Star Trek: A Final Unity review by Al Giovetti
By Al Giovetti
Star Trek: A Final Unity
Many games have come and gone on the theme of Star Trek, one of the hottest licensed property in the history of the world (according to at least a dozen certified studies - Ed.). The Star Trek phenomenon has resulted in more games than any other license, and licensed games have a bad reputation. Most gamers look at licensed games, especially the first try, even by a respected game company like Microprose, Spectrum Holobyte as being suspect. This game proved itself and went gold.
Interest in this game and this topic is immense. In my search of the internet, I found 16 reviews of the product, innumerable walk-throughs, and other links, such as the interview. Some of the links no longer work, so lets try them out together.
One of the most ambitious entertainment software titles to date, is STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION™ "A Final Unity" PC CD-ROM for DOS, Spectrum HoloByte, Inc. (NASDAQ: SBYT) announced that the game has been well received by consumers since its June release, it was announced by Louis Gioia, Jr., Chief Marketing Officer of Spectrum HoloByte, Inc. The game remains at or near the top of sales charts published by PC Data, the highly regarded retail sales research company.
Licensed by Viacom Consumer Products, STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION™ "A Final Unity" incorporates several technological achievements, including extremely lifelike 3-D animation, authentic digitized sound effects and music, and the voices of the seven principal actors from the popular series STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION™. Each actor, including Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner and Marina Sirtis, individually recorded more than 60 minutes of dialog for the game, allowing for endless turns and directions of the characters and action within the main story line.
STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION™ "A Final Unity" allows players to select one of three difficulty settings - Ensign, Lieutenant or Captain - in order to tailor the game to accommodate players of all skill levels. Players can also take on the role of a different crew member each time, which affects the decisions to be made and the game's outcome. Those who embark on a thorough journey through the final frontier will experience up to 80 hours of game play.
"It's not an overstatement to call this game a STAR TREK fan's dream come true," said Gioia. "The extensive amount of time and effort invested in this game has clearly paid off, resulting in a title that consumers love and play time and time again because of its depth and attention to detail."
Taking the Starship Enterprise to warp speed, to responding to a call of distress, or determining how best to utilize personnel are just a few of the decisions that rest with players when they embark upon "A Final Unity." The game is so rich with STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION™ detail of space civilizations, the Bridge, the characters and their history that it will provide instant appeal to "Trekkers." The CD-ROM also offers hints within the game to help guide the gaming novice.
Game Summary: Spectrum HoloByte's STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION™ "A Final Unity" for PC CD-ROM is an epic in the grand tradition of graphic adventures with elements of a sophisticated space-flight simulation.
Players embark on missions for the Federation and find themselves caught up in an unfolding mystery with the crew of the Starship Enterprise. Within this galactic adventure, the player must maneuver the Starship Enterprise (designated NCC-1701-D) within a 3-D tactical space, beam down Away Teams to investigate alien planets, explore many of the hundreds of stars within known space, and use the vast resources of the U.S.S. Enterprise to meet the challenges that await.
Game PlayGame play: You pilot the Enterprise through a sea battle like sequences of dogfights in three dimensional space. You will beam down away teams that you pick from the crew and that you must equip with familiar Star Trek devices like phasers and tricorders. Each character draws on their strengths, Geordi his technical engineering knowledge, Data his logic, strength, and quickness, Worf his fighting abilities, and so on. You will not win the many puzzles here by using your phaser to quickly as was true in the Interplay Star Trek classic graphic animated adventures.
Puzzles: Many of the puzzles are very involved. They require a lot of thinking and could be too difficult for the casual game player or reviewer. Professional or experienced gamers will love the depth of play and the intricacy of the puzzles and their need for thinking through a problem rather than bashing it to death.
Interface is point and click. You want to open something or interact with it, you simply click on it. You want to use something you click on the panel below where the object is stored in inventory.
The three dimensional Enterprise NCC-1701-D bridge crew answers a hail from a vessel being pursued from the neutral zone by a Garidian Warbird. The vessel requests asylum, but before the Enterprise can act decisively by placing herself between the pursuer and pursued, the little ship starts breaking up. A quick thinking Picard and Data transport the lone crewman out of the now disintegrating ship and give him sanctuary only to find themselves embarking on what is though is one of the best computer adventure games ever produced for the Star Trek license.
The ensuing adventure takes the now two dimensional graphic crew through now two dimensional ship and other two dimensional worlds to explore, solve puzzles, communicate, and investigate their way from one planet to another across the galaxy in pursuit of a lost ancient race and their technology. The ancient technology, a Unity device, that can destroy worlds from far distances, is somehow also known to the Romulans, who now race against the Enterprise in a battle to be the first to recover the device and rule the galaxy.
AnimationOriginally, when this title was hyped by the manufacturer a cinematic trailer was made available which now makes up the beginning of the game. Extremely impressive three dimensional characters, resembling claymation characters, of the bridge staff went through answering the hail or a vessel being pursued out of the neutral zone.
Voice ActorsWith the original voices for Picard, Riker, Worf, Geordi, Troi, Worf, and Data how could you go wrong, unless of course you don't like Star Trek.
Music ScoreFrom the original television series. You will recognize the tracks if you watch the show.
Sound EffectsListen to the mighty phaser beam cut through metal and flesh. Listen to the dulcet tones of the communicator pin. Swoon over the pulse and ebb of the transporter spreading your atoms and reassembling them. If you like Trek it does not get better than this. Where is the blooper reel?
Multi-player FeaturesNo multiplayer features, darn it.
Conclusion:A must have game for fans. Probably too involved for a beginner without a strategy guide of walk through - so pick one up. People who don't like Star Trek should look elsewhere and check with their shrink as to why they are reading articles on the subject.
Cheats, Hints, WalkthroughMission Critical Walkthrough from the Computer Show
JournalistsSome of the reviewers may not have even given the game a chance. Perhaps they found it to difficult or the acting not up to their standards. This is a game not a movie or any other form of entertainment. The game must be judged by gamers and in a gaming environment. Most people that play games liked this one and look how well it sold and is still selling.
ReferencesStar Trek the Final Unity Web Site
Steve Klett, PC Games, August, 1985, B, (85%).
Michael B. Dixon, Game Pen
Aaron Shakra, Game Pen
, 9.7/10, (97%). Trish Murphy, SMH
Susan Davis, World Villiage
, 4/5, (80%). Julian Schoffel, Next Generation
Rebecca Gulick, Mac Week
Tony Mormon, Fog Studios
Mike Langberg, a href="http://www.sjmercury.com/business/cdrom/cd072395.htm">SJ Mercury
Terry Bowyer, Happy Puppy
John C. Dvorak, CNET
, CD Central
Announcement goes gold:
Interviews: New Media Interview
Techno File Interview
Games Domain Interview
Direct Media Interview
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