Over two years ago, Raven Software and Aspyr Media stunned a number of FPS fans by bringing Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force to the Mac. Unlike many titles based on the popular sci-fi license, Elite Force was considered a gem of a shooter by both Trekkies and non-fans alike; with the only major complaint seeming to be the game's length (or lack thereof). Now Ritual Entertainment is looking to pick up where the previous title left off with Star Trek: Elite Force II. They are hoping to keep the momentum of the original, while making it longer, better looking, and more strategy-filled.
Seek Out New Life and New CivilizationsYou may have noticed the conspicuous absence of the word "Voyager" in the game's title. Elite Force II starts out near the end of the Voyager TV series' storyline, meaning the crew has to make it back to Earth. Then an emergency on the starship Enterprise allows you to join up with the legendary Jean-Luc Picard (voiced by Patrick Stewart). This transition to the Star Trek: The Next Generation setting also gives Ritual more leeway in the types of enemies you will face, and you can expect to see Romulans, Klingons, Borg and other familiar species from the series. Your role will again be to take control of Alex Munro and the specially trained Elite Force Hazard Team.
Ritual isn't just throwing the same old characters in there though, as there will be many brand-new races of enemies to fight as well. Looking through the screenshots you can already see why they are dubbing one of the species, called Exomorphs, a "nightmare" race. These creatures are genetically engineered to be brutal killers, resistant to the harsh elements of space.
Two other new races with which you will interact are the Attrexians and the Idryll. Both new species live in the outer reaches of Federation space and have very different personalities. The Idryll were once a refined race of humanoids, but they have slowly come to be dominated by the more brutish Attrexians. Thanks to its industrial nature, the Attrexian society is very prosperous, even though its members are considered slightly less intelligent overall. They have done well by copying technology from other races and using it to spread out and take over other worlds.
Boldly Blast Where No One Has Blasted BeforeOne good Attrexian creation you will pick up over the course of the game is a little ditty called the Attrexian Rifle. This is just one of the 13 weapons in the title which promises to help keep the gameplay interesting. While the primary fire is similar to Quake's lightning gun, the secondary shoots a powerfully explosive gas sure to knock your enemies flat.
Along with the rifle, there will be a full complement of standard-issue Trekkie weaponry like a beefed-up phaser, Romulan disrupter, and even a Klingon Bat?Leth (imagine a wicked, two-handled sword). A handy grenade launcher will also be available to dish out a variety of different grenades.
Another classic Star Trek tool is the informative Tricorder, and the device is promised to play a much more pivotal role in Elite Force II. Along with basic mapping capabilities, the Tricorder will be able to scan for gases, traps, and enemy cloaking devices. This should impact the gameplay greatly, as some of the new puzzles in Elite Force II will only be solvable by using the Tricorder.