Trekkies all over can now gets their hands on the newly released Star Trek: The Video Game, just in time for the upcoming Star Trek: Into Darkness heading in theaters in May. Here’s a quick recap: the game is based off the 2009 reboot of the same name, with all the actors from the first film reprising their roles, and the story takes place in-between it’s big screen counterparts, after Star Trek and before Into Darkness and it centers around the USS Enterprise’ first encounter with the Gorn race (but I’ll leave it at it, as there’s no spoilers here).
Developed by Digital Extremes (The Darkness 2, Dark Sector) the game is tailor-made to be a Co-op experience, taking you to a series of missions where working together is vital to overcome certain obstacles ,boosting up a friend to reach a vent here, unlocking a door there, even taking down enemies at the same time. though you can play solo is an option too.
The first thing you’ll notice is it’s visual presentation, obviously. The character models are rough around the edges, reminiscent of early current-gen launch titles, as does the facial animation coming off as a bit cartoonish at times. And the framerate tends to drop when the action gets heavy, more so during co-op. however, it doesn’t happen frequently enough to ruin the game so it’s really a non-issue mostly. Despite all this, D.E. has done an good job capturing the look, feel and sound (particularly the excellent score of Chad Seiter, which closely resembles Michael Giacchino’s work) of the Star Trek films in every inch of its environments (lens flares and all). It should be noted also that Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto did a decent job performing Kirk and Spock respectively, as did the rest of the crew. It’s too bad the character models didn’t reflect that.
When you begin, you can play either as Spock or Kirk and both add their own style to the game, Spock being stealthy and utilizing his mind-meld and the famous Vulcan nerve pinch and Kirk being all about shooting stuff. Playing them both in different playthroughs adds a bit of replayability, which is always welcomed. Regardless of who you choose, it’s platforming sections,(a la Uncharted) climbing up a side of a wall or jumping over a gap doesn’t always work they way you want it to and requires a bit of patience getting from A to B so expect a few deaths along the way. Gunplay however, is more forgiving and the main draw here. If you’ve played Gears of War or Mass Effect, you get the idea: 3rd-person over-the-shoulder, and a cover-system, puzzled-based locked doors and such, complete with witty banter between Kirk and Spock chatting it up with sarcastic comments regarding their style on completing the mission and personal lives, sometimes in the heat of battle. Weapons are diverse and efficient, whether your using guns from the Vulcan, Gorn or Starfleet. my favorite is Kirk’s phasers and the Vulcan cannon, which acts as a rifle and doubles as a shield from enemy fire.
What’s also thrown in here is the upgrade-system. While not terribly important, it is useful and certainly make things easier when you set the difficulty higher. You can enhance your weapons and equipment by using a Tricorder and scan audio-logs, weapons, fallen enemies, etc.and awards you with XP to upgrade your gear.
As far as movie-based videogames go, this one is of a higher quality, and Digital Extremes should be commended for their efforts as good licensed products are hard to come by. A little refinement here and there in regards to the visuals and it’s jumping-and-climbing segments would’ve been pleasant. If you’re a fan of the franchise, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t pick this up, as playing this will definitely pump you up for the upcoming Star Trek: Into Darkness. For Shooters and Co-op fans, there’s fun to be had here still, despite it minor shortcomings for what in my opinion the best Star Trek Game to date.
Developer: Digital Extremes
Publisher: Namco Bandai Games
Overall Score: 7/10
Available Now On: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Computer
ESRB Rating: T for Teen
Review Copy Info: a copy of this game was purchased by RealGamerNewz for the purposes of this review.
Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Derek Janson on 20130424 and was last modified on 20130426 .