Yes, I realize we just celebrated May the 4th Be With You all across the geekosphere, but I’ve always been more of a trekkie, myself. (Let the flame wars begin!) So, I spent my geek holiday playing Star Trek: The Video Game. I know that’s not the most original title out there, but I’ll give it a pass, since it serves as a sort of bridge (pardon the pun) between J.J. Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek masterpiece and this week’s Star Trek: Into Darkness. So, did the game live up to the awesomeness of the rebooted film franchise?
Um, not exactly.
I so wanted to submerge myself in the world of Trek, getting to be Kirk and Spock for the first time ever. Well, that part was a success and pretty enjoyable, actually. Captain Kirk was 100% his cocky and daring self, while Mr. Spock was cool, logical, and all Vulcan-y. After wearing a hole through YouTube, repeatedly watching the Into Darkness trailers, I was psyched about milking more story from the J.J.-verse. Getting to check out New Vulcan, too, was a welcomed plus. No complaints so far from my inner-trekkie. And, really, the game did hit a lot of the Star Trek hot buttons: exploration; spaceships; away missions to beautiful planets; fierce alien foes. Shoot, I got to run around the U.S.S. Enterprise, for Spock’s sake!
Unfortunately, though, it was lacking on the video game side of the house. Honestly, the feel I got from the game play and some of the designs was of the old Nintendo 64 or, maybe, the Sega Dreamcast. I don’t know how else to describe it, but basically, it was a feeling of out-datedness. They did a great job on the characters, though. And, not all of the set designs were a letdown, but others … Well, yeah, others were.
I don’t really want to give a completely negative review, here, because there were some cool aspects of the game, other than just from a Star Trek fanboy’s perspective. One of the biggest was the cooperative play between Kirk and Spock, which ran everywhere from the simple team-up for opening jammed doors to deactivating wall panels and even assisting with a bum leg. It sure didn’t hurt having Spock cover my six as I ran headfirst into a station full of poisonous lizard men, either. I also loved that it brought the cast back to supply the voices for the Enterprise’s crew. Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, John Cho, Simon Pegg, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, and Anton Yelchin were all present at the mic, considerably contributing to the game’s authentic feel.
My seven year-old son got a kick out of the stun setting of the phasers. Oh, and he loved the Gorn, which I worried might be too scary for him. This morning, he told me he dreamed he was having a firefight with the Gorn. I asked him if it was scary. “Nope. It was awesome!” Then, he went on to let me know that he hadn’t killed any of them. His phasers were set to stun.
Star Trek: The Video Game has an ESRB rating of “T” for Teen and is available, in stores and online, for PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.
Be sure to check out Digital Extremes, Paramount Pictures, and Namco Bandai Games to see what’s new from the game’s creators.