Star Trek: The Game Xbox 360 Review
Peter Donnell / 3 years ago
The latest entry to a long history of Star Trek gaming titles has been unleashed upon the gaming masses, promising co-operative gameplay throughout the familiar settings of the Star Trek universe and all through the avatars of Spock and Kirk, a pretty tall order to fill by any standard.
With the release of the J. J. Abram Stark Trek films comes a whole new generation of Star Trek fans, not only for the movies and multiple TV series, but also for the games and the Star Trek franchise has already more than stood the test of time in all these areas, although maybe not so much on the gaming side of things as it has with movies and TV.
Star Trek The Game promises a single player adventure, but its main focus in on the co-op aspects of both Spock and Kirt working together in their classic competitive and argumentative fashion. Steve Sinclair, the creative director for the game even went as far as calling the game’s genre “bro-op” at E3… oh dear.
The concept is solid, the characters are familiar and the game world is already well documented, so the ingredients for great entertainment are right here, but how does it hold up in the real world?
Graphics wise, the game isn’t lacking in charms, the characters are well created based on the latest Star Trek movie and many of the voices are either in place or at the very best close to the original, closer than you find in most games anyway. Scotty does unfortunately sound like he’s only been told what a Scottish accent is before acting it, but I guess they couldn’t get hold of Simon Pegg to reprise the role.
The game offers up some stunning locations too and many of them will be familiar to fans of the series and movies, offering some excellent nostalgia throughout, but there is a problem. The animation on the characters is something lifted out of an early PlayStation 2 low-budget Sci-Fi shooter, by which I mean its pretty awful and it’s not helped by graphical glitches, poor collision detection and worst of all, some pretty unresponsive controls that do tend to mar the experience a fair bit.
Whilst the game does feel, dare I say it, bad to play, there are moments of reprisal that do make it a fun adventure. Seeing the classic ships, characters and being able to run around the Enterprise is something I will likely never get fed up with.
The game is full of amusing dialogue, the common banter that we have become accustomed to with Spock and Kirk is seemingly endless and it does offer a great environment to the game. As a big Star Trek fan I find it a lot of fun being able to work around the bridge pre-mission, checking with various members of the crew for information and status reports before heading for the turbo lift, it’s like being in the movie when it all works properly.
At it’s core gameplay experience, Star Trek is a cover based shooter, but its let down by the poor controls and this can often turn into a game of patience rather than something you can lose yourself in for a few hours. The missions a little linear at times, but that’s nothing out of the ordinary for near any cover based shooter of the last few years.
The game’s co-op system does allow for drop in / drop out play should you need it, but only if your playing online. If your sharing a seat for split screen the game has to be played in chapters and campaign progression doesn’t carry over your experience for player 2. I’ve spoken to the developers about this issue fearing it may be a bug, but if you’re going to play co-op, I’d suggest playing online with your friend for the time being.
One of the more fun aspects of this game is the return of the Gorn, a classic Star Trek enemy that is sure to amuse fans of some of the more classic TV series episodes. The enemies are a little copy/paste at times, but given they’re a beast, the developers can easily get away with that on. Nothing that can’t be dispatched with a few phaser blasts and for the most part, combat isn’t too difficult, although it can get a little chaotic at time, which is no bad thing.
Overall I found Star Trek to be a fairly average entry to the franchise, it didn’t excite me in the way I had hoped and since the original announcement of the game I had been really looking forward to this game. Me and my girlfriend are massive co-op gaming fans and we were really happy to hear there would be another entry to the split screen market, given the trend is dying in favour of online play and online shooters. Yet I almost wish we hadn’t bother with this title as the dream was in this case much better than the reality.
It’s not without its charms though and when you get used to little problems with it, there can be some fun in here. It’s got some of the best characters in gaming history, classic weapons at your disposal, one of the most famous star ships in cinema, tv and gaming history and its going to be a fun adventure for fans of the newer films as it ties in nicely with both of the J. J. Abrams movies.
The trailer promises something along the lines of Mass Effect but what we really have is a fairly standard cover shooter that has been turned into a movie tie-in of sorts, if you like both of those things and you’re a big fan of the series, I’d suggest giving the game a try.
What really bothers me are the developers, as this game could have been so much more and Digital Extremes have a rich history in game’s development and you can see the list here, they’ve worked on some truly great titles, so what went wrong Digital Extreme? Or more importantly, are there any movie to game conversions that are truly great anyway? Let me know what you think in the comments section below.