Elite Force 2 on PC takes the first game and adds a lot more of everything to make it a fantastic sequel worthy of the Star Trek name. The Quake 3 engine might be elderly at this point but it still pulls its weight.
Elite Force 2 is a very story orientated game. Unlike the first Elite Force, this game isn’t about you spending time gunning everything down. Activision and Ritual have bought a storyline that could be lifted from anything TNG onwards, something I greatly appreciate.
To make this quick: The Hazard Team are broken up then bought back on the Enterprise. One race asks for help as another starts attacking them. It turns out they are partially to blame but it all ends up with the Romulans anyway.
For the Borg lovers of the first game, you get the first level and that’s it. I will admit the Borg Boss was very cool!
You can split the game in to three distinct styles:
First Person Shooter
First and foremost the game relies on you running and gunning your way through wave after wave of bad guy. Walking in to any new area will guarantee spawning of bad guys for you to mow down with federation or alien weaponry.
You also get a chance to man the Enterprise-E phaser, albeit outside in the gunners seat. A nice change of pace from just running and gunning.
The typical platforming sections are there as normal as well as the ‘retrace your route’ missions. They don’t feel as painful as some games and playout fairly. It’s often your mistake that results in your death rather than the game being unfair.
To help expand the game, we not only get exploration levels but also story choices. Between every main mission you’re given a story section that expects you to investigate the working area. This could be Starfleet Academy and its grounds or the corridors of the Enterprise-E. You’re not just walking around though, you have to find characters and choose your own arc.
Don’t worry too much about this if you aren’t a fan exposition, most cutscenes are skippable with the escape key. Just skip through the bits you don’t want and use Tab to bring up your mission list.
Oh my god, you have a functioning Tricorder in the game. I can’t tell you how cool that is. Elite Force 2 give you a basic Tricorder that not only gives you the size and weight of items but can also go a little deeper.
One puzzle type just requires you to match a waveform by changing the amplitude, frequency and offset. Very cool and very Star Trek. The other main puzzle type is Pipes – you know that game where you spin pipes round to allow water to flow from one side to another. This is actually one of my favourite parts of the game as it requires quick thinking but also doesn’t penalise you too badly for getting it wrong.
Putting these three things into one game makes Elite Force 2 a fantastic all rounder of a game.
Weaponry again feels very Star Trek. You get some of the standard weapons from the first game and TNG and Voyager but also a handful of weapons from alien races. None feel too silly although I’m not sure how you have an energy based grenade launcher? I also don’t like the energy shot gun, it feels rather stupid.
There are plenty of health and weaponry reloads on each level. The game follows the formula: empty area plus reload points for no reason = boss battle.
There’s roughly 10 hours of gameplay for an average gamer who isn’t hell bent on exploring and finding every secret you can. Every level is linear BUT does have secret areas that are fun to find.
The Quake 3 engine is fantastic, giving clean looking levels and excellent looking character models. It might be elderly but running on a 4K, ultrawide monitor was a pleasure. Yes, you need to do some patching and changes to config files to get it working but honestly, it’s worth it.
Don’t expect to be blown away, the game is 20 years old and it shows in some ways. There are plenty of texture packs and patches to make it look a little more modern. I stand by this: just patch for modern resolutions and you’ll be happy.
The soundtrack is straight up Star Trek goodness. There’s the typical ramp up in music when something is about to go down but again, it’s all very good.
Weaponry and ambient sound again is very good. Everything sounds exactly as you expect and fully absorbs you in to the world they want you to be in. I particularly enjoyed roaming the Enterprise with it’s iconic hum of the engines and beeping of terminals.
Then we get the voices and what can I say, they’re top notch. Not only do we get Patrick Stewart as Picard but we also get Tim Russ and Dwight Schultz. Our lead Munro is again voiced by Rino Romano. The fact we get Star Trek Alumni voicing their on-screen characters really was a good move.
Final thoughts on Elite Force 2 on PC
I opened by saying this game was a fantastic sequel that was worthy of the Star Trek name. There really isn’t much else I can add to this. The game takes you into the Star Trek universe and doesn’t disappoint. First Person Shooter fans will enjoy the game and Star Trek fans will get that much more. The main story is a good chunk of time however, I don’t see it being something I will replay anytime soon.
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