Star Trek Online: Review

"Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Kadiera. Its ongoing mission to explore strange new worlds, seek out and help new civilisations, to bodily go where no console has gone before"

Captains Log Stardate 94301.25
"This is my first entry as Captain of the USS Kadiera, a Miranda Class Federation Starship, primarily assigned to graduate cadets from Starfleet Academy for their first assignment. Our present course sees us currently on route to Earth Space Dock after our first mission and I feel optimistic that my time here playing Star Trek Online will be one filled with goose-bump moments as I am immersed in the Star Trek universe. In my short time as captain of the Kadiera, I have already repelled a Klingon attack on this vessel which claimed the life of our previous Captain, as well as prevented the Borg's attempt at assimilating a planet in the outer reaches of the Beta Quadrant. I know what lies ahead for this ship and her crew and the grind that it will entail, but I am determined to play my part in the Federation's war against those that oppose it."

Star Trek Online is a massive multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) developed and published by Cryptic Studios and distributed by Perfect World Entertainment. The game is based on the Star Trek series created by Gene Roddenberry and is set in the 25th century, some 30 years after the events of the Star Trek film - Star Trek: Nemesis. Originally released on PC some 6 years ago in 2010, Star Trek Online has finally warped onto both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and like its PC counterpart is a free to play game.

As with all MMORPG's Star Trek Online begins with you creating a character and beginning your journey of travelling throughout the universe. The choice is yours which faction from Star Trek you wish to join, be it the Romulan Empire, The Federation or if you feel that it's a good day to die you can play as a Klingon and wage war with everyone that crosses your path. You also have the choice of which class of star ship you wish to control, although while it is limited to begin with, as you rank up more and more ships will become available. The final choice you have before flying through space, is which class your character will be. Playing as a Starship officer of the Federation, you can choose to be either one of three classes: Engineering (yellow shirt), Science (Mr. Spock blue) or Tactical (red shirt). You can also customise your uniform and character appearance, before you start your career at the Starfleet Academy. The first few scenarios you encounter, the game does well to hold your hand and explain the basics before leaving you to your own devices, the early characters you meet are full of Star Trek Easter eggs and references from the 50 years of content Star Trek has brought us.

The gameplay of Star Trek Online is broken down into two main different areas. The first of which is in space, where you control your ship, navigating the stars, and firing weapons upon your enemies. The second area of gameplay is in 3rd person, taking control of your character to fight with phasers and rifles against enemies and also exploring both new worlds and familiar ones. The controls are simple to use once you get used to them but it doesn't take long to become accustomed too. Although some animations of your character are a little flawed and seem poorly animated, most of the gameplay is straight forward. At times it does get a little repetitive but the story fills in the cracks and prevents any real disappointment. 

Cryptic Studios has to be given credit for a well polished port from PC to Consoles. As with most MMORPG's on PC, there were numerous keys and functions available to players to utilise and control the game along with a cluttered and very busy HUD full of menus and pop-ups added to the mix. However, with Star Trek Online beaming onto consoles, the developer had no such luxury. As a result, the control scheme has been redesigned and tweaked, as well as the HUD and menus cleaned up to bring much improved visuals, simple controls and a more enjoyable experience. The console version has also been given a make over with its graphics, which have also had an improvement with an enhanced graphics engine. Lighting has been redone resulting in environments which look more realistic and ship and character models looking more believable. With that being said though don't expect to enter Star Trek Online with a look and feel akin to a AAA title, but rather a solid game which I would say is on par with Rebel Galaxy. There are a few bugs and glitches that have made its way across from the PC also, lip synch with characters being out of sync, character movements full of wooden animations and sometimes environment props and materials that do not load in. These little bugs might have you wanting to scream "Khhaaaannnnn" at your screen, but the content, story and the fact your playing a Star Trek game, make you forgive these little flaws as the game "gives it everything she's got Captain." In summing up the controls and graphics, Star Trek Online has never looked prettier, especially if one has played it previously on a low to mid range PC in the past.

Star Trek Online is a great revision of an ageing MMORPG, with updated graphics, a simple to use control scheme, and a great price of just $0.00. That's right it's completely free. Whilst you do have the option to purchase in game, it is still a pleasant experience without dipping your hand into your pocket. If you are a fan of the Star Trek Universe or Sci-fi genre games, then this game will draw you in and make you feel part of the world around you. The characters you'll meet and encounter will bring forth the nerd in you, and the story missions are varied and not to repetitive. A few familiar voices and characters from the Star Trek movies and TV shows are blended into the game as well to provide dialogue and narrate mission scenarios, and even a few lines from the late Leonard Nimoy, really make this one of the best Star Trek games ever to grace a console.

In travelling the vastness of the universe, may you live long and prosper.

SCORE: 8/10

It's Star Trek
Simple controls
Varied gameplay between space battles and ground combat

Glitchy at times
Wooden character animations

PUBLISHER: Cryptic Studios
DEVELOPER: Cryptic Studios
DISTRIBUTER: Perfect World Entertainment
PLATFORM: Xbox One, PS4 and PC
RELEASE DATE: 2010 PC, 6th September 2016 for Xbox One and PS4

Aussie Gamers Express

To Top