Star Trek Review

Posted by: Sam Tree | 6 June 2013

Namco Bandai Games, Paramount Pictures, Bad Robot Interactive, K/O Paper Products, CBS Studios

Digital Extremes

Release Date:
April 23 2013 (NA), April 26 2013 (EUR)

1 - 2 Co-op

PS3, Xbox 360, PC

Reviewed On:

Star Trek the Game, will it boldly go where no movie game has gone before, or will it’s warp drive be a hopeless pile of junk?

Star Trek for me was a Saturday evening before bedtime, with my father watching a futuristic marvel. Please bare in mind, I was probably about 5 at the time. Everything about it fascinated me, the transporter, the phasers, the Enterprise. Honestly, I was much like a magpie with a shiny coin. This being said I have never been a Trekkie, this experience is probably the extent of my Star Trek voyage. The film released in 2009 was a fresh take on the series, rebooting the characters and introducing a new generation of fans to the series, myself being no exception. This time, I was able to appreciate the story, the characters and the universe as a whole, so naturally, I was excited about the prospect of a Star Trek game to bridge the gap between the first movie and the upcoming Into the Darkness.

The plot really wouldn’t win any awards. It’s your basic “Goods guys have a potential weapon, bad guys steal it, good guys need to get it back, oh, and some one’s father is in there too” story line. The Vulcans are using a device to harvest the energy of a binary star to power their new home world (imaginatively named New Vulcan), and unwittingly tear a hole in the fabric of space and time. The Gorns flood through, steal the weapon; I mean, harmless energy harvesting device, and flee back to their home world to work out how to use it. The crew of the USS Enterprise receive the distress call and step in to save the day.

The graphics of Star Trek are what you would expect from a movie tie-in game. I must admit, I didn’t have high hopes for the visuals of this game. That being said, the character models are very true to their real life counterparts, even if Zachary Quinto’s nose does look like he has gone a few rounds with Mike Tyson. I also found that during cut scenes the characters seem to be overly shiny. Lights actually seem to reflect off of them. This doesn’t seem to happen during normal gameplay, however.

I did notice a few graphical glitches as well. On multiple occasions, Kirk would move through Spock (that phrase being something I never thought I would type) when opening the doors during a co-op move. Not a big deal, but an annoying clipping issue which reduces the realism of the game. (Yes, I am aware that giant space lizards are not exactly realistic). A couple of times I noted as well, that my character would grab a ledge, but fall off of said ledge, but still be stuck in the pose he was in whilst clinging for dear life. The result was a rather amusing floating Spock. The only way to reset this issue was to reload the checkpoint. Again, annoying, and probably something that could have been avoided with a little more care to detail and clipping areas.

So, it may seem that I have something against the games look, which is probably true. However, there were a few redeeming factors, for example, the space battles with the Enterprise looked pretty impressive, the Enterprise itsself being true to form. This impressive display, however, was short lived when you get to take control. It’s just… awful. There are not enough lasers in the world to distract how bad it is. The controls don’t seem to actually respond, there is no clear directive to follow, and you don’t actually get to play as the Enterprise, it’s all on rails.

So, the one part I must say I really liked about this game was the sound. Yes, I am aware that this is a very wide term. But the music, the voice acting, the sound effects, it’s all very Star Trek, it really adds to the atmosphere. The main theme from the reboot films is one of my favourite movie themes, and it is heavily incorporated into this game, for me, this is an instant-win, though, not enough of one to forgive its other downfalls.

You can also hear the voice actors have put a lot of effort into the performances. Spock is unmistakably Zachary Quinto, whilst Kirk is definitely that other guy. The whole cast are there, giving it their all, making sure we know these characters are the same as their movie counterparts.

The gameplay is very generic. It’s what we at Glacier Gaming like to call a “bro-op” game. You really need to play this with a friend, someone who has your back, I really don’t see it working as a single player adventure. Please take note, you need someone who has got your back, especially if you get downed, or, another completely random moment in the game (and not a moment where my “bro” kept screwing me over) where Kirk and Spock obtain Star Treks version of a Portal Gun. Localised transporter guns! The catch? Your Co-op buddy has to lock onto you and teleport you to a receiver pad. I lost count how many times I was beamed to the beginning of a hallway that I had already traversed. You have been warned.

The use of Kirk and Spock working as a team is pretty decent, relying on one another to achieve your goals, yet, it doesn’t seem to add too much to the overall workings of the game, some things feel like they have been shoehorned in just to make it co-op, eg, using one another to get a lift up to a ceiling grate.

There are some nice additions, like using your handheld scanner to identify the locations of invisible Gorns, but the uses of it to hack every item imaginable at every given moment is really overused, a neat idea, but seriously, it’s used far too much!

Overall, Star Trek is not an amazingly, groundbreaking game, with its standard plot and basic graphics, but, that being said, it does have some great music, and is okay to play with a friend, just don’t expect too much from it. Go into expecting little out of it, and you might come out of it having enjoyed it more than you expected too.

The Good
The Bad
Some good moments but not enough to make up for a poor effort. Don't pay full price, wait untill it goes down.
This review is based on playing the PC version of Star Trek .

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