Review by gjdsj
"A great turn-based strategy based on the Star Trek universe of the 2360s."
Star Trek: Birth of the Federation is a turn-based strategy game based on Star Trek. You can choose from 5 major races, which are: United Federation of Planets, Klingon Empire, Romulan Star Empire, Cardassian Union, and the Ferengi Alliance, all of which appear in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Your goal is to control the galaxy by alliance or by yourself. There is an assortment of minor races, totaling 30, whom you can either persuade to join you or forcibly conquer them. Some of these minor races are actually supposed to be part of the Federation, such as the Vulcans.
The gameplay is the strongest part of this game. You can attempt to win a game with a variety of tactics, such as diplomacy, espionage, sabotage, or just simply attacking them. Research is required to build the best ships and to get the most out of your buildings. To expand you must colonize, and maybe conquer planets. You can protect your planets with fleets, starbases, bunker networks, and orbital batteries. There are also alien entities you may meet if you have random events turned on, including a Borg Cube. If you like strategy games, you will probably enjoy this game. Be warned though, later in the game there is a very large amount of micromanagement of each system. Some games can be long and tedious because of this, especially with larger maps.
The game allows access to all functions very quickly. The controls for all races are exactly the same except for the color and shape of items in the interface, but all interfaces have a wide variety of visuals. This also helps you learn the controls more quickly. In the combat screen you are able to change the orientation of the ships relative to you. The combat may be difficult to direct in the case of a starbase vs. a scout, however.
One of my problems with this game is the AI’s annoying habit to send small fleets against large fleets. Another thing is that the AI may demand money, break treaties, or declare war for no reason. The different empires also act very out of character. For example the Federation may suddenly demand money when you have good relations. Usually they will all declare war on you eventually. It increases difficulty, but it takes away from the feel of the game.
You must control a 60% of the galaxy alone, and 75% allied. There is no story.
The map and interface look good, but don’t have the best graphics. Your territory is colored with your empire’s color. There is an icon for ships of all empires, one for minor races, and one for alien entities. The tactical combat screen displays ships and combat well, but ships can look bad from long distance. The weapons have your empire’s color, which is sometimes inaccurate to the show. You can look at combat from any range or orientation that you choose. The graphics are pretty good for a game from 1998.
This game is very replayable. Every game is usually different. If you like it you will probably play it very many times. Multiplayer also gives a lot of replayablitly. You can play it on the Internet, or on a LAN.
To buy or to rent:
This game may be hard to find. It is usually not very expensive. I would not recommend renting because it probably is a large portion of the price (depending on rental price), and you might not have the time to finish a single game. If you like real-time strategy and Star Trek, I would defiantly recommend you to buy it. If you don’t like Star trek, you may not enjoy it as much.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 06/15/02, Updated 06/15/02
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