Star Trek is easily one of the most beloved franchises in the world of TV and movies. That said, Trekkies haven’t had any really great games to play other than Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force (2000) and Star Trek: Bridge Commander (2002), with the majority being given mediocre scores such as Star Trek Online (2010) and Star Trek: Klingon Academy (2000). With the release of Star Trek: The Video Game, fans had seen various pieces of footage that made it look like their prayers were answered, with a game that rode in with a new major movie release. Promising an all-new story with the rebooted Kirk and Spock, Co-Op gameplay, and great graphics, we were truly made to choke down a game that wasn’t truly finished.
The gameplay of Star Trek The Video Game is based on a co-op playstyle, whether you are playing solo or with a friend. You’ll find yourself in the shoes of either Kirk or Spock, making your way through various parts of the galaxy, trying to stop the Gorn. Alright, let me stop here, because that’s pretty much the game. Never ending combat, with some puzzles mixed in, as well as co-op gameplay. Sprinkle some really, really bad bugs in, and you have this game in a nutshell, but what could you expect from a game that intends to make money just by riding on the heels of a major movie release (that it had ZERO relation to). But, moving on, you have the ability to play with various weapons that are both interesting and frustrating to play with, such as the phaser, phase rifle, and various other Gorn and Vulcan weaponry. As you make your way through the game, you will use your tricorder to scan the area and pick up various items for your collection and level up your current character to increase your abilities and modify your gameplay experience.
There were a lot of things wrong with this game, but by far the enemy and partner AI were the worst, with Enemy AI being bland, predictable, and for whatever reason..stunning was as simple as one shot, but killing was far harder, causing you to essentially play the whole game on stun setting just for ease of play. But by far, the worst part of the gameplay was the partner’s AI, which would be so illogical (Which if you were playing as Kirk would have you yelling “HOW IS THAT LOGICAL SPOCK?”) that you would be killed or stuck in a spot and having to completely go back to a checkpoint, all because your partner decided going down three flights of stairs to get to you instead of going up one made more sense. The most talked about feature of the game also happens to be its worst .For a game that was shown to be all about co-operative gameplay, you would think that sitting down and playing so co-op would make the game that much enjoyable because the in-game partner’s AI was so bad that it put the enemies’ AI to shame. If you can’t stomach a poor AI, the game also has online multiplayer, allowing you to join up with other people over the web to play through the game if you don’t have a friend to play next to you. This system was so broken, that we were unable to even complete a chapter, with a 20 minute queue time and frequent disconnects and glitches.
Then we come to the story, which feels like it was cobbled together with various different ideas in mind and no real imagination, leaving you completely unsatisfied with the end result. Everything is predictable, and everything is just so…bland. A majority of the plot makes very little sense, and although Star Trek is all about the possibility of things happening, the story in the game probably has Gene Roddenberry rolling in his grave. From the trailers and gameplay videos that were shown before release, it seemed as if this game was actually going to be pretty good, but that’s probably why almost zero story was shown in them. The graphics, however…
Were absolutely nothing like what was shown in the videos that went out before release. Sure some of the environments looked nice, but various graphical glitches accompanied by shoddy level design just really watered down the experience to feeling like you were playing a game with alpha graphics. That, in combination with the unbelieveably…brown (because that’s all they were) alien environments, really just made the game that much more disappointing. The models of characters were almost completely unfinished as well, because the first thing I saw when I started playing was the inside of Kirk’s face because of the camera angle…not a good first impression.
The music, which was produced by a different person that the films and tv shows themselves, did show some form of similarity to the music we have gotten used to hearing, but it didn’t mesh well in terms of complimenting the scenes or any other parts of the game. The soundtrack by itself is pretty good, but again how it performs in the game is just as important. The voice acting was very good, mainly because the original cast of the Star Trek reboot were acting out their movie counterparts for the game, but with obvious lip sync issues, sometimes it was a bit off. Even the sound effects didn’t really stand out, making one of the most important parts of every game feel very bland.
Any intrepid Star Trek fan might want to play the game because of their love for the series, but they should avoid it at all costs due to the extreme lack of polish and completeness, making the game feel like it should have been in Alpha stages still. The story, gameplay, and media aspects of the game feel unfinished and rushed, and don’t mesh well at all, and the number of bugs in various areas make the game almost unplayable and utterly unenjoyable. The price has dropped on the game significantly since release, but even then, it’s a waste of your time.
Update: It’s also worth noting their website is pretty broken too. Bad experience all around.
Anyone, including Trekkies, should avoid this game.