Star Trek game review

Reviews May 28, 2013

David Hayward cannae take nae more Cap'n...

JJ Abrams’ reboot of the Star Trek universe was received with fairly positive reviews a few years ago, even from the more hardcore Trek fans, so the reboot of the game, set in the same universe as the movie, should have followed suite. Unfortunately, it hasn’t.
Star Trek, is a third-person, Gears of War-a-like shooter that looks reasonably good on the surface, until you start to actually play it.

The first impressions are generally okay: the graphical detail of the characters is fairly sharp, the bridge of the Enterprise looks great and the ambient sound effects are all in line and what you’d expect from Star Trek. However, once you start the game you are suddenly thrown into a world where the characters become badly animated mannequins, the scenery lacks anything original and the story lacks anything even resembling inspiration.

From the off you get to choose to play as either Kirk or Spock, it doesn’t matter which, as both characters go about their tasks with exactly the same lifelessness. Then the game drags you through a number of sections (go here, analyse this with a Tricorder, shoot this with a Phase, and so on) until, finally, you come face to face with the enemy, the Gorn, lizard people from other dimension who have slipped through a rift in space caused by some device or other which does something to a new planet the Vulcans have found to live on. To be honest, I lost the plot completely by the time I found out what was going on, and couldn’t care less who was fighting who.

With each section comes an obligatory cut-scene, which look way better than the actual gameplay, then it’s up to your chosen character to go from point A to point B while trying to accumulate enough points and XP, the latter of which allows you upgrade your weapons, science or combat abilities. During play you are required to interact with the surroundings via the Tricorder, which, when activated looks remarkably like Batman’s detective mode on Arkham Asylum. From here you can ‘see’ where power lines connect to and from, and where enemies are behind doors and what state their current situational awareness is. It sounds good, on paper, but the Tricorder element soon becomes frustrating and exceptionally time consuming.

Then we have the mini-games. These are scattered throughout each section and encompass such activities as hacking into a terminal to open a door, carrying a power cell from one room to another, controlling a Photon Torpedo and manning the Enterprise’s Phaser banks. It all sounds fine, but they are dull, to point of wanting to exit to Windows purely to save your own sanity.

The moments of combat are fun, but only because they resemble a Gears of War cover-based shooter, and close quarters combat relies on you button mashing to avoid being stamped on the head by the lizard people.

Graphically, Star Trek looked good at the menu screen, then you realise that you can walk through other crew members, and they look plastic, with stick-on LEGO hair do’s. The AI is terrible, and even after zapping someone they can sometimes carry on with their normal duties, as if nothing had happened. The sound effects are really good, but the voice overs sound too pre-recorded to be realistic.

In short, Star Trek is a terrible game. There’s so much wrong with it you wouldn’t believe that the game was supposedly in development for over two years. I once played an ASCII Trek game on the BBC Micro; that had more depth than this tripe.

Details:

• Price: £39.99
• Manufacturer: Digital Extremes/Namco Bandai
• Website: store.steampowered.com/app/203250/
• Required Spec: Vista+, 2.4GHz Quad-CPU+, Nvidia GTX560 or equivalent, 2GB RAM, a strong stomach

Scores:

Quality: 3/10
Value: 2/10
Overall: 3/10