Star Trek Deep Space Nine: Harbinger

Star Trek Deep Space Nine: Harbinger - IBM PC, Macintosh (1995)


This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Star Trek

Fans still speak fondly of A Final Unity, but mostly everyone has forgotten Deep Space Nine: Harbinger. You control an original character named Bannick, who is on a journey to meet up with a newly discovered race in the Gamma Quadrant, a region of space reached via a wormhole near the titular Deep Space Nine space station. Suddenly your vessel is attacked, causing it to crash right into Deep Space Nine. While you are safely rescued, the same droids that attacked you focus their sights on the space station. While you are able to fend off their attack, it begins a chain of events that leads to a murdered ambassador from the race you were sent to meet. Once the murder is solved, you set off to destroy the droid factory and hopefully stop any further trouble.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Harbinger has three things working against it. First off, obviously, it’s based on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, which even as a TV series is far less interesting than either of the series that preceded it. Secondly, instead of directly controlling any of the main cast members, you take on the role of a completely original character. You still interact with most of the regular crew, including Sisko, the stoic captain; Odo, the shape shifting Changeling; Quark, the Ferengi; Kira Nerys, the Bajoran; and Jadzia Dax, the Trill. Their voices are provided by the original actors, like the other games, but their readings are dry and incredibly boring. But most importantly, Harbinger ditches the third person perspective of the other games for a first person perspective, entirely comprised of computer rendered graphics. The backgrounds are incredibly dull and navigation is extremely difficult, while the character models look really, really bad. And while the puzzles of the earlier games were hardly noteworthy, they’re still much better executed than they are here, where they mostly involve fiddling with circuits, panels and computers, as there’s no inventory whatsoever. The exploration is also broken up by extremely banal rail-shooter action sequences, which are only tolerable because you can adjust their difficulty. Overall, it’s a boring, pointless game, and one that’s hard to recommend even to Trekkies.

 

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