I finally had my first playthrough of the latest feature episode — and the grand finale of the Iconian War. I am going to say this right off: this episode is very difficult to review without discussing spoiler information. I’ll try to avoid as much spoiler as possible, but consider yourself warned!
Lots of players have been pretty nervous about the prospect of using time travel as a deus ex machina to resolve the Iconian War, especially the potential of it being used in a very heavy-handed manner to commit genocide on the Iconians. That would be exceptionally troubling especially for Federation characters because it flies in the face of everything the Federation and Starfleet stand for (this exact concern is nicely voiced by Shon in the episode). Concerns aside, the genocide mission to erase the Iconians from history pushes ahead.
An early surprise is the arrival of a Dominion fleet to help fight the Heralds in Earth’s orbit… that was pretty cool! So that’s where Sela ran off to, recruiting the Dominion’s assistance. Of course the Alliance managed to hold the Heralds off long enough for the time portal to open, where a handful of ships made it back to 200,000 years ago.
Now without spoiling the rest of the mission, I’ll say that at this point you get to have an unexpected but refreshing view of the Iconians of old. What they were like, what was the relationship between Iconians and the Heralds, and what happened at the end of days for the Iconians. It definitely gives you a new perspective and even more reason to question the genocidal mission you’re currently on. For me, Kagran redeems himself here as he plays the part of your conscience, while Sela keeps reminding you to focus on the mission.
Towards the end you can see where the episode is leading, but there are still one or two left fields that get thrown at you. But all in all, the whole thing is plotted out very well; a couple of dangling plotlines get wrapped up neatly at the end (such as the fate of Romulus and how the Other saved the Iconians). Best of all, the ending leaves you as a viable hero rather than someone who commits mass murder to win a war. If you haven’t played this mission yet, I would highly recommend it — not only is it the final showdown of a 5-year plotline, but it’s a good story in its own right.