Birth of the federation

Star Trek: Birth of the Federation
File:ST-birth.jpg
Developer(s) MicroProse
Publisher(s) Hasbro Interactive
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Release date(s) May 25, 1999
Genre(s) Turn-based strategy
Mode(s) Single player, Multiplayer
Distribution CD-ROM

Star Trek: Birth of the Federation (also known as Star Trek: The Next Generation: Birth of the Federation and Birth of the Federation) is a 4X turn-based computer strategy game, based in the Star Trek: The Next Generation fictional universe, that was released on May 25, 1999. It was published by MicroProse, publishers of Master of Orion and developers of Civilization.

Gameplay

The game is a 4X turn-based computer strategy game set in The Next Generation era,[1][2] with only starships and races from that series and movies. There are no ships or races from The Original Series or Star Trek: Voyager unless they appeared on The Next Generation.[3] There are two designs from Deep Space Nine that are in the game: the Heavy Escort Defiant Class and the Cardassian Starbase design used for Deep Space Nine, both of which appeared in a TNG episode or movie as well.

Although the title of the game is Birth of the Federation, the player can choose from five major powers: The Federation, the Klingon Empire, the Romulan Empire, the Cardassian Union, and the Ferengi Alliance.[4] Each of these factions have different advantages, so while the Federation is more proficient at diplomacy, the Klingons are better in military matters, and the Romulans at espionage. The Ferengi are the best at trading and have the unique ability to set up trade routes with minor factions without the need for treaties, and the Cardassians benefit from an increased production speed.[4]

In addition, many minor races can be befriended by the player and can eventually become part of their empire (either by joining peacefully or by conquest). There are 30 minor races in the game.[5] The purpose of the game is to create the most powerful empire in the galaxy. This is achieved through diplomacy, colonization of new worlds and defeating rivals. Winning the game in an alliance with a rival empire is also possible. Unlike similar games such as Master of Orion, diplomacy isn't the core means of winning the game for all factions.[4] Multiplayer is available over a LAN, or on the internet via Hasbro Interactive's Games.com.[5][6]

The game is played on a 2d Galaxy Map which represents star systems, task forces, empire borders and other space phenomena via the use of icons. Map size varies: small (10x13), medium (12x16), and huge (18x26). There are also separate screens for empire research, colony management, intelligence and diplomacy which are all accessed from a right-click main menu.[5]

Space Battles are also turn-based, but are in 3D using software rendering. Tactics, such as ram and evade, are given to ships before the turn button is pressed.

The player can build a variety of starships for this task, ranging from Oberth class starships to Romulan Warbirds.

Production

MicroProse had developed similar games such as Civilization (1991) and had been involved in the publishing of the Simtex games Master of Orion (1993), Master of Magic (1994) and Master of Orion II: Battle at Antares (1996). Simtex itself closed in 1997, but Birth of the Federation had been described by critics as an unofficial sequel to the Orion games, and was in the mold of Civilization and Master of Magic.[7]

Fans have sought to create a fan created sequel. (four different projects are around: Birth of Empires

Reception

The release of Birth of the Federation was intended to coincide with the theatrical release of the film Star Trek: Insurrection.[8] Birth of the Federation was released on May 25, 1999.[1]

Peter Suciu reviewed the game for CNN, and criticised the computer AI as it didn't portray the races in the same manner as in the television series. For example, the Klingon faction will seek peace agreements when they begin to lose a war, and the Federation will request tributes in order to prevent that faction from attacking the player.[4] He was also disappointed that the earlier ships were still from Star Trek: The Next Generation rather than the earlier Star Trek: The Original Series. He felt that the game was on-par with both Master of Orion and Master of Orion II, and said that knowledge of the races "makes for a more compelling game".[4]

Elliot Chin for GameSpot said that "Birth of the Federation is a good game, if you are willing to forgive the interface and the amount of micromanagement required. It definitely has a Star Trek feel to it, right down to the humanoid aliens and confusing technobabble."[7]

See also

  • Star Trek portal
  • Video Games portal

References

External links

  • Internet Movie Database
  • wiki)
  • Birth of the Federation Mods
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