Let’s be frank, here: Out of all the games made using the Star Trek license, most have been terrible. But one game stands out as not just a good Star Trek game, but a good FPS in its own right: Elite Force.
Star Wars has X-Wing and Knights of the Old Republic. The Marvel Universe has Spider-Man 2, and DC now has Arkham Asylum. Almost every beloved nerd franchise has at least one decent-to-good game under its belt, and for Star Trek, that game would be Raven Software’s Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force. But what made Elite Force special? How could a FPS capture the essence of the dialogue-heavy Trek universe and still be good? In Issue 217 of The Escapist, Russ Pitts finds out what made Elite Force stand out.
The “right direction” for Raven involved taking the new (at the time) incarnation of the Trek franchise, Star Trek Voyager, and putting the player in the uniform of a member of Voyager‘s “Hazard Team,” Ensign Munro, whose job it is to leave the ship wearing a “red shirt” on all of those “away missions” where things typically go horribly awry, often ending in phaser fire, confusion and death. The player’s job: Keep the red shirt alive.
“In the context of the game you needed enemies to fight,” says Pelletier. So Raven created the “Stasis Aliens,” giving the player the opportunity to not only fight against a new alien race, but to actually discover them as well. “The first contacts that Kirk or Picard would make were always great moments, and we wanted the player to experience that.”
To read about the rest of what made Elite Force work where no game had worked before, check out “Elite Force: The Essence of Trek” by Russ Pitts in Issue 217 of The Escapist.