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Star Trek: Elite Force II is a first-person shooter video game developed by Ritual Entertainment and published by Activision. It was released on June 20, 2003 for Microsoft Windows. Star Trek: Elite Force II is a sequel to Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force.

Background

Unlike the first game, Star Trek: Elite Force II is largely set on board the U.S.S Enterprise-E stationed in the Alpha Quadrant. The game's storyline is a semi-sequel to the movie Star Trek: Nemesis, and the end of Star Trek: Voyager series. Many of the members from the original Hazard Team reappear. However only a few of the primary cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation did voice acting for the game, among them Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard and Dwight Schultz as Reginald Barclay. Tim Russ returned to do voice work as Tuvok. Several actors from other Star Trek series provided additional voice acting: Jeffrey Combs (Weyoun from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Commander Shran from Star Trek: Enterprise) as one of the main villains; Tony Todd (Kurn from Star Trek: The Next Generation) as Krindo; J. G. Hertzler (Martok from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, plus roles in Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Enterprise) as Lurok; and Vaughn Armstrong (Admiral Forrest in Star Trek: Enterprise) who contributed several character voices.

In the game, the player reprises the role of Alexander Munro, a Starfleet lieutenant (there is no option to play as a female character in this game, in contrast to the previous game). During the first few levels, Lieutenant Munro returns to the Alpha Quadrant with the rest of the Voyager's crew, and is assigned to a teaching position at Starfleet Academy. Eventually, he is transferred to the position of a newly-formed Hazard Team's leader on the U.S.S. Enterprise-E under the command of Captain Jean-Luc Picard. There are also limited opportunities for exploring the ship between missions, reminiscent of the "Virtual Voyager" feature found in Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force: Expansion Pack.

Plot

The game begins with U.S.S. Voyager traveling through a Borg transwarp conduit (as seen in the Star Trek: Voyager series finale, "Endgame") when a Borg Sphere captures the ship. The Hazard Team, led by Lieutenant Munro, is dispatched to destroy the sphere's dampening field. U.S.S. Voyager then breaks free from the Borg Sphere and returns to the Alpha Quadrant.

Considered to be redundant, the Hazard team is split up; Munro is assigned to teach small unit tactics at Starfleet Academy. Two years later, Captain Picard witnesses his performance and requests that Munro re-establish the Hazard Team for service on board the U.S.S. Enterprise-E. Shortly after the reinstatement, the Enterprise receives a distress call from the U.S.S. Dallas, where Telsia Murphy, a former member of the Hazard Team, has been assigned as a security officer.

Once aboard, the Hazard Team encounters a race of aliens (later dubbed Exomorphs) who have commandeered the ship. After saving the remaining crew, Munro is reunited with Telsia, who joins the team. A nearby Attrexian station which the U.S.S. Dallas had sought to aid is still besieged by the Exomorphs. When the defense systems are reactivated the remaining invaders abandon the station, leaving ion trails which the Enterprise follows to the planet Idryll.

There the Hazard Team locates archaeological post manufacturing the Exomorphs under control of Krindo, his father, and Kleeya (an optional love interest of the main character). The Idryll explain that the creatures turned hostile because of a malfunction. Kleeya later decides to stay on board the Enterprise, which upsets Krindo. His force invade the U.S.S. Enterprise-E in proximity of another Exomorph-infested colony, Taravar 7.

The U.S.S. Enterprise-E fends off the attackers and the Hazard team is beamed to Taravar 7, where it aids the inhabitants. In a nearby factory, Krindo's crashed ship is discovered. Munro is captured, but is set free when Krindo witnesses his father's death at the hands of the Exomorphs he created, which no longer obey him. Munro then persuades him to help stop the Exomorphs and the two escape together.

On the U.S.S. Enterprise-E, Krindo confesses he made money by selling Idryll artifacts to a Ferengi named Omag. He surmises that Omag decoded the location of Master Control Facility, a place with the ability to override all other centers controlling Exomorphs. With Krindo's help, Omag is tracked to a nearby mercenary base and captured.

During his interrogation, Omag reveals that the coordinates to the facility were sold to a secret Romulan group called the Empty Crown. Munro infiltrates the base in a Romulan disguise and with the help of a spy retrieves the location of the Master Control Facility. However, when the informant declares her true allegiance to the Empty Crown, a fight ensues. Gonzalez, one of the Hazard Team members, subsequently sacrifices himself so that Munro can be transported to safety.

The final battle takes place in the Romulan Neutral Zone. Munro enters the facility where the remnants of Empty Crown forces reside under the leadership of Commander Suldok. While the U.S.S. Enterprise-E is threatened by Romulan Warbirds for violating the Neutral zone; the final confrontation commences on the surface. In culminates with Munro defeating Suldok and confronting the overmind of Exomorphs, a creature called Archeopendra.

After the battle, Munro returns to the U.S.S. Enterprise-E, where Picard hands over the evidence regarding the Empty Crown and peacefully leaves the Neutral zone. He is also extremely pleased with the Hazard Team's performance and recommends the incorporation of similar units within Starfleet. In the last scene Alexander Munro is seen kissing either Telsia Murphy or Kleeya, depending on whose invitation he chose during the exploration of the ship.

Gameplay

In Star Trek: Elite Force II the main protagonist makes his way through linear and strictly defined levels, encountering various kinds of hostile creatures along the way. He is often accompanied by members of the Hazard Team who cooperate with him. These characters often help Munro enter areas or disable devices crucial for plot to evolve.

There are total of 15 weapons (including the tricorder) at player's disposal. All of them facilitate two modes of operation. The primary fire commonly releases a steady stream of shots (or energy bursts) inflicting low damage at a low ammo cost, while the secondary fire expends a larger amount of ammo to fire a much slower and more powerful blast. All energy-based weapons can be recharged using terminals while projectile-based weapons need to be supplied with appropriate ammo. Health is replenished by activating nanites in player's suit using health stations.

Although Star Trek: Elite Force II is a first-person shooter, solving puzzles is also required. During the waveform modulation the player is presented with random sine wave attributes of which must be exactly reproduced by using the tricorder. There are three options - amplitude, frequency and offset modulation - that accordingly alter the initial curve. On higher difficulty levels a factor of time is to be taken into account; if the protagonist doesn't complete the puzzle within the time limit, the waveform is generated again with different proportions. To help player a composite visualization is present.

Power routing is needed when certain devices too difficult for the tricorder to modulate must be turned on. The objective is to connect two nodes on the opposite sides of the grid by manipulating the pipes. There are two types of pipes to be found within the array:

  • Red-crossed parts that cannot be manipulated. When the pipe is appended to a node, it causes a short circuit of the matrix and the player must restart from the beginning.
  • White units can be rotated around the axis within their cells. When the white pipe is powered up, it changes its color to that of the node connected to. Similar gray pipes can connect to nodes but cannot be rotated.

On higher difficulty levels, the number of nodes to be connected rises and a time limit is introduced. If player fails to solve the puzzle within the time frame, the pipes are reset to their original positions.

In scripted situations, the main character may also choose a response from a predefined set which has an effect on the outcome of the discussion and possible repercussions. For instance if Munro offers a prisoner chance to escape, he ends up in prison himself. A preference regarding a love interest is also determined from the choice of dialogue options - the player can accept invitations from one of two female non-player characters.

Throughout the course of game, the player is given a possibility to collect golden starships (miniature models of USS Excelsior NCC-2000) to unlock additional content in a form of six additional playable levels. There are a total of 81 starships, 70 of which are required to unlock the six secret maps accessible via the main menu.

Development

Towards the end of March 2002, rumors were reported that a sequel to Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force was in development.[1] Activision confirmed these rumors at the beginning of April,[2] officially announcing Star Trek: Elite Force II on April 4, 2002.[3] The game was the last Star Trek title to be developed under Activision's supervision, following a dispute with Star Trek licensing holder Viacom,[4] and was produced by Ritual Entertainment.[5] Like Elite Force, Elite Force II was developed on the id Tech 3 game engine, one of the last games to do so[3] (though interestingly Tum Mustaine, former Studio Director at Ritual, is the project head for the upcoming id Tech 3 powered Severity.[6]Most of the core Hazard Team characters return in Star Trek: Elite Force II, this time set on the U.S.S. ''Enterprise''-E following the events of the tenth film, Star Trek Nemesis.[5]

Engine

Whereas the original game was powered by the first version of id Software's the id Tech 3 engine, Elite Force II is based on a heavily modified version of the id Tech 3 engine with Ritual's ÜberTools GDK, allowing for expansive outdoor environments and higher quality facial animations.

The scripting language is similar to C++. The Scripting language can be used in multiplayer as well as in singleplayer, with a few limitations of some unstable commands in multiplayer. It allows to spawn objects like triggers and models by the level-scripts during the game without cheats enabled. This makes the game able to interact individually with the players.

Reception

The game was generally well received by fans and critics, and was given 8.4 out of 10 at IGN. Although with ratings of 80 percent and 78 percent on the review aggregator sites GameRankings and Metacritic, it was not as successful as its predecessor.[7][8]

Modifications

Using the id Tech 3 game engine in combination with Ritual's ÜberTools Star Trek: Elite Force II can be heavily modified especially on the Server-side by temporary overwriting the Server settings using Ritual's Morpheus Scripting System. This advanced softcoding ability has allowed Server-side Modifications like the HaZardModding Co-op Script Mod which is featuring the Single-player story as Cooperative Multi-player Campaign. The release of the Game Development Kit and the Game Source for Star Trek: Elite Force II has allowed hard-coded Modifications with new Levels and altered Gameplay such as the Single-player adventure "A Gate, Two Birds and the Beautiful Sky" and the Multi-player gameplay Patch "Ultimate Patch Mod".

References

  1. Sulic, Ivan (2002-03-29). Elite Force 2. IGN. Retrieved on 2009-01-05.
  2. Walker, Trey (2002-04-02). Elite Force 2 confirmed. GameSpot. Retrieved on 2009-01-05.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Sulic, Ivan (2002-04-04). Elite Force II Official. IGN. Retrieved on 2009-01-05.
  4. Thorsen, Tor (2005-03-16). Viacom and Activision end Star Trek squabble. GameSpot. Retrieved on 2009-01-05.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Walker, Trey (2002-04-04). Star Trek Elite Force II announced. GameSpot. Retrieved on 2009-01-05.
  6. Romero Announces New CPL Specific FPS
  7. Star Trek Elite Force II Reviews. GameRankings. Retrieved on 2009-01-05.
  8. Star Trek Elite Force II (PC: 2003) Reviews. Metacritic. Retrieved on 2009-01-05.

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