To celebrate Star Trek’s 55th anniversary, which happened on September 8, digital games store GOG.com added several of the franchise’s gaming oldies-but-goldies to its library, including the first-person shooter Star Trek: Voyager, Elite Force series, Bridge Commander, and many other titles. This makes the nearly-forgotten Star Trek games purchasable and playable on modern systems for the first time in nearly a decade.
According to Kotaku, GOG.com has apparently partnered with Activision to bring classic Star Trek games to its game store. This includes Star Trek: Hidden Evil, Away Team, Starfleet Command III, Voyager, Elite Force I and II, and Star Trek: Bridge Commander. All of these games were published by Activision at the time of their respective release before the company dropped the license following a series of lawsuits that started in 2003. Given the company’s involvement in several lawsuits at the moment, including the one involving sexual harassment and gender discrimination, and the several accusations regarding plagiarism in their games, it would seem that legal struggles within Activision aren’t a novelty.
Regardless, Activision’s other Star Trek games, the real-time strategies Star Trek: Armada and Armada II, are supposedly coming to GOG.com later this year. Games like Elite Force and Bridge Commander have been missing from digital gaming stores for years, making them nearly forgotten and unknown to newer generations of gamers. The addition of these gaming classics is fantastic, as it makes old games compatible with current systems, including Windows 10, giving them a new lease on life and making them available to nostalgic gamers. In addition, all games offered by GOG.com come free of DRM, making them easier to play and mod if necessary, bringing more life to old titles.
The Star Trek gaming community is particularly excited to see the return of Elite Force II – first-person shooters built using the Quake engine, a revolutionary engine that supposedly killed Cyrix processors. Initially, the game was released to abysmal sales, with Activision suing Viacom for poor handling of the Star Trek license, which Activision argued led to stagnation by the time of Elite Force II’s release. Following the series of lawsuits and counterclaims, Viacom and Activision settled their differences off-court, with Activision dropping the Star Trek license, passing it to other publishers. Despite being a commercial failure, and Activision’s final Star Trek title, Elite Force II, received generally favorable reviews and climbed the ranks to become the 8th best Star Trek game ever.
Starfleet Command III is another highly-popular title among Star Trek games, regarded as one of the best ship combat simulators, which gives players control over Federation, Klingon, and Romulan forces across the series of story-driven campaigns. It was released to generally favorable reviews and was declared the seventh-best Star Trek game of all time. The crown jewel of the list, the Star Trek: Bridge Commander, is now also available on GOG.com for gamers’ enjoyment. The vast majority of fandom dubbed the game as the single most engaging Star Trek experience in gaming and the best Star Trek game of all time. All aforementioned games are available on GOG.com for around $10.