Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Harbinger Review
By James Archuleta |
Okay, Deep Space Nine is rather a slow, dragging show, but a game based in that world could have been cool. Someday one probably will bebut this isn't it. Players take the role of an envoy whose shuttle hard-lands at DS9 after being attacked by rogue drones of unknown origin. Your stay at the station ultimately involves the murder of an ambassador; I won't spoil the ending by giving away any major plot points. Harbinger is a very good-looking, terrific-sounding, high-gloss parade of missed opportunities. The method of navigation, like the one used in Buried in Time, is counter-intuitive. Your brain really starts to bend when you try perimiter navigation, which takes you not forward or backward but sort ofaround things. Never mind. To make matters worse, however, DS9 is not fully navigable, and with this level of graphic detail, you'll instinctively want to go exploring. Of course, even if you could, there's no map. Asking a computer for directions to an area and getting instead a rote, vague description of what that area is can give you a headache. The charactersjust as emotionless as they are on TVare computer-modeled bodies with textures mapped onto them, which you'd think would make them more realistic and human. Not so; with their bulbous heads, unblinking eyes and undersea movements, they actually seem surreal and sort of spooky.
Some pluses: this photorealistic game keeps you awake with some pretty tricky arcade sequences; you don't have to wait long before somebody sticks a phaser in your hand; and time spent at Quark's bar has certain rewardingly illicit undertones. As a logical extension of the show, Harbinger hits the nail on the head: it's low-key, very pretty, and ultimately kinda boring.