Star Trek: Voyager Elite Force Expansion Pack
They may have canned the show, but they can never take away the Voyager -- at least not if you pick up a copy of the Star Trek: Voyager Elite Force Expansion Pack which lets you beam aboard the fabled ship and explore 10 of its decks. The pack also includes new multiplayer modes, maps and models and features two new single player games. The pack also includes fixes for the original game, demos of Star Trek: Away Team and Star Trek wallpaper, all for a penny under $20.
Gameplay, Controls, Interface
The Expansion Pack's main feature happens to also be its weakest one. I can't imagine any but the most hardcore Trekkies enjoying the pointless, plotless, seemingly endless Virtual Voyager option. The point of this feature is to explore 10 decks of the ship including the bridge, officer quarters, holodeck, transporter room, sickbay and engineering, trying to complete incredibly simplistic objectives like visiting astrophysics. You can also collect odd items, such as the Seven of Nine plate set or action figurines of different characters during this bizzaro scavenger hunt.
Buried in the middle of this mindless foray into Trekkie trivia is a chance to play three fairly engaging single player missions in Voyager's holodeck. My favorite mission is based on Lt. Parris' kitschy Captain Proton serial. In it you play Capt. Proton and, although the enemies are fairly mundane and rather repetitive, the black and white film noir feel of the mission makes it a must play.
The real reason to buy the Expansion Pack is for the multiplayer add-ons which drag Star Trek: Voyager Elite Force kicking and screaming into competition with Quake and Half-Life. The pack adds 12 new models including the ones featured in Captain Proton and 21 new maps including some excellent Voyager mock-ups and interesting player created maps. Most importantly, the Expansion Pack also adds five new ways to beat up on your best buds.
You can still play the standard holomatch, team holomatch, and capture the flag, but you won't want to after you check out the new modes.
In Action Hero, one player is randomly selected to start off with more weapons, health, and power than the other players. Killing the action player gives you five frags and the Action Hero bonus of more stuff. Unfortunately that tends to make for quickly out-balanced games with a single strong player typically killing the Action Hero and dominating the game.
In Specialties you choose from six specialties for your character. Your choices include infiltrator, medic, technician, demolitionist, heavy weapon and sniper. Each grants you a couple of new abilities and limits the types of weapons you can use.
In Elimination, once you're out you have to sit out for the rest of the game, which doesn't really fit with the whole holodeck theme.
Assimilation is a team game where one side plays as the Borg and the other as the soon to be victims. Players killed by Borg respawn as Borg. But if you kill the Borg Queen, played by a randomly selected Borg-side player, then the game is yours. Borg players also move slower, have the ability to teleport and only get to pick from one or two weapons.
Finally the Disintegration option allows you to arm players with a Super Compression Rifle, which instantly kills and makes for exciting fire fights.
The game also allows you play all of the multiplayer modes in a single player game with computer controlled players. The computer AI may not make for rocket scientists but it will give you a run for your money, allowing you time to work on basic strategy and letting you memorize all of those new maps.
Besides the fact that there are tons of new models and maps, the graphics remain at the same high level in the Expansion Pack as they were in the original Elite Force game.
It may not seem like a big deal, but Jeri Ryan, sultry Jeri Ryan, actually does all of the voice acting for her Seven of Nine character. Heck, she even went back and did her voice for the original game as well. If you're too cheap to fork over the $20 for the Expansion Pack make sure you download the free update for her voice -- her lovely voice.
Pentium II 233Mhz or AMD 350Mhz K6-2, 8 MB video card, 64 MB RAM, Windows 95/98/ME/2000/NT 4.0, 150 MB of uncompressed hard drive space plus 130 MB for the Windows swap file, and a 4x CD-ROM drive.
The full version of Star Trek: Voyager Elite Force is required in order to play the Expansion Pack.
Why, oh why do the new single player missions have to be buried in the middle of the boring Virtual Voyager and, more importantly, why didn't they mention it in any of the documentation. It took me forever to figure that out on my own.
I can't figure out what made them decide to connect such a mediocre feature as the Virtual Voyager with such a strong game as Elite Force. I think it must be because they wanted to beef up what they were giving customers, which also explains the wallpaper add-ons. But even with that, calling this release an Expansion Pack is overstating things -- it's really more of a module or add-on. But it is only $20 and the multiplayer options make it worth the price.