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Star Trek: New Worlds By John "Award" Del Percio, Sep. 24, 2000
Developer :14 Degrees East
Publisher :Interplay
Release Date :Early Sept. 2000
Demo Available : Yes - Download
Table of Contents

· Introduction
· Closer Look
· Facts
· Final

It's Strategy...But Not As We Know It

One of the more interesting points of the game, not as a game, but as a Star Trek game, is the fact that it is not in space. Ever. You would think that, since we have never seen much of the planetary life of Star Trek, aside from the occasional Klingon building or shot of the UFP HQ, that the game would seem rather out of place and non-trek-like. 14 East did an amazing job creating a convincing Star Trek planetary environment. From the moment you look at the units and buildings, you'll feel like it's normal, though it's your first time seeing them.

It's just a dilithium reactor...right?
The Romulans!
Plasma disruptors have such pretty explosions
Bird of prey in attack position!

New Worlds has an interesting colony and resource model. While generally, it isn't very different from every other RTS on the market, it does provide a sort of a normal diversion from the painfully overused "Build buildings to build units and build mines to do so" model. Generally, you must build a fully functioning colony before you can build any defensive or offensive structure or units. The resource model is unique as well. There is a grand total of seven resources. Six mineral resources that are refined into your normal dilithium etc., and power generation must be managed enough to count as a resource. The minerals are obtained by setting up mining stations in mineral-rich locations around the map. You can see what minerals are where by looking at your tricorder. All mineral patches contain trace amounts of all resources, though they carry a majority of the resource listed by the tricorder. This provides for some interesting resource strategy. I think now is also a good time to clear up a misconception I have seen around the net, both by fellow journalists, and by gamers. You can jump to a specific location using the mini-map (tricorder) by double-right clicking.

Another great thing about the game is the fact that you don't have to sit and baby-sit your units or your base. Once established, resource collection is automatic, aside from finding new mineral patches to place another extractor on. Unit production is also interesting, as you can watch your construction bees building the buildings polygon by polygon. The more construction bees you have, the faster production goes. The unfortunate thing is that additional construction, work, and cargo bees detract from your unit total. You must make a decision between faster construction and resources, or more firepower. The answer is typically obvious.

Uhh, captain?
Today is a good day for them to die!
A level 1 Klingon base.
The federation scouts the unknown

As typical of the Star Trek franchise, there is more to a system than just the technology. There are good officers and crew behind it all. In New Worlds, you must train staff and place them in the buildings to increase their productivity and overall effectiveness. It's just too bad there isn't more to the interface. You must enter and exit the various menus far more than I would care to. Additionally, there is no location within the game that displays unit stats. You can't determine what is better about one vehicle versus another, or what the chances are of defeating it. Logic would dictate that the more information you have about your enemy, the more likely your chances of defeating them.

While on the topic of the interface, though, the interface does have a few nice features. Primarily the ability to cloak your interface panels. They can become semi-transparent so you don't miss any of the action. There is also a panel on the interface for alliances. It is rather convenient to be able to change your relationship with any species from friendly (can't scan or fire), cautious (can scan, won't fire automatically), or hostile (red alert!)

As with any Star Trek movie, game, or episode, the story is truly the driving force behind it. In New Worlds, it certainly does not fall short of that expectation. The Romulans have been doing some experimenting with new weapons in the Neutral Zone, and when it goes wrong, new planets appear. Along with the planets, a highly primitive race with immense technological power appear. It isn't until later where you discover where the technology came from. A highly powerful race which was gone for centuries has returned. And this time, they're out for revenge!

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