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Command the bridge like never before.

You are the Captain
Command from the captain's chair, interacting with your 3-D crew and overseeing the bridge from a first-person perspective. Prepare to face the consequences of your decisions as you issue orders affecting the course of the game.

You have the Bridge
Take responsibility for the fate of your ship and crew, directing maneuvers, giving orders and managing individual stations. Your crew members call out pertinent information on the ship's status and wait for your response.

You are in Control
Take charge in a host of offensive and defensive scenarios. Master many complex maneuvers as you take the hem in combat, exploration, stealth and search and rescue missions.

Witness Real-Time Damage
Endure the threat of annihilation as objects collide and your ship sustains and inflicts real-time damage in the heat of battle.

Featuring D.C. Fontana
Author of 10 classic, original Star Trek series episodes, D.C. Fontana contributed her sci-fi expertise as a script writer/editor and consultant. Fontana has also written 4 episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and served as associate producer for that series.

Voice-Activated Technology
Star Trek: Bridge Commander is compatible with the latest voice-activated technology. This option allows you to verbally issue commands to your crew without the use of a keyboard or mouse, bringing the experience of commanding the bridge to life.
~ from the back of the box
I'm sure there isn't a Trekkie out there that hasn't dreamed of being the captain of their own Federation Starship. I know I have and I'm not exactly the most ardent of fans out there. I devoured the recent VR game called Bridge Crew but fifteen years before that, Activision's 2002 release Star Trek: Bridge Commander got there first and is arguably one of the best games to ever feature the licence.

You are a rookie captain of the USS Dauntless, employed to take the place of the previous captain who perished in an unfortunate star explosion in the Vesuvi system. You may be new, but the federation will not go easy on you. Over the course of eight chapters and their sub-missions, you have to investigate this destructive phenomena and the personal and political fallout that came from it. The plot is nothing short of a blockbuster, with intrigue, double crosses and red herrings woven in at multiple points. It’s played entirely from your first-person perspective, as you sit mute and immovable in the Captain's Chair. Like many mute protagonists, this allow you to project your own personality onto the character, leaving your First Officer taking on the exposition duties usually left to the captain’s log.

Because of this, the gameplay is somewhat different than what you might expect. All actions are performed by someone else; you just give the orders. It’s a rather passive experience, but it is by no means uninteresting. First Officer Captain Saffi Larsen, who sits to your right, will offer up reminders about your objectives and the occasional advice on what to do next. She will also initiate the different Alert conditions which powers up or down different areas of the ship.

Famous faces pop up from time to time. They'll sit to the left of you and often offer up tips and advice.

Lieutenant Commander Brex is your Chief Engineer who controls the health and power of these areas. There are four in total; Weapons, Engines, the Sensor Array and Shield Generator. Having them powered down while in Green Alert will signal the crew to focus on repairs, while turning them on will allow them to be used byt the rest of the crew. Just don't forget about it whenever you want to do something in stressful situations, which will be offen.

Elsewhere, your Science Officer, Lieutenant Commander Miguel Diaz can launch probes and scan the area of deep space your are currently in. This can provide a wealth of useful information and clues that may alter your future decisions. It is always useful to give each new location a quick scan when you arrive just to see what’s there. If several ships are present, they will be noted by the Tactical Officer letting you know which ship is which. You don't want to target an ally by accident.

Talking about your Tactical Officer, Lieutenant Felix Savali will be the one member of the crew you’ll call upon most often. He controls the dogfights, tractor beams and evasive manoeuvres which make up a good bulk of the game's run time. You can take aim yourself by selecting Manual Fire allowing to shoot at the target using your mouse as a crosshair but most of the time, it’s best left to Felix to do the heavy lifting. You can still select the targets and the different points on that target keeping you busy enough any way. Sometimes it's better to target or disable a warp drive or phaser cannon than out right attack with impunity. Fights tend to be a matter of ship management than sheer force, however the nature of battle will mean you’ll take your fair share of hits so take the time to heal up afterwards.

You can take control of your attacks by selecting Manual Fire (left).
Press SPACE to get a more cinematic view of the action (right).

The other officer of note is Ensign Kiska LoMar, who's at the ship's Helm. She is responsible for anything to do with navigation and communication. Speak to her to set a new course and warp there or enter a planet's orbit. Any messages will be intercepted by her, progressing the story through on-screen conversations. In battle, she can also hail friendly ships with which to give commands. Useful if you need help to Attack, Disable or Defend a given target.

There’s a lot to think about while playing, and the game doesn’t reward trial and error. Captain Picard, who begins the game by hitching a ride on the Dauntless before buggering off to do his own thing, does offer up advice and an explanation on each member of your crew in a far better way than I ever could, but a read of the manual is a must regardless. I did find myself forgetting important mechanics that seemed a little nit-picky at the time. For example, I needed to lock a vessel in my tractor beam, but for the life of me Felix wouldn’t do it. There was no hints offered by any member of my crew, but I did eventually notice Weapons were powered down. Giving Brex the order to give it some juice solved the issue, but the blinking inaction of my crew as I helplessly witnessed unnecessary carnage unfold before I figured this out made me feel awful; like I'd let my crew down and cost the lives of those on the vessel. Imagine how I’d feel if I were to continue as captain afterwards, instead of getting a game over and hitting ‘replay’. I would’ve liked the story to continue after a mission failure like what you’d find in a consequence driven adventure, but I guess what little of that we have here is more than all right considering how strong the overall story is.

So, I’d highly recommend Star Trek: Bridge Commander to any Trekkie out there. It will more than likely satisfy your wish fulfilment needs. To anyone else, I’d urge they give it a try too. It takes a while to get the feel of the passive gameplay style, but it is engrossing enough to get invested. One of the best Star Trek games out there.

As of 8th September 2021, Star Trek: Bridge Commander is available to buy on Good Old Games.

Buy from GOG

Star Trek: Bridge Commander is © Activision
Star Trek (the TV show) is © Paramount Pictures
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me

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  1. Bridge Commander is the game that I always replay every year. Thank you for providing this fantastic installer. So, is this version already patched or I should do it?

    1. Hello. Patch 1.1 has been applied. You can tell because the game's executable is dated 19/04/2002 which was when the update was released.

    2. Does this work with mods, by chance?

    3. The installer is broken. Right before completing, it gives the error message,

      "Star Trek - Bridge Commander has not been totally installed because of the following reason:

      File corrupt or unreadable:

      You will have to run this utility again to completely install Star Trek: Bridge Commander."

      I've run the installer multiple times and keep getting the same error. It wouldn't be so bad if I just missed out the manual, but it looks like the program exe is the last thing to be copied. Everything else seems to be there besides the manual and the program itself.

    4. When this happens, it's usually because the installer cannot find one of the other files (in this case either .D01 or .D02). See the FAQ for more info. I've just done a test so I know it's fine.