The Star Trek license is tainted. Hell, the movies are tainted. Saw MIB2 today, and there was a trailer for Nemesis, and as soon as people figured out it was a Star Trek movie (when the Enterprise-E sailed onto screen), I heard the grumbles.
I cut my teeth on X-Wing… my favorite PC game of all time is the TIE Fighter’s Collector’s CD. I love space sims, and simply put, this genre is as dead as can be right now.
I-War2 was mind-numbingly frustrating and boring. It had potential, the grpahics were gorgeous, but there was a limit to my patience. I’d play 15 minutes on a mission only to get killed in the final, frustrating 16th minute, meaning I’d have to restart the whole damn thing and try and try again. I don’t have that kind of time anymore, and that is far from my idea of fun.
Freespace/Freespace 2 were okay, but they simply didn’t light anyone’s fire.
I think the problem is that for 90-percent of these games, the plots are all the same. Take Alien “X”, put in in conflict with Federation/Confederation/Imperial Human empire, and then throw mysterious Alien “Y” in halfway through. It’s the same ol’ same ol’, and the gameplay is the same ol’ same ol’, and the missions are same ol’ same ol. The only thing that really improves are graphics, but those can’t carry a genre alone.
I think the only way to really relight this genre is for LucasArts to wait a while and then release a jaw-droppingly gorgous X-Wing game, and have someone actually come up with space combat multiplayer that is actually fun and addictive and popular (which is the hardest part). I’m talking cinematic-quality graphics that blow past what anyone has ever seen, or imagined.
The only problem is that the Star Wars prequels are really screwing things up. I take a look at the fighter designs there and I don’t want anything to do with them. The Naboo fighter looks incredibly lame, especially compared against the sleek menace of an A-Wing or the brute looks of a B-Wing. But LucasArts is so tied into making Episode I, II, III products, the original trilogy is quickly becoming ancient history.