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A Final Unity Info

Game

Star Trek: A Final Unity

Released:

1995

Produced By:

Spectrum Holobyte

Developed By:

Spectrum Holobyte

Screenshots - http://www.startrek-gamers.com/forum/album.php

 

The next license holder goes for broke

Spectrum Holobyte isn't a well known name in the gaming world, however there re-vamped name of Microprose is, they were both the same company.

At the time of Interplay releasing Starfleet Academy the Next Generation license was being held over to Spectrum Holobyte, their first foray into the Trek world was A Final Unity.

A Final Unity Info

Spectrum spent a FORTUNE on this game, with voice casting of almost the entire cast of the TNG series and a game engine reminiscent of an early Klingon Academy the game was a first in many respects...

For its time, the production values of AFU are top notch. The film clips are impressive, and a "Holodeck" feature in the game allows you to watch cut scenes again and again to your heart's content. The graphics are well drawn, and all the main characters in ST:TNG are rendered in almost perfect fidelity with their real life counterparts. The voice acting stands out as one of the best voice tracks ever added to computer games. Ironically, the only real problem is that there is sometimes so much details in the background shots that, on occasions, it is difficult to pick out the hotspots.

The game is somewhat hardware intensive, although most of the installation bugs that once heavily plagued the game now appear moot with the hardware currently available. Back in 1995, the game really did not run well without a high end 486 and 16 MB of RAM.

Due to incompatibility with some older CD-ROM drives which can only read 63 minute capacity CD rather than the standard 74 minute one, a 63 minute capacity two CD set version of the game has also been released in addition to the standard 74 minute capacity single CD release.

The game plays as a standard, icon based, point and click driven fare. However, one feature that stands out is the variable levels of difficulty. There are three to choose from: Ensign, Lieutenant, and Captain. The higher in level you choose, the more carefully you must weigh your decisions, and the less coddling and aid you get from your crew. Be sure to weigh your choices carefully! There are multiple paths within the game; I once found out that I could have avoided a more difficult path to discover a set of coordinates only if I had picked my words more carefully with the ancient Chodak. In the highest level of difficulty, you need to assemble your own Away Team, instead of having once automatically picked for you.

The puzzles in AFU are pretty straightforward and logical. As long as you select the best crew for a particular mission (which, at lower skill levels, the game automatically does this for you) and constantly make use of your Starfleet issued tricorder, you should not have too many problems. Spectrum Holobyte gets extra kudos for paying attention to the fact that every team member in ST:TNG has his or her own unique skills to contribute. You may even find yourself going back to get a new crew member who can give you a second opinion. Don't think that Data is analyzing the situation right? Maybe Geordi can use his visor to shed a little light on the situation.

The challenges and tasks all fit well within the Star Trek universe, with one great exception: while exploring a planet in search of some Chodak secrets, the inordinate number of logic puzzles you have to play through seems a bit unrealistic and trying.

There are a few other game elements which can be substantially improved. First, I feel that Spectrum Holobyte has focused excessively on the Away Team paradigm, and has almost forgotten that we are on a Starship that is the size of a small New England town. While there are some key scenes that played out on the ship, there are no real adventures that take place primarily aboard the Enterprise. You are not allowed to go freely exploring the ship or interact with the crew. The ship merely serves as a wagon you ride to move around, get into battles, and further the plot.

A Final Unity Info

Speaking of getting into battles, this has to be my least favourite part of the game. In AFU, you need to spend your time giving orders on attack manoeuvres while keeping your eye on complex engineering and tactical systems. Fortunately, you can delegate these tasks to Geordi and Worf respectively, both of who are actually quite good in doing their jobs. In truth, I wouldn't even be writing this review if help has not been available to me to get through the few completely insane battles! On the other hand, if you find that you really just can't get enough of smashing big spaceships into little debris, the game gives you the option of sending the Enterprise into the Neutral Zone for a little Romulan smashing fun!

Arcade impediments in an adventure game are ultimately frustrating. The gaming industry only sometimes gets it through its thick skull that there should be an option to skip them!

Cheats

Cheat mode:
Type make it so at the tactical screen. A list of options including "Destroy" and "Cloak" will appear. The following keys may also be pressed to activate the corresponding cheat function.

Effect Key
999 photon torpedoes T
Repair all damage F
Cloak C
Full impulse I
Jump to warp speed W


Mac...
In the Tactical mode, type in MAKE IT SO. This will give you several options to choose from, such as Fix, Cloak, Warp, Speed, and Destroy.

   

 

For more details....

As Microprose went bust there is no homepage left on the net for A Final Unity

Write up by Katherine Venra

29/10/2002 / Updated 11/12/2003

 



 


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