by Chris Davis
previewed on X360
Beam Me Up for Adventure (cntd)
Our demonstration began a good portion into the game’s story. Returning from an away mission aboard a shuttlecraft, Kirk and Spock find the Enterprise adrift and abandoned in the middle of an interstellar minefield. Certain that the shuttle would not be able to approach the ship without setting off a mine, Kirk and Spock opt for a less conventional approach: launching themselves at the ship while in their spacesuits in hopes of landing at an air lock. With a swift thrust the duo blast away from their shuttlecraft and begin their speedy approach to the Enterprise in an on-rails tunnel ride like that of modern Sonic the Hedgehog game levels. While mines fly toward and past them the pair tries desperately to avoid them while at the same time trying to utilize as little maneuvering fuel as possible.
As Kirk and Spock fly through the minefield it becomes clear that the two are meant to be very different from one another in both character and gameplay style. In this particular instance, Kirk’s player has trouble avoiding mines while Spock’s player has little to worry about, making calculating moves past the mines. This difference became more pronounced when, as the sequence comes to an end, Kirk lands in a heap, tumbling across the deck while Spock executes a perfect landing. After a witty exchange, which clearly shows that the levity present in the 2009 film will be returning, the two proceed into the innards of the gigantic starship.
Darmok and Who at Where?!
As Spock and Kirk enter the ship they find out that The Enterprise is under command lockdown and the crew is nowhere to be found. Traveling down a decimated corridor, the two come across a locked door. This part introduces us to the game’s utilization of one of the most famous Star Trek devices: the tricorder. Using their tricorders together, Kirk and Spock are able to bypass the door and continue beyond. Just a few meters down they come across a dead crewman (wearing a red shirt). Spock uses his tricorder and scans the body, learning that the man did not die of battle wounds or environmental damage but instead of a parasitic organism he was somehow infected with. The ability to scan the environment and bodies with the tricorder gives players more information about what’s going on in the world as well as the possibility of actually affecting gameplay later on.
As they continue, a transmission from another crewmember is received by Kirk: she’s trapped in the shuttle bay and is requesting assistance. Riding a turbolift, Kirk and Spock arrive at the bay only to find it empty save for displaced cargo and docked shuttles gathering dust. It is clear that whatever happened to put The Enterprise in its current emergency didn’t allow the crew to evacuate. Venturing further into the room, Kirk and Spock find the source of the transmission but no sign of the person who made it. Suddenly, a group of aliens unlike any seen in the entirety of the Star Trek franchise ambushes them, surrounding them on all sides. Kirk and Spock run for cover in a completely interactive sequence, allowing the player to get a few early shots in as their characters dive behind some cargo before the firefight begins.