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Star Trek Bridge Commander
Star Trek Bridge Commander is an enjoyable space sim game developed by Totally Games, a name quite popular for releasing simulation games. Unlike other Star Trek games like Klingon Academy and Starfleet Academy, Bridge Commander is an interesting game set in the Star Trek Universe. The game focuses more on tactical combats between large, durable starships instead of small fighter crafts. Bridge Commander’s tactical battles resemble the battles showed in various Star Trek television series and movies.
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It would be unfair to call it as a space sim game, because it includes some adventure elements as well. Star Trek Bridge Commander not only involves a series of tactical combat solutions, but also offers some interactivity with other non-player characters to solve a particular situation. In fact the story advances by investigating certain events and this can only be achieved by discussing or interacting with other characters. The entire story is set in a region of space called the Maelstrom where the captain has to investigate the reason of the mysterious supernova and solving the mystery involves the combination of tactical combat and interactivity.
Players play the entire game from the captain’s viewpoint. You have to rely on the skills of your AI crew to maneuver your ship and target opponents. Commanding and guiding crew members from a captain’s perspective are a unique simulation experience, but maneuvering the ship directly is more fascinating. You can control the space ship using the typical FPS key commands and just need to aim and fire with the click of your mouse. This mouse-keyboard combination works quite smoothly.
Star Trek Bridge Commander focuses more on tactical combat, so it can also be called as a space strategy game. The Star Trek Universe does not have those swift fighter crafts but bulkier space ships. Due to the easy control scheme and enough time to plan and attack enemy ships has made this game quite interesting. The ships have limited weapons. They are armed with just photon torpedoes and phasers. But, the depth of gameplay and easy controls will certainly engage you for hours.
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Graphics in Bridge Commander are excellent except for a few minor glitches. The ships are well detailed but some of the elements in the Star Trek Universe are averagely designed and low detailed. The star system and planets look similar. There are no significant elements like black holes and the Nebulas were quite few.
Players can tweak graphical options as per their computer’s graphic requirements. The game has a good variety of options. So there is no problem if you have a lower-end system. The game also allows you to set a maximum resolution of 1600x1200. It works well with a 16MB DirectX 8.0a compatible graphics card and drivers.
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Star Trek Bridge Commander has a dynamic and outstanding music. You will feel as if you have been transported into a Star Trek movie. The sound of plasma piercing through the enemy warships and the ship sound effects makes you believe that you are playing a serious sci-fi space sim game. The crew voice-acting is pretty neat. The voice-overs of Commander Data and Captain Picard are done by Patrick Stewart and Brent Spiner.
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Star Trek Bridge Commander’s slow-paced tactical combat missions and equally enthralling adventure elements makes this game unique than other Star Trek games. But, do not expect any re-playability as the game is over once the mystery of supernova is solved. If you are an ardent Star Trek fan and a retro game collector, better test the Star Trek Bridge Commander demo version and then purchase the full version.
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Operating System: Microsoft Windows 95/98/ME/2000/XP
Processor: Pentium II/Athlon 300 MHz (Recommended: Pentium II 450 MHz processor)
RAM: 64 MB RAM
Graphics Card: 16MB graphics card (DirectX 8.0a compatible)
Sound Card: 16bit sound card (DirectX 8.0a compatible)
Direct X 8.0a