by Marko Susimetsä
previewed on PC
Zillionth Star Trek game in the making
When the staple of TV sci-fi, Star Trek, received an action-lift in the 2009 movie with new, younger actors and more explosive plot and special effects, Digital Extremes saw a chance to create a new kind of Star Trek game: an action-oriented shooter with a co-op option. Given that the game market is filled with co-op shooters and shooters in general, it remains to be seen how Digital Extremes manages to make Star Trek stand out from the crowd. Thus far, this attempt seems to be restricted to the likenesses of the actors from the movie and, of course, the name Star Trek printed on the game disk.
The story will be set between the events of the 2009 movie and the upcoming Star Trek Into Darkness (2013). It is said to involve a new Vulcan colony that is being attacked by a species called the Gorn. Remember the silly rubbersuit lizard-man fighting Kirk in one of the episodes of the classic series? Yup, those Gorns.
The main heroes will be Kirk and Spock and they will run through various levels using the tools that they know best: Kirk will carry a phaser with a stun setting while Spock will rely more on stealth, a quiet freeze-gun as well as Vulcan nerve pinch and mind meld techniques. The player can choose either Kirk or Spock as the main character during any given chapter in the game and the other one will then be controlled by the AI or another player joining a co-op mode. The characters will earn experience that they can use to discover new modes for their weapons.
If the above did not cry out Mass Effect 2 & 3 in your head, then the teaser videos certainly will. Everything from the graphics style, animations and character progression (whoever came up with the idea that character's experience makes their _weapons_ better?) and their weapons and psychic skills appear very Mass Effect-esque.
Another movie tie-in or something better?
Given that the game is going to be released only three weeks before the new movie, one would expect to see more information about the game being released to the public at this point. The fact that the information is as scarce as it is, is a good sign that there simply is not that much more to tell. The game will be action-oriented and very much a shooter and, despite the developers' promise, I suspect that the ”exploration, adventure and discovery” will feel as tagged on as in any modern shooter.
Another thing that keeps me personally from hoping too much from this title was the recent interview with Brian Miller, who described the voice acting process with Zachary Quinto, saying that at some point ehe actor had turned to him and said ”Look, Brian, Spock woudn't say this, he would say it this way.” Brian's response, according to him, was ”Absolutely, you know Spock better than anybody.” What? Really? How about the script writers of the entire series of Star Trek and the previous movies? What about Leonard Nimoy? If the only thing keeping the game developers true to the character of Spock is an actor who has played the part once or twice, then I cannot hold much hope for the game at all.
Wait and see
For those who are not expecting more than an action shooter with a Star Trek theme, Star Trek will probably be a game to look forward to. For others, it may be better to wait and see some reviews before you make the decision to purchase it.