As you’ve probably heard, we here at the podcast were very excited about the Star Trek video game that was released last month. I, Aaron, purchased the game the day of it’s release. To say that I was excited to play would be an understatement. Placing the disk in the system’s tray… I was ready for action, with my Xbox controller set to stun. The game allows you to play a co-op, or “bro-op,” between Kirk and Spock locally and online. You can also play the game solo and have the computer’s AI control the other player.
As we learned from our Co-Host Eric, this story is to be considered canon in this new Star Trek universe as stated by Senior V.P. of Paramount Brian Miller in an interview with Forbes. A lot of the aspects of the game could certainly “fit” within this new quantum reality. Without giving too much of the plot away here is a quick summary of the story. The game is set between “Star Trek” and “Star Trek Into Darkness” centering around the crew of the USS Enterprise, primarily displaying the relationship & cooperation between Kirk and Spock. The story involves the development of New Vulcan, a crazy flag officer (there’s always at least one), and a battle to stop the invading Gorn.
MADE FOR A GAME
There were a few moments when you could clearly tell an element was added to the game only because it is a game. The most brazen example of this is an engineering tool called the E.T.T., a transporter gun. The mechanics of the E.T.T. are simple. You “target” your partner and then aim it at a receiving pad… Yes, you read that correctly. The E.T.T. only works with these pads over fairly short distances. Lucky for you, in chapter you use the E.T.T. the floor and ceilings and outer hull have them placed in a variety of locations. Like in other games, there are places that will randomly have Medical units on the wall that will restore your health and units to replenish your “ammo.”
TRICORDERS AND HACKING
A large part of the game play involves using the Tricorder. It is fairly reminiscent of “detective mode” in the Batman Arkham Asylum game. You utilize the Tricorder to scan items, unlock doors, learn the status of the Gorn paroling the area, and hack terminals. Hacking of the terminals relies on simple puzzles that are repetitious after awhile. A successful hack gets you access to the terminal, an unsuccessful hack will cause an explosion that will drain some of your health.
MORE GLITCHES THAN THE 1701-D’S HOLODECK
With the amount of time and hype for this action packed game, you’d think they would have made it a relatively smooth experience. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Users, myself included, have experienced tons of glitches. Some that I have experienced involve a poor AI. I played through the game solo as Kirk and allowed the computer to control Spock. I found the AI not battling during critical firefights, running into walls, and magically floating in midair. The AI of the regular Gorn enemies (non-bosses) were subpar, not putting up much of a challenge individually. Shadowing was also poorly done as you could see shadows of characters on the deck above you through the ceiling.
COULD A FERENGI SELL THIS GAME?
Full retail price of $60 USD is pretty steep considering all of the flaws with this game. I’m sure the asking price will be lowered in the coming months to move the units that haven’t, and won’t, be sold otherwise.
FINAL FRONTIER OF THOUGHTS
The story arc of the game was fairly compelling, although the exact nature of what the Vulcan’s were doing to prepare New Vulcan is still unclear to me and seemly underdeveloped… but it is an action shooter after all. The visuals of the game are straight out of the new movie franchise, lens fares and all, which are welcomed and expected. If I was rating the game solely on gameplay I would give it 3 of 10 mainly for the glitches… but because it is Star Trek and has a good plot, I will give a final rating of 5 of 10.