Star Trek review
Developed by Digital Extremes, can another chapter in the Star Trek universe go beyond where no-one has gone before?
The story itself takes place between the two films. While trying to speed up terraforming New Vulcan, those responsible unknowingly opened a tear in space, unleashing another enemy into the Federation. Known as the Gorn, the creatures are able to infect humanoids, turning them against their allies. After answering the distress call, it’s now up to Kirk, Spock and the Enterprise to help restore order to the galaxy.
Space, the final frontier
When the story begins you choose whether to play as Kirk or as Spock. Kirk is more setup for shooting while Spock has a better stealth offense, but other than that, there’s not that much difference between the two. There’s an upgrade system for both characters in which you earn experience through scanning items with your tricorder and for completing objectives.
The game features a drop-in co-op experience so If you have plans to get this game, make sure you have a partner lined up because the AI partner is incredibly idiotic. I often found him to be unresponsive and spent quite a lot of time having revive him because, yes, he will wander into open fire and won’t really fight back for you. I found he even disappeared on occasion. I don’t know if this was a bug or a feature, but it wasn’t clear if the character was supposed to be with you or not. Further to the possibility of bugs, I found one such level to contain a game-breaking one that would repeatedly result in my character’s death if I continued to take the same path.
The levels themselves are completely linear with no real exploration involved. I found them to be bland with no substance; typical of what you’d find in a standard third person shooter. However, there are some additional things you can do in Star Trek besides just shooting and killing enemies, for example, being able to hack systems and participate in space battles. These features offer some interesting variety from the norm, but the game isn’t intuitive at all when coming across a new part of the game for the first time. It can take a few attempts before realising what is necessary.
Phasers at the ready!
The shooting mechanics are fairly good but maybe too overpowered when blindly shooting from cover – this might be a result of making up for such a poor cover system which is sticky at best. Often I found my character would not do what I wanted him to do so I ended up often doing a run and gun and only taking cover when I needed to recover some of my health.
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Your character can carry two weapons – a standard phaser and a heavier weapon, and two types of grenades. The phaser you carrier has infinite ammo, plus a stun feature, which serves quite nicely as a backup weapon. The stun is surprisingly effective, each smaller enemy only requiring one shot to be stunned (in addition to an X button takedown), compared to quite a number of shots to kill them. You can choose from a variety of different main weapons, each distinguishable from the other, which is a nice touch (favourites being the Ravager and Railer). All have two types of fire which is covered by two buttons, RB and RT. The former is a more powerful shot but consumes more ammo and the latter is a standard burst.
All the action is accompanied by some decent cut scenes and great voice acting. The characters are actually voiced by the actors who play them which is always a welcome touch. The graphics in the game are decent enough but nothing spectacular. Unfortunately, the animations aren’t great and seem to be quite jerky when having to do actions, like climbing for example.
A game with more flaws than can be counted on one hand, Star Trek is average at best. Linear levels, standard shootouts and silly AI, this game is probably only for the hardcore fan and only redeemable by the voice acting and somewhat decent shooting mechanics.
Miss; Dodgy cover system, dodgy AI and linear, bland levels.
Need; More explorative environments. As an example, it would have been nice to be able to experience walking the decks of the Enterprise.