Dec 6, 2007
Poor Star Trek. Despite having one of the most rabid fan followings in all of science fiction, it hasn't spawned a solid TV series, movie or video game in years. Unfortunately, that includes Star Trek: Conquest, a shallow blend of action and strategy that feels more like an enthusiastic homebrew project than an officially licensed game.
As one of six playable races, you construct fleets and conquer planets, just like in the board game Risk, fighting their defenders in real-time or simulated combat. Each race has three fleet commanders who give their ships bonuses to combat, defense or movement, but ultimately the races are practically indistinguishable from each other (insert joke about every Trek alien looking like a human with a mildly deformed forehead). Playing as the offense-heavy Klingons should feel completely different from controlling the defensive Breen, but it doesn't.
Ship-to-ship combat is as shallow as the rest of the gameplay. It's not as plodding as the DS and PSP's Star Trek: Tactical Assault, but it feels more like a minigame than something you'd want to build an entire game around, especially with how chuggy the framerate gets during big battles. Fortunately, you can choose to skip it altogether by simulating every battle, but this virtually guarantees you'll lose every close fight on the higher difficulty settings.
And for every feature that Conquest fails to develop completely, there are two that it just plain leaves out, including: online play, local multiplayer play, game modes other than single-player campaign and single-battle skirmishes, big-name Star Trek characters and the ability to name your own ships or commanders.
Still, you have to give Conquest credit for knowing that it's not very good and only charging you $20 to find that out. And if you're a diehard Next Gen/DS9 fan who can come into it with the lowest expectations possible, you might find a few hours' worth of fun here. But unless you routinely wear your Federation uniform in public, you're probably not rabid enough to get your money's worth from this one.