot of potential.