New Star Trek Game Looks Out of this World

By Ryan Winslett in Previews/Impressions
Friday, June 17, 2011 at 12:00 pm
star_trek.jpg
It takes two, baby.
Are you ready for a shocker? A new Star Trek game is en route. That part wasn't the shocker. The surprise is that the title has already been in development for a year and a half and actually looks really, really good.

 

Not only has the upcoming Star Trek game had a longer development cycle than most movie tie-ins, but it also doesn't exactly "tie in" to any particular movie. While the universe is that of the new J.J. Abrams films, the story is brand new.

 

Find out why developer Digital Extremes' new project looks to break the mold just after the break.

 

Taking a seat in a small room during last week's E3, I was given a 20-minute presentation highlighting the co-op gameplay of the upcoming Star Trek title from Paramount Digital Entertainment. Expected to release in 2012 alongside the upcoming film, the team has a lot of time left to make sure the game lives up to fan expectations. Even though we were being shown a pre-alpha build, there's no denying that this particular titles might be one of the few movie tie-in games actually worth playing.

 

Coming to PS3, Xbox 360 and PC, this cooperative adventure follows Kirk and Spock as they get into trouble and find creative ways to get back out of it. The demo began with the duo returning to the Enterprise following an away mission. The Enterprise has gone dark, though, leaving the Captain and his number two to find out what's gone wrong.

 

Gameplay began with a controllable freefalling scene as the players leapt from their small pod and hurtled across space in order to reach the Enterprise undetected. I should probably mention that the game looks awful pretty, especially during this scene of space and burning debris that must be dodged on the fly.

 

Like in the show and movie, Kirk and Spock behave differently in the upcoming Star Trek game. Spock is calculating and lands on the Enterprise with finesse, for instance, while Kirk comes in too hot and crashes into a bunch of crates. They'll control differently in combat, as well, with Kirk geared at running and gunning while Spock possesses abilities that are better suited to crafty maneuvers and tactical ambushes.

 

Thirty seconds into the demo and we see our first dead Red Shirt, meaning trouble is definitely afoot. Players have access to lots of gear and tech from the series, which you'll need to solve puzzles, navigate the maps and take out the baddies.

 

The gameplay is cover-based, third-person shooter fare, but with a Star Trek twist. Spock can do a mind meld in the middle of a firefight, for instance, turning an unsuspecting enemy into a much-needed ally. The demo's big action sequence ended with Kirk down and in need of medical attention. Spock came to the rescue, focusing on getting Kirk to the medical bay while Kirk used his free hand to cover Spock with some well-placed shots from his Phaser. Once Kirk was on the table, the player controlling Spock had to complete a medical mini-game to heal the Captain's wounds while Kirk continued to cover the door with his firearm. The team promises drop-in/drop-out co-op in the final product with split screen or online play.

 

After seeing what Digital Extremes has to offer so far, I left the room reminded of last year's High Moon Transformers title. It looks like we may have yet another unexpectedly high quality game on our hands, coming from a studio that clearly enjoys and understands the source material.

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