It seems like a can't-lose proposition: a Star Trek game, arriving in the year of the franchise's 40th anniversary and featuring nothing but glorious starship combat, as well as the voices of all five Star Trek captains. That sounds like paradise to Trek fans starved after an unexpected hiatus from new games over the past several years. And in some ways, this is true, at least if you're playing Star Trek Legacy on the Xbox 360. The Xbox 360 version is similar in many ways to the PC version, but the big difference is that while the PC version is plagued with bugs and broken features, the Xbox 360 version works fine. And the control scheme that was awkward with the PC's keyboard and mouse is natural when used with the Xbox 360 controller. The result is a good starship combat game that feels right at home on the Xbox 360.
Star Trek Legacy warps onto the Xbox 360, and it's a far better game than its PC counterpart.
Legacy puts you in charge of a one- to four-ship task force of Starfleet vessels, spanning the entire breadth of Star Trek. You'll start with Archer, in the NX-01, before moving on to Kirk, Picard, Sisko, and Janeway. The plot cleverly ties together all five Star Trek franchises by using the Borg as the plot device. By chance, a typically long-lived Vulcan scientist learns about the Borg during the early days of the Federation and figures out a way to become their queen, though this quest will take decades. Along the way, she crosses paths with every famous Star Trek captain, and each one will attempt to ascertain what she's up to and stop her. Sure, there's a lot of revisionist history going on here--enough to make any Trek purist's head spin--but because Star Trek has always felt free to tinker with its history, it's not horribly egregious.
As a game of starship combat, Legacy delivers on the majesty of Star Trek's starship battles. This isn't a game of twitch reflexes or starships that maneuver like fighters. Instead, it's a game of maneuvering, as you attempt to get your ship into position where it can bring its weapon banks and torpedo tubes into action against an enemy. Thankfully, the control scheme is up to the task. You'll use one joystick on the Xbox 360 control pad to control your starship while the other stick moves the camera around. It takes a bit of practice, but once you have it down, you'll be able to easily maneuver your starship in combat while keeping the camera fixed on the enemy.
Nearly every iconic starship is in the game, from the NX-01 to the mighty Sovereign-class Enterprise.
You'll dive into a campaign filled with some good highs but also some infuriating lows. There are plenty of massive battles to partake in, which is when the game looks best, as starships and explosions fill the screen. There's a fair amount of thinking required because you can use the command screen to order your task force to different parts of the battlefield. Thus, you can do a hit-and-run on an enemy space station, fall back for repairs, or dive into the thick of the action to help out allies. The downside is that you can't save at all during a mission, which means that if you fail, you have to start the entire thing over. Considering some missions can easily last an hour, the lack of an in-mission save gets annoying awfully quickly. It doesn't help that mission objectives are sometimes hazy, and you'll zoom about trying to figure out what you need to do. At other times, the mission objectives are insanely difficult, and you'll need to turn in a superhuman effort to win. A case in point is a save-the-planets mission where you have to warp around and destroy stellar debris before they crash into planets. However, the margin for error is so small that the slightest misstep can cause mission failure.