|System: PC, PS3, Xbox 360*|
|Dev: Digital Extremes|
|Pub: Namco Bandai Games|
|Release: April 23, 2013|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Animated Blood, Language, Violence|
Cutscenes are plentiful, and even though most are decent, many highlight the visual shortcomings with close-ups that flaunt the dated graphics and pixelated textures. With the many cutscenes necessary to tell a movie-like story, this should have been a huge focus in the visual department. Although, the faces of main character models were clearly given careful attention, and the digital versions of the actors were instantly recognizable and accurate.
However, character animations are another story entirely. Even though there are many odd animations throughout the game, they function fine for the most part. The only time you really run into serious issues is in transition between gameplay types.
For example, something as simple as prying a door open can become a chore. First of all, initiating the sequence can be a nuisance, and button prompts sometimes don’t show up until you have positioned yourself perfectly. Once in place, completing the task is easy enough, but when you emerge on the other side the animation falters. Sometimes you will be looking in an odd direction, you may be standing behind your counterpart (even though you were first to go through the door), and rarely you might even be stuck in a corner. Almost every transition animation suffers similar issues, and though it’s not game-breaking, it is severely annoying.
But for Star Trek, where visuals fail, sound delivers. Voice acting is top-notch (as it should be) and the actors transfer their characters well to the video game medium. The sound of the Tricorder starting up is replicated beautifully, in addition to the familiar sounds of lasers and photon torpedoes. Tense gameplay sequences were accentuated by appropriate music, and the orchestral score was borrowed directly from the films, one of the few perks of making a licensed game. Overall, the sound bordered on excellent with very few hiccups.
While this game probably won’t do anything for the hardcore gamer, Star Trek fans and casual gamers may find it a fun experience with varied gameplay and a strong story. However, more seasoned gamers will probably find this game to be a low-budget replication of their favorite franchises and dismiss it immediately.
Although Digital Extremes set out to make the definitive Star Trek Experience, they fell short of creating the game that Star Trek fans so desperately crave. I enjoyed Star Trek for what it was, but at the end of the day, it delivers an average gameplay experience through a decent story. The game’s mediocre visuals are balanced by the strong soundscape, but neither department does enough to propel the game to warp speed. Mr. Sulu, you have failed.
Date: April 26, 2013