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Star Trek Shattered Universe - XB - Preview

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Posted by: jkdmedia

The universe is a vast and unknown area, full of hidden dangers. Sometimes, those dangers take on the unexpected form of those whom you have known for decades.

While on a rescue mission, the United Federation Starship Excelsior is caught in the same vortex as the Enterprise and Ranger. The world seems to spin and suddenly the known becomes unknown. Captain Sulu is facing the screen and the deadly image of Captain Chekov. It is a parallel universe, and Chekov is accusing Sulu of betraying the empire, a crime for which he must pay.

With little more than that you are thrust into a war that you must win.

Star Trek Shattered Universe is a pending release on the Xbox from TDK and Starsphere Interactive. This is an arcade journey through the Star Trek universe. Fans of the Star Trek fable may recognize the setting of the game as that depicted in the Star Trek episode "Mirror, Mirror."

What the developers of this game have done is to take that alternate universe concept and expand it to 19 levels of fast-paced combat. GameZone.com was invited to beam aboard for this warp-speed adventure into deadly space.

Ensnared in the Janus Prime Vortex, Sulu and his crew are now tasked with crossing a very hostile bit of space in order to find a way home. Romulans and Klingons are seemingly the least of your troubles.

The first mission encountered is within the vortex, after the screen clears and Sulu is confronted by the accusations of Chekov. The Enterprise fires on and destroys the Ranger, and then turns its attention to the Excelsior. But Chekov is like a cat toying with a mouse. He knows the phasers on the Excelsior have been sabotaged, and sends a host of smaller fighters toward the ship.

Your task is to hold off the fighters from destroying the Excelsior, but also to damage the Enterprise so that it breaks off its attack. Of course, the Enterprise has shields that you will have to work through. And because this is space, the Enterprise is not about to sit in one location and let you just shoot away at it. No, it will move and fire back at your little Wraith fighter.

That means you will have to bounce around, avoid the return fire from the Enterprise, spin back and take out fighters attacking the Excelsior and then return to whittling down the shields on the Enterprise.

The action is fast paced, and constant. There are bonus points awarded for finishing the scenario objectives in less than four minutes.

The control elements of the game are very simple and work well with the Xbox controller. The thumbsticks control flying controls and the X button is the primary attack. The right trigger drives you forward.

Visually this is a very nice game to look at. The three-dimensional environments are lush and very colorful. The ships look great and the special effects are well done. There is a HUD to help with targeting.

The sound of the game is full of the effects one expects from a Star Trek game. Adding to the sound and authenticity of the game are the vocal re-enactments of George Takei as Captain Sulu and Walter Koenig as Captain Chekov. This certainly adds to the overall quality of the title.

The missions on this game were all basically similar - destroys from a little fighter. Whether traversing a worm hole and clearing the road or battling other ships, this is a game that is highly reflexive.

Star Trek Shattered Universe is an arcade game, with each round scored, and the replayability will certainly come in trying to outscore previous efforts. While the missions of this beta all bear a certain similarity, they are nicely tied together by the storyline.

This can be thought of as light entertainment. There is nothing that will have you pondering solutions to deep puzzles, but rather you are treated to a blasting romp through space. Given the nature of the game, it appears Star Trek Shattered Universe is on course to give fans a superficial but enjoyable glimpse into an alternate Star Trek universe.

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