previews\ Oct 25, 2006 at 8:00 pm

Star Trek: Tactical Assault - PSP - Preview 2

Star Trek: Tactical Assault from Bethesda Softworks brings the Star Trek license to the handheld format. However, instead of just being another half-baked title with a license thrown on it, Tactical Assault is shaping up to be a very deep space-sim, putting you in the role of a Starfleet Commander and all the assets therein.


GameZone was recently given the chance to play a preview build of the game, and the results were very impressive. The gameplay is extremely deep, allowing you to take on virtually every element of running a Starfleet vessel, building up your crew as well as your ship’s stats. All in all, Star Trek: Tactical Assault is shaping up to be a PSP game that fans of the Star Trek universe would be proud to play.



As I stated earlier, Star Trek: Tactical Assault puts you in command of your own Starfleet ship. You can also control a Klingon vessel as well, once you unlock that campaign. The game takes place during the formative Kirk years, roughly somewhere during the films’ timeline.


As the title implicitly states, Star Trek: Tactical Assault is more about taking a more thoughtful (i.e. tactical) approach to space battles than an all-out one. Your ship is covered by a 360-degree shield that is divided into sections. When your ship gets hit, sections of your shield will be destroyed requiring you to strategize your movement pattern to keep your shields from failing and you receiving hull damage.



However, that’s just one area where strategy comes into play. At certain points, you may need to summon the help of reinforcements if a battle gets too heavy, and some battles can even be circumvented with skilled negotiation.


Aside from the battle strategy, the game has a very deep stats system. Instead of building up your ship by fitting it with stronger shields and weapons to make you more formidable in battle, you can build up members of your crew with more promotional points, effectively promoting them to higher ranks and bringing stat bonuses to your ship. Depending on how you choose to dole these out, you can build up your team like a tight drum, improving repair time and weapon effectiveness.



Graphically, Star Trek: Tactical Assault looks great. The ships are nicely rendered and the space battles look great. While the environments are kind of limited (granted, this is a necessary evil, since the game takes place in space), the overall look of the game is pretty solid.


Star Trek: Tactical Assault is gearing up to be as deep and engaging of a space sim as you’ll find on any system, let alone on a handheld. Fans of the Star Trek universe or smart sims in general should definitely give this one a look when it’s released in November.

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