NO BASE BUILDING, NO RESOURCE GATHERING-
JUST PURE STRATEGY AND GLORIOUS COMBAT!
FOUR RACES IN AN EPIC STRUGGLE.
CHOOSE YOUR ALLIANCE. BUILD YOUR FLEET.
YOU'RE THE TACTICIAN-THE COMMAND IS YOURS!
- COMMAND up to six ships simultaneously.
- CHOOSE your fleet from more than 20 different starship classes, including original, never-before-seen ship designs.
- SELECT a captain and then determine the crew for each ship.
- CONTROL your ships, from sensors to power to weapons.
- BOARD and conquer enemy ships.
- BATTLE ONLINE with LAN and Internet multiplayer gameplay for up to 8 players.
~ from the back of the box
Deep Space Nine fans will know all about the Dominion Wars. It dominated an entire season of the show, elevating it from a fairly uneventful first few seasons to dramatically intesnse must-see TV. The 2001 game by Simon & Schuster pits the Federation and its Klingon and Romulan alliance against Jem Hadar and the Cardassians in a fight for control of the Alpha Quadrant. That is pretty much all the game throws at you in its limited time given to plot. Those who've seen the show know that this is quite the devestating war, but that doesn't really come across in this fairly generic real-time strategy game.
You can play as either side of the war, taking on a fleet of up to 6 ships chosen from a wide selection of warcraft. Depending on how many credits you have in your coffers, you can purchase a pretty imposing artiliary, but don't think you'll get anywhere near that at the game's start. After each of the 20 levels, you'll earn more credits which gives you access to upgrades, better ships and more experienced crew members. Even if you can afford those huge chunks of space metal, you'll need to hire a new Captain with enough experience to command it. Thankfully, Captains can rise through the ranks from Lieutenant all the way to Admiral as they succeed objectives commanding smaller ships. If they don't die first, that is.
Ships can be destroyed and Captains can die even if you complete all stage objectives, but regardless of your success rate, you can replay them multiple times. So, if you've truly grown attached to that Class 2 Steamrunner Commander, you can still replay it over and over again untill life has no meaning anymore.
You control your fleet using the mouse in tried and true RTS fashion. Drag over some ships then click on a target to attack it. Alternatively, hold Shift and click on the Ship icons on the hud, before selecting "Fire at Will" on the Command Ring to the right of them. There are also commands like cloak, guard and warp should you need them, and enemy ships can be targeted in different areas such as the shields or weapons systems. Despite most of the keyboard real-estate being taking up with numerous hotkeys, that's pretty much it. Crew can transport to other ships and planets, but that's needed very rarely. There are no resource management mechanics beyond purchasing ships, crew and upgrades between missions. No station building, weapon researching, or area exploring. Just a bunch of passive, command-driven space combat.
Graphically, the sparseness of space looks better when you can zoom in. The ships look pretty neat up close and it really shows off the game's visual capaibilites. That being said, this view isn't how you'll be spending most of your time. That will be the most zoomed out angle possible so you can get a good look at the playfield. From this angle, your view into the vast expanse of space is mostly empty and featureless, with even enemy and allied space craft represented by some indestinguishable pixels. The HUD does highlight them, giving you a better idea of what they are, but then you're just looking at a bunch of icons on screen, wasting the good work of the team of 3D artists.
Dominion Wars is a fairly straightforward game, but the somewhat simple ideas are presented in a confusing manner. It will take time until you get to a point where you are comfortable with what everything does before you can finally enjoy it. And when you do, you'll find that the game ultimately lacks depth. Some situations do hark back to events seen on the small screen, but without much in-game context, this prooves to be a game where true Star Trek fans would be the ones who get the most out of it.
To download the PC game, follow the link below. This is a custom installer exclusive to The Collection Chamber uses dgVoodoo and QRes to run on modern systems. Manual included. The game must run with an actual desktop resolution of 1280x960. Read the ChamberNotes.txt if your current desktop resolution is anything other 1920x1080. Tested on Windows 10.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Dominion Wars is © Paramount Pictures & Simon & Schuster Interactive
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (the TV shows) is © Paramount Pictures
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me