Star Trek Armada - Game Infinite Review
When the news dropped that GOG was bringing back some legacy Star Trek game software, I was ecstatic, because the list of these old games included a childhood favorite, Star Trek Armada. Being 20 years old, it wasn't available on windows 10 and Steam. This was a game lost to the digital tombs of advancing OS's and GOG was rescuing it. To say that I played this game to death as a kid is a bit of an understatement. I loved this game, and I don't know how many times I played it. I didn't just re-play it, I new all the secret strategies, game breaking power combos, everything.
When it released on GOG, I was cautiously optimistic. Typically, the older the game, the harder your nostalgia goggles worked from your memory, and sometimes these old games also look awful on modern screens. Old pre-hd era games looks typically fuzzier and more pixelated than even on old screens. However, I was instantly blown away by the resolution support. The game was able to run at a high resolution with some kind of upscaling going on. This wasn't listed as a remaster or any type of visual improvements, but the max resolution available was higher than I remember being available. Either way, I didn't see the usual haze and bad quality I was expecting. Granted, this is still very much a 20 year old game, with 20 year old visuals, but the port to modern pc's was in my opinion very well done. Considering how badly some games that are half as old have been brought to modern platforms (Looking at you GTA) I was impressed by this 20 year old game and how well it looked in 2022. One small critique of this port, is one that is not unique to this game but common in older games, is the upscaling only applied to gameplay with the cutscenes noticeable the same and low resolution. I would have loved for a full remaster with new textures and redone cutscenes.
Star Trek Armada is my all time favorite strategy game and Star Trek game, and it tasks players with controlling one of 4 factions, Federation, Klingon, Romulans, or the Borg on a faction rotating single player story that involves time travel and unique perspectives. Each mission is also great at keeping things fresh as the formula changes. Sometimes you have to be better at resource management, or develop super weapons, or better at taking over enemy ships. Some missions are better with stealth, while others are better with direct assaults. There is just something super satisfying about taking over the enemy factions construction ships and using their own weapons against them. I also love using a strategy of using the long range Romulan or Federation ships that have longer range, and attack the enemy factions from afar slowly picking away at their territory. Also, the Klingon science ship is the most broken OP ship in the game. A small fleet of them can slowly kill entire fleets and stations of enemy factions without ever firing a shot, and even allows you to take over them afterwards. Their science ship is actually more powerful than the games super weapons. If it wasn't so satisfying to use, I would almost say it was game breaking.
At the end of the day, if you can enjoy older software, this is one of the best strategy space games I've played, and can't recommend it enough. The single player campaign took me about 30 hours, and that was with taking my time and savoring missions, where I bet a more objective focused could be closer to 20 hours. I only gave it a 9/10 due to it's age. If they had done more than a quality port, and given us a full remaster or remake with new textures and cutscenes this could have been even more amazing. It only makes me want a full sequel or new game set in the Star Trek universe. The mobile treatment Star Trek has been stuck in needs to end, as Armada shows us how great Star Trek can be if allowed to be a full game.