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Star Trek: Bridge Commander

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Star Trek: Bridge Commander is a space combat simulation game for the PC, published by Activision and Totally Games in 2002, based in the Star Trek universe.

The plot revolves around a newly-promoted captain who has been assigned a mission to investigate an explosion of a star in the Maelstrom, a hostile region of space. Throughout the mystery, the player will often encounter characters from the Star Trek universe, including Captain Jean-Luc Picard and Lieutenant Commander Data. The captain and his crew take command of the Galaxy class U.S.S. Dauntless (NCC-71879) as well as the Sovereign class U.S.S. Sovereign (NCC-73811) to combat a new threat to the Federation.

The game allows two different styles of gameplay: storyline mode and quick battle mode. Quick battle mode allows for customized scenarios within a "simulated" environment, allowing the player to pick their allies/enemies, system, etc. With the advent of modding for Star Trek: Bridge Commander, custom missions and even campaigns have been made possible through this engine.

Storyline

The story line begins with the U.S.S. Dauntless in orbit of planet, Vesuvi 3. Her captain is piloting a shuttle to a research station orbiting the planet when the star goes supernova, destroying the planet, killing the captain, and severely damaging the Dauntless. After several months of repairs and refits, the Dauntless' first officer becomes her new captain, and after a brief resupply mission to the surviving Vesuvi colonies, an investigation into the star's destruction begins.

The Dauntless' crew is given the U.S.S. Sovereign, the U.S.S. Enterprise-E's sister ship, for the investigation. Additionally, Lieutenant Commander Data from the Enterprise is temporarily assigned to the Sovereign to assist in the investigation. Initial hostilities with the Romulans briefly lead the crew to suspect them as the culprits, but further evidence reveals a renegade faction of Cardassians are responsible. They are led by Legate Matan, the game's central villain.

Matan is assisted by a new race of aliens called the Kessok, whom Matan exploited and lied to in order to gain their cooperation. While searching for the technology that destroyed the Vesuvi star in the Alioth system, the Sovereign is ambushed and forced to leave Data behind on the surface of the system's sixth planet.

The revelation of the Cardassians' responsibility for the destruction of the Vesuvi star leads to a full scale war between the Federation and Matan's faction. The Federation is at first at a disadvantage having underestimated Matan's forces; however, they are able to repel an offensive against Starbase 12 and destroy Litvok Nor, a Cardassian space station identical to Deep Space 9, and rescue Data. Additionally, a Federation-Klingon-Romulan alliance is formed to put an end to the war in the game's final missions.

Shortly after Data's rescue and the formation of the alliance, the Sovereign is ordered to destroy the remaining Kessok technology that destroyed the Vesuvi star. During an encounter with a Kessok Heavy Cruiser, which makes no hostile movements and is unshielded, the player is presented with a choice: destroy the Kessok ship and the remaining device, or hail it. If the player fires on the Kessok ship, two smaller vessels will de-cloak and assist the heavy cruiser. The final mission will also be more difficult as the Kessok forces will initially side with the Cardassians. Hailing the vessel will open a dialog with the Kessok and reveal the Cardassians' exploitation of them.

The game's final mission involves destroying the remaining Kessok device in the custody of Matan before he can use it to destroy a newly founded Kessok colony. The final confrontation with Matan occurs near the star of the Omega Draconis system. The game ends with Matan's ship falling into the star and the beginnings of formal diplomatic relations with the Kessok. Captain Picard wishes the player good luck on his journeys, and the Sovereign warps away.

Gameplay and mechanics

Most game functions are carried out by selecting an individual bridge officer, and selecting from a set of commands or options in order to control that individual's set of responsibilities. In this way, the game simulates being in command of a starship. For example, a player could issue the command to intercept a fleeing starship through the Helm menu, or order Felix, the tactical officer to destroy an enemy ship. An AI would then pilot the ship for the player.

Players also have the option to switch to an external ship view, and carry out many piloting and weapons functions themselves. In this view, they are able to view various tactical indicators.

Reception

Star Trek: Bridge Commander received generally positive reviews from critics. The game currently holds a 9.0/10 on IGN.com and scored 82% favorable on Metacritic.

Player's crew

First Officer/Executive Officer

  • Commander Saffi Larsen

Science Officer

  • Lieutenant Commander Miguel Diaz

Tactical Officer

  • Lieutenant Felix Savali

Helmsman

  • Ensign Kiska LoMar

Chief Engineer

  • Lieutenant Commander Solian Brex

Playable ships in Quick Battle Mode

Federation Ships

Klingon Ships

  • Bird of Prey
  • Vor'cha

Ferengi Ships

  • Marauder

Romulan Ships

  • Warbird

Cardassian Ships

Kessok Ships

  • Kessok Light
  • Kessok Heavy

Other Ships

  • Shuttle
  • Transport

Allies

  • Admiral Alice Liu, Chief of Starfleet Operations in the Maelstrom.
  • Commander Michael Graff, Commanding Officer of Starbase 12.
  • Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Commanding Officer of U.S.S. Enterprise-E (voiced by Patrick Stewart).
  • Lieutenant Commander Data, Operations Manager of USS Enterprise-E (voiced by Brent Spiner).
  • Captain Korbus, Klingon starship commander. Commands several ships throughout the game, familiar with Starfleet tactical systems (voiced by Vaughn Armstrong).
  • Captain Draxon, Klingon starship commander. Escorts the U.S.S. Sovereign through the Tevron system enroute to Starbase 12.
  • Captain Gregory McCray. Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. Geronimo.
  • Captain Eina Zeiss. Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. San Francisco.
  • Captain Neb'lus. Kessok commander. Helps Lt. Cmdr. Data and the U.S.S. Sovereign in negotiations between the Federation and the Kessok race.
  • Dai-Mon Praag. Ferengi trader. Formerly neutral with the Federation, but provides information about Cardassian operations in the Maelstrom.

Modding

Since its release, the game has been heavily expanded upon by modders and gamers of Star Trek: Bridge Commander. Modifications vary in size and quality as the amount of information available to the modding community is extensive. Several thousand mods exist that encompass re-textures, new sound packs, playable maps, and total conversions. Several large mod packs, including: Kobayashi Maru, DS9 FX, Slipstream, Stargate Pack, Battlestar Galactica Fleet Pack, BC Supermod 3.0 and Galaxy Charts 2.0, combine many of the highest quality mods available for Bridge Commander, to allow several normally incompatible mods to work within the same game install, and to increase the number of 'playable' ships.

A number of 'supermods' are currently in production. These include Delta Quadrant Pack by JL Studios [1], DS9FX Xtended by BCS:TNG[2], and Kobayashi Maru - Remastered by ChronowerX Productions[3]

References

  1. Delta Quadrant Pack by JL Studios Located on the Bridge Commander Central forums.
  2. DS9FX Xtended by BCS:TNG DS9FX Xtended Project Information Updates
  3. Kobayashi Maru - Remastered Located on ChronowerX Productions Forums

External links

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