I’m a massive Star Trek fan. And a gamer. So what happens when you bring the two together? Star Trek games! I’ve owned pretty much all of them, including the old DOS games like A Final Unity, Klingon Honour Guard etc. But there are five Star Trek games in particular that have always held a special significance for me –
Birth of the Federation – an old turn based strategy game. Play as any of the major races as you expand your empire out into the galaxy, building huge fleets of starships and micro-managing each of your planets to produce energy, credits, and dilithium. Aim to rule the galaxy either through diplomacy or brute force, crushing your enemies. This was the first game that I truly became addicted to. Think Galactic Civilizations for the Windows 98 age.
Starfleet Command – micro-manage your ship during battles as you wage a campaign across the galaxy to expand your side’s space and upgrade your ship or buy whole new ones. They all had pretty decent campaign modes too.
Armada – like Command and Conquer in space, Armada had you build fleets to destroy the enemy forces and their base. Plus, you could play as the Borg! Who doesn’t want that?!
Elite Force – an FPS game that let you wander the halls of Voyager when you weren’t whipping out your phaser rifle to deal with those pesky aliens. Pushing the self-destruct button really did rile Chakotay up. Such fun.
Bridge Commander – now this one was probably up at the top of my addiction list. The base game was fun, letting you quite literally sit in the captain’s chair of a starship and scream at your crew to fire phasers and divert emergency power to shields. But it was the modding community that really unleashed its potential. The Kobayashi Maru mod was probably one of the most fun mods I ever played with friends. I was even part of a gaming clan for a couple of years back then. The game had a Quick Battle mode letting you take control of one ship in a skirmish against an enemy fleet of your choosing. The modding community then added a mode to allow you to travel to hundreds of systems in the galaxy, fighting for control and then building a base there to generate credits to allow you to expand your fleet and continue the fight. it was great, but never really stable enough to let you play for too long. It crashed a lot.
I think about these games a lot, and even re-install some of them from time to time for a bit of nostalgia. The Star Trek games that followed just never quite lived up to them. Legacy was an unmitigated crapheap and Star Trek Online, while being a great game, just doesn’t quite give me the excitement that playing these games did.
This is where StarMade comes in for me.
This is what Starmade could be for me. Literally building a fleet, block by block, and sending it out into the galaxy. Commanding your Starfleet armada personally as you launch an invasion of Romulan space, taking their systems and setting up starbases and expanding your economy with mining operations and commercial enterprises. Managing your crew as you sit in the captain’s chair of a Galaxy class starship.
StarMade has its limits and I could be just expecting too much from the finished product. But maybe not. We already have the means to build fleets of ships and claim ownership of systems, and the upcoming fleet and crew updates should make the game even more immersive. The universe really could be the limit.
Thanks for reading.