Deep Space 9 : Dominion Wars

URL: http://www.simonsays.com/dominionwars_site/

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Rating: OK

Review:

This game probably should have spent a couple of weeks longer in Quality Assurance and Testing. Its not a bad game, but it does have some bugs that deter from the game play. Let’s start with the bugs:

  1. Loading saved games occasionally drops you to the desktop. This is not an uncommon error. Happens in most games on initial release.
  2. After successfully loading a saved game, you WILL find your weapons non-functioning and unable to fire.
  3. Loading a saved game that is saved after a victorious mission will not allow you to complete the mission.
  4. Spontaneous ship explosion. I’m not totally sure about this one, but having had 2 ships just explode at full shields was odd. The first time I attributed it to running into another ship while in WARP, but the second time I was in an intense fight, viewing from that ship with full shields, and it just exploded for no reason. (Save often, but see above)
  5. I have as of yet been unable to reassign the key settings. Nothing wrong with them, but its a common enough feature in most games to have this ability.
  6. Lack of a manual for the game. They do provide a 10 page CD cover booklet, which I guess is supposed to be instructions for the game, but it falls extremely short on what is needed to play, and it contains incorrect information. Looks like they made the booklet before they finished production of the game.
  7. Lack of information to play the game. There is nothing to explain the ships, their weapons, the weapon arcs, the crew capability, or the special equipments for the ships.
  8. You do not keep captured ships. Man, I hate this feature!
  9. Ships do not keep pattern of attack.
  10. Inability to micromanage ships just a little more than whats given. I’ll explain in a bit.

Now, it seems like a lot, and it is. Like I said, it needed to be tested a lot more. I’m going to try to compile some data regarding the ships, captains, weapons and so on for public use later.

Does this make me stop playing the game? HELL NO!

In spite of its shortcomings, the game does come up with some extraordinary gaming. The graphics are quite good. I’m comparing this to StarFleet Command. The similarities between the games are limited but it does strike me as this engine to be the next step that SFC needs to move towards as for graphics and gameplay. Currently running the Federation/Klingon Campaign. I’m on a very very tough mission right now. I about had a heart attack on the odds I’m playing against right now, even with my 3 Galaxy Class Starships and my one Akira. Right now, I’ve been asked to destroy the Dominion’s Ship Factory and this place is extremely guarded.

I’ll give you some background up to this point. Captains have 3 major points of interest. His/her rating, rank, and medals/extra skills.

In the Captains ratings you have 3 key items – Command, Tactics, and Experience. As you can guess, the better they are in any of these fields the better your Captain will play in the game.

His rank determines the size of ship that can be commanded. There are 5 classes per Race, but there are more than 5 ships per race.

His medals. After his Rating, this is extremely important. These medals determine bonuses (I don’t know exactly what level) for specific tasks in game. Expert Engineering (faster repairs), Expert Science (Better Scans), Expert Kardassian Warfare, and so on.

The ships as I mentioned above are flown dependant on your captain. Number of ships are usually better than rank and size of ships. Klingon ships do have cloak tech in the game. They can not fire under cloak, but do have limited shields (Maybe a bug). Whenever you cloak in the game the enemy ships almost immediately give up pursuit.

In each ship you are given the opportunity to load extra crew on board for capturing other ships and increasing repair time and so on. One note, as in above, when you capture ships you do not get to keep them in the next mission or even sell them off. I have not noted any additional experience awarded at the end of a mission for capturing. Keep in mind, you can only control 6 ships at any time, and you are weakening your defenses when you transport off (lowering shields and less manpower to protect you). Also, remember that if you’ve destroyed his weapons system, all you have is a floating ship with no weapons, shields or engines, and that sucks…

The command console does allow for a limited amount of management for the ships. You can redirect the shields (fore and aft), designate system to attack (Weapons, Shields, Transporters, and Engines), designate range of attack, and designate patterns of attack. Occasionally when you destroy a target ship, your pattern of attack goes back to standard even if there are still enemies present (Not a good thing usually). What would have been nice is to say “I want to focus my attacks on his right nacelle”, not just engineering, or target the bridge. I know most have seen episodes of StarTrek. The game is depicted more like SFC in the fact that these ships just don’t explode from 2-3 torpedoes like they do in the TV series. It can take quite a while to destroy ships. An extremely important tactic I’ve developed over the past 2 days is to run joust patterns, attacking the weapons systems until they are disabled, then attacking another ship until it’s disabled. Too many times in the past day or so I’ve run into 2-3 times the number of ships that I have attacking me all at once. The evil mission I’m on right now I have to WARP away after 1 or 2 passes as 4 ships can not handled 20 Dominion ships at once without getting an EXTREME pounding.

The biggest factor in the game probably is the equipment you can mount on the ships you use. Some have a brief description when you select them. Others just say, BOB RAY – BOB RAY … and you’re left wondering, ok what’s this good for? And the few that are explained are descdescribedis: PhasPhaserst – This item boosts the range of your phasers. As you can see, the items without description really leave you wondering what the purpose is or if you can use them. You can equip any of these items and multiples of an item, but you can only equip 10 items per ship.

Gizmo (the producers of Dominion Wars) has taken the initiative to provide some of the missing information needed to play on their website at http://www.simonsays.com/dominionwars_site/Devices.htm.

Now the basis of the game for ships, captains, equipment and crew. Credits. You use credits to buy EVERYTHING. You receive more credits at the end of each successful mission. Credits do not disappear as you buy them, they are invested, so to say, in the ships, captains, equipment and crew. So if you finish the mission, remove a ship, all of the credits used for that ship and crew are placed back into your pool of credits.

OK, this isn’t sounding to much like a review, more like a pointer. What can I say the game is lacking in certain areas, especially in information and I just wanted to try and fill in some blanks for those who have the game or are looking to buy it.

The graphics are fairly good for StarTrek games. It’s nowhere as good as it could be, but after playing SFC for so long, this improvement in graphics is very good for the StarTrek game genera.

Gameplay is smooth (outside of exploding ships).

Music gets on my nerves, I always turn it off.

The computer doesn’t learn new tactics. And that is disappointing. The best strat the computer has is to hover directly over one of your ships to prevent one of them from attacking it…

Its a good game, but only a buy for hardcore ST fans.

Submitted by: W@KK0

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