Star Trek Deep Space Nine: The Fallen

A must-play for DS9 diehard fans.

Star Trek Deep Space Nine: The Fallen is a third-person action game filled with crevice-jumping and crate-climbing, always on the search for that most elusive of prey, the keycard. There’s lava and a snow level, phasers and hissing doors. It’s also a great deal of fun.

6_1For the uninitiated, The Fallen is set two years prior to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’s conclusion, and is essentially a prequel to the sixth season’s finale. The plot, involving mystical orbs, a Cardassian scientist, and a misguided Bajoran monk, is way too complicated to fully explain here, but makes decent use of Star Trek lore overall. Suffice it to say that the crew of DS9 (namely Captain Sisko, Major Kira, and Lt. Commander Worf) must find three missing orbs of the Pah-wraith (the Fallen of the title) or else.

If none of that makes a lick of sense, then most of the game will probably go right over your head. It’s not necessary to be a historian of Trek lore to finish, but The Fallen is definitely aimed at DS9 diehards. You play through the game as one of three characters, Sisko, Kira, or Worf. Each has different goals and an exclusive mission or two, but follow the same storyline. Unfortunately, the potential of seeing the same story from three unique viewpoints is wasted; cut-scenes are mostly the same for each character — only voiceovers change slightly — and your interactions on the station with the show’s familiar faces during between-mission briefings barely differ.

The menu implies that you should play in the order of Sisko, Kira, and finally Worf. Instead, start with Kira (she’s easier and you’ll understand the story better) and then move to Sisko. Unless you’re a big Worf fan, skip him entirely — the missions rehash Sisko’s, and his decision to use a Bat’leth melee weapon over a dependable, long-range phaser may work in the Klingon Empire, but it’s just annoying here.

8_1Weapons include an assortment of phasers and alien weapons, and your trusty tricorder is useful for identifying enemies, hidden subspace mines, or the contents of nearby containers. A Comm Badge lets you keep tabs on other crewmembers, or beam ammo and first aid kits to your location. It’s this creative implementation of arcane Trekkiness that elevates the game beyond mediocrity, even when the story and design fall short. The soundtrack is likewise gorgeous, and changes mood depending on the on-screen events. The show’s cast returns to provide character voices for most of the crew.

Overall, The Fallen is a good Star Trek game which takes the cinematic aspect of the series and complements it nicely with cool action. It might not be right up there with Elite Force as far as quality, but it’s definitely not a title a DS9 fan should overlook anytime soon.

System Requirements: Pentium II 400 MHz, 32 MB RAM, 600 MB HDD, Win95

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