Company line: Take Control. Star Control 3 is the ultimate action adventure game that provides an immense experience that is entertaining, compelling and challenging.
The highly anticipated sequel to the award-winning sci-fi adventure enters a new galaxy. Star Control 3 features intense alien interaction, space combat and space exploration. Interstellar civilization is in chaos. The fabric of hyper space has been torn asunder, and a disaster of cosmic proportions threatens to wipe out all signs of intelligent life. Your only salvation lies in the secrets of a lost civilization hidden within the galactic core. To survive, you must command a massive fleet of alien allies in an expedition to the heart of the galaxy. Encounter bizarre and ruthless races, negotiate sophisticated treaties and engage in fast-action space combat.
History: Paul Reiche III and Fred Ford, under the company umbrella of Accolade, created Star Control 1 and 2 which became instant classics and started the Star Control series of games. Now that Legend Entertainment is a division of Accolade, the new Star Control was developed by Legend. The game is co-designed by Daniel Greenberg, who wrote the strategy guide. Dan's list of credits include Interplay's Star Trek: Starfleet Academy, Philips' Jumanji, and the SSI and AD&D game Al Quadim: The Genie's Curse. The new game Star Control 3 does not resemble these other games at all.
Plot: "The fate of a thousand worlds is in your hands again." So what else is new. I have saved the galaxy so many times they have come to expect it. Computer games scream at me, "please save the galaxy before you go to dinner."
"The fabric of the universe is crumbling and it's up to you to find the answer somewhere in the unexplored reaches of space. Your quest will bring you face-to-face with the universe's oldest and deadliest mystery." After facing death millions of times and dying nearly as many, coming face to face with an old mystery is a cakewalk.
"This epic adventure will lead you to the heart of the mysterious Kessari Quadrant," discover new life forms representing 24 races, establish and manage the resources of over 30 colonies, explore over 1000 new worlds, search for and discover over 40 ancient artifacts bristling with arcane ancient advanced technology.
One of your goals is to visit each of the 24 different races and solve a puzzle for them or go on a quest that will recruit them into a loose confederation of planets allied against a greater threat that will arrive in the end game. If you put the races in your debt eventually you will be able to stave off the intergalactic war and obtain help from these races in not defeating but at least mollifying the eternals. The eternals are a race of evil or at least morally indifferent people of incredible power, who need to be given their due of they will unerringly destroy the galaxy.
You fly: 24 different alien starships with 48 unique weapons, each one with unique features and special weaponry.
Aggressors: Include the "cruel and ruthless Hegemonic Crux."
Game play: Expanded resource management options more tightly control starships, fuel, and colony pods of your space colonies. The rip in the universe can cause you to find planets completely devastated in your travels, until you find and eliminate the cause. Back again, are your old friends and enemies from previous star control games.
Communication: Conversations about trade, alliances, and other matters with 24 three dimensional creatures created by top Hollywood special effects wizards and creature shops. Some races return from the previous game combined with all new races. Understanding alien humor is a factor in these confrontations.
The communication is by choice from a preset list of responses, selected by mouse click. Free form responses are not allowed. Hand sculpted, digitized puppets replace the others on the screen. The digitized speech can optionally be augmented with a text equivalent.
Puzzles: Many puzzles must be solved with logic and an alien sense of humor.
Combat: The aliens fight against one another in battles from the top down angled perspective, almost oblique or isometric, with an handy hot key that will allow you to speed up the battles that are easy or boring. A special hyper melee mode of game skips the adventure portion of the game and allows you to play in war game or strategy game fashion only.
Graphics: High resolution graphics are the order of the day.
Animation: State of the art Effects (SOTAFX), who have worked with Weird Science, Power Rangers, Predator, and Indian in the Cupboard, helped produce the 24 audioanimatronic robots needed to play the parts of the head and torsos of the races. The puppets were filmed over blue or green screen and pasted into the backgrounds needed. The background sets were prepared by Steve Lebed. Yes, the sets are models, miniature models. Amazing!
Animation is by full motion video of poorly animated and lip synched puppets. Poor suspension of belief here.
Voice actors: The voices of the audioanimatronic robots produced by a Hollywood puppet farm were perfored admirably with all the clicks, whistles and grunts that an alien can muster. Those responsible were Jeff Baker who did the Harika, Paul Skotarski who whizzed the Spathi, Bob Supan who voiced K'tang and Mycon, and Jaquiline Underwood who funked the Pkunk and sultried the Syreen. Each character has their own distinctive personality, appearance, ships, and worlds.
Each species of the 24 has full speech for all responses in communication.
Music score: Average general MIDI rather than redbook audio. You will probably want to use your stereo or boom box.
Sound effects: Better than average.
Multiplayer: The obligatory muliplayer mode will allow you to play against a friend or a computer opponent (Computer opponents are for real wusseys. - Ed.) in lightning-fast Hyper Melee three dimensional combat. Play over network, null or phone modem.
Reviewers: How do these guys review the product before it is released? Zach says it well, "more aliens, more spacecraft and more plot." Tim says its great, but Zach ain't convinced.
Hints, Cheats, and Walkthroughs
Summary: Sense of humor that made the first two games is sadly gone.
How do these guys review the product before it is released?
Tim Soete, http://www.gamespot.com/strategy/starcon3/, 89%
Glenn Broderick, Computer Player, volume 3, number 5, October, 1996, pg. 58.
Computer Gaming World
Zach Meston, Computer Player, volume 3, number 7, December, 1996, pg. 94, (90%).
Barry Brenesal, PC Games, volume 3, number 12, December, 1996, 92%.