In an ironic twist, this might get posted before the one where I explain why it’s taking so long to post anything. Go figure.
Now, to the rants…
The “Horror Level”
I actually like this level quite a bit, dispute my annoyance at the whole gravity inconsistency. You see, this game is not by any means a “horror game.” It is an action shooter through and through, but one thing that this level does fairly well is a horror atmosphere. It comes back to something I like to call “subtlety.” The monsters don’t just leap out right away yelling “boo” and chewing on your legs. That comes later (it is an action shooter after all.) Right now, they just flit across your field of vision and make you say, “What was that!?” Because they maintain that mystery they are more effective at scaring you , even though their scripting means they pose no real threat to you. Later when they all attack, they are not really scary anymore, even though they are actually capable of hurting you then. That subtlety is noticeably lacking in some recent “horror” games, and so I admire the restraint demonstrated by the developers of EF2.
I’m glad that they managed to get Patrick Steward to come in for the voice role (Tim Russ also starred as Tuvok, and several other actors had voice roles, but not as their characters from the TV franchise.) I have some problems with the way he is written in this game though. In one scene in this episode, he calls Munro up to the bridge to ask him a very simple (and kind of dumb) question, and then when a distress call says, “DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES APPROACH THIS SHIP,” he responds with, “Let’s approach THE HECK out of that ship!” He doesn’t even rationalize his casual disregard for the warning. That just seems odd for a character that was usually very cautious.
The USS Dallas
So, this game is not Star Trek canon and I was fully prepared to call shenanigans on the USS Dallas. It is an Excelsior class ship, which were introduced in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, and it just seemed odd for a design that old to still be in service alongside the Enterprise-E. Imagine my surprise when the Memory Alpha wiki told me that the Excelsior class was in service from 2290 until sometime in the 2370’s (the Enterprise-E was commissioned in 2372.) There have also been numerous appearances by Excelsior class ships in episodes of TNG and DS9. That means that the Dallas is not as anachronistic as I thought. Canon or not, it does stretch the imagination to learn that the same basic ship design (overhauls and upgrades notwithstanding) was in service for more than 80 years. Oh well.
Munro Can’t Delegate
It has apparently now reached to level of a running joke that Munro is always going off on his own during missions. But it’s not enough to wink at it and say, “Don’t ask.” It needs to be explained because it DOESN’T MAKE ANY SENSE. In the first game, the team was usually forced to split up by circumstances. Munro ended up on his own out of necessity (most of the time.) So as team leader, it is very poor form to always be telling his squad, “Wait here and stare at the wall while I go do something that I really should have one of you do instead.” Send Franklin! He’s the one who knows the ship’s layout!
Speaking of Franklin, I really think you’ll enjoy seeing his rich character development over the course of the game.