While the graphics are solely based on movie likenesses, it’s still a pretty game overall. Each of the main cast is modeled after the actors who played them in 2009′s Star Trek movie and the upcoming sequel. This gives the player the feeling like they’re playing a movie, which is definitely a step in the right direction. That being said, the actual animations of the models are very stiff and robotic. The color scheme is another issue. Space has never looked so bland. With everything, from walls to railings to boxes being a different shade of gray. This makes the player feel as though they are going in circles, and they can easily become disorientated. Furthermore, with all hallways and areas looking very similar, it can often be hard to discern where to actually go.
When casting for a movie game, studios generally try to find someone who sounds similar to the actors in the movie. Digital Extremes circumvent this by casting the actors to play their characters. With Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto and all of the rest voicing their characters, it further adds to the movie like feeling. The scores of background music rival that of a feature film. But the audio is not without its flaws. The audio sometime loops, causing Kirk and Spock to continuously spout the same lines while exploring. This gets incredibly aggravating, incredibly quickly.
Star Trek bills itself as one part adventure, one part exploration and one part shooter. Only one of those seems to be prominent, the “exploration” part if by exploration they mean aimless wandering. Due to the high budget voice acting the recognizable character models the game feels just like a movie. However that doesn’t mean that it captures the excitement of a blockbuster Sci-Fi movie. It means that the player ends up running the characters from scene to scene with a few bits of gameplay between. Basic platforming, simple puzzles and generic shooting is what awaits the player between each cinematic. For the hardcore Star Trek fan this may be a dream, but that is not the case for gamers looking for a good time.
When the player is given something to do in Star Trek, it isn’t very enjoyable. A lot of time is spent aimlessly jumping at art assets to figure out which identical box is the box that the player needs to jump over. The game is also incredibly easy. The puzzles are simple to figure out, and the combat is boring and generic. The biggest issue that plagues Star Trek, are it’s controls. Now the actual key bindings aren’t that unique or confusing, but implementing them is the true challenge. They feel clunky and floaty, and it’s hard to get Kirk or Spock to do what the player wants them to do.
Now not everything about Star Trek’s gameplay is bad. For those who are more looking into an interactive movie, Star Trek is the perfect choice. It’s also a lot of fun to explore the enterprise and other worlds, despite the clunky controls and confusing layout. The puzzles; while incredibly easy, are still fun to do. Unfortunately, the bad does outweigh the good as far as gameplay is concerned.
Despite trying to break the mold, Star Trek does suffer from a lot of issues that other movie games suffer from. The gameplay is just uninspiring and boring. While the voice actors from the movie return to play their characters, and the character models that represent the voice actors; it isn’t enough to redeem this game. At the end of the day, the gameplay isn’t exciting and isn’t fun. The game is about as interactive as a DVD remote. But for Star Trek fans who are looking to jump into a movie and explore the universe of Star Trek, this game is not a bad choice. For people looking to explore the world of Star Trek as Kirk and Spock in a fun and unique shooter, this is not the game for them.
Star Trek is available for PC on Steam.
A copy of the game was provided for the purpose of this review.