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Star Trek: Tactical Assault updated impressions

Our earlier hands-on with Tactical Assault left us wondering how much fun flying around flat space could even be. Despite the word "tactical," your classic Trek ships are limited to basic maneuvers and not all that much planning ahead. In fact, there's no height or depth to this universe at all - the Federation and Klingons have to wage their race war on a flat plane, ignoring that pesky third dimensional axis altogether.

But after cruising through several missions, we're starting to warm up to the whole package, even if the battles are repetitious and devoid of strategy. What makes Assault bearable is its attention to Trek details and the fact that not every second of a space combat game needs to be filled with space combat. If you've watched much Trek, you know there's a whole lot more run-of-the-mill fetching and carefully worded diplomacy than there is blasting holes in Romulan hulls.



Even though there's a war going on, several of our tasks were the everyday sort (as everyday as flying a frillion-dollar space ship can be, we guess) that give a little bit of context to the Trek world. One mission may be delivering goods to a freighter... and that's it. Only once that task is done does something else fall apart and need your attention. It's not glamorous, there's no reward, but it's necessary in this licensed universe.

If things eventually do get hot 'n' heavy, dialogue boxes let you choose how to handle the situation. One of the earlier missions found us interrupting a Klingon's honor-soaked rampage against a lesser, peaceful ship. No matter how polite we tried to be, this guy wouldn't stand down. A few photon torpedoes convinced him to leave - and then he brought some friends back with him. Three against one is never a good sign, so we warped the hell out of there.

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