Star Trek: The Game does a lot of things that Trek fans have been wanting to do for years. You get to play as either Kirk or Spock, you get to fight against the Gorn and you get to boldly go where no man has gone before. It really is a shame then that this game is a complete mess which makes you want to stay in the captain’s quarters and wait for the new movie to come out instead. Star Trek: The Game features the young cast and crew from the 2009 reboot as well as the cast and crew that will be returning in the upcoming movie, Star Trek: Into Darkness. In the beginning you get to select whether you want to play as Kirk and Spock and whomever you don’t select will become your A.I. partner. You will then be thrust into the story where you pick up a distress signal that needs to be answered.
The gameplay in Star Trek: The Game works fairly well. It has your typical shooter controls that everyone is familiar with. It controls well but the interaction with the environment needs a lot of improvement. There were many times when I need to get behind cover during a big firefight and, for whatever reason, the game wouldn’t allow me to take cover. This would leave me vulnerable for a few moments while I either kept pushing the button to try and get my character to go into cover or I would run over to another location and try from there. It became frustrating really quickly but is only the beginning of the problems. The A.I. in this game is atrocious. It has been a little while since I have played a game where the A.I. was this bad. You name it and my A.I. partner was pretty bad at doing it. There were times when I needed to pry open a door to advance in a level but I needed the help of my partner. Problems arose though when I would pick the “wrong” area to stand in which wouldn’t allow my A.I. partner to progress. He just kept running into the wall until I stepped aside and took the other spot and that is just one example of the horrible path finding A.I. in this game. Perhaps in part because the path finding capabilities of my partner were so bad, the A.I. could never seem to keep up with me during the course of the campaign. If I was assaulting an enemy stronghold on the other side of the bridge and slowly making my way across, chances are that my partner would still be standing on our side of the bridge. Other times when we were underground and were clearing out the Gorn from different rooms I would frequently have to back track two or three rooms because my partner, for some inexplicable reason, was in there standing around or he had been down by an enemy and needed me to revive him. Then there was the time where I hit a checkpoint right in front of a gun turret so whenever I would need to respawn in that area, I would do so right in front of the turret! Needless to say I would have to quickly scramble and get behind cover every time before the turret took me out within mere seconds. My A.I. partner wouldn’t be as smart and would quickly get cut down which meant that I had to revive him at some point while trying to hack the turret and deal with enemies shooting at me from all directions.
Then there were the graphical problems in the game. There were times when the enemy would get stuck in the environment and you would see some horrendous clipping problems. Frame rate problems happened every so often. There was one instance when I was in the middle of a big fight where my guy fell down and the camera decided to break and just hide behind a pillar not allowing me to see anything, which really isn’t good in the middle of a fight with a tough enemy. There was one glitch later on in the game when I walked into a room to replenish my ammo and get all of the items in that room and then when I tried to leave the doors wouldn’t open. I tried everything I could think of at that moment to get the doors to open back up and they wouldn’t so I simply reset the checkpoint. It was pretty aggravating as I had just gone through a whole bunch of enemies and now because the game glitched I had to do it again. If these were isolated incidents then it wouldn’t have been as bad. The problem is these were regular occurences as I went through the game. If you combine that with horrific A.I. problems I think you would be kind in saying this isn’t a good game.
Believe it or not it isn’t all bad though. I enjoyed the dialogue between Kirk and Spock and thought they had some great banter. This game also does offer co-op so you can play with a friend but I don’t know if you would want to put your friend through this either. I enjoyed the interaction with the other members of the crew as well, however, towards the latter stages of the game it could get irritating. I didn’t need to hear Scotty tell me for the tenth time that the situation was critical and I needed to hurry up and complete my objective. I did see how some of the concepts the development team came up with could have been really cool but were marred by sloppy execution.
As you progress in the game you will be given different options with how you want to proceed. There is the non-lethal way and, of course, the lethal way. The non-lethal way would work by either sneaking up behind someone and knocking them out or putting your phaser on stun and then knocking them out after you have stunned them. The problem with trying to play this game in stealth is that your A.I. partner is too stupid to realize you are trying to get through an area without raising an alarm and, more often not, he will get spotted so you are left with no choice but to engage in a firefight.
You will also notice commendations which are optional objectives that you can complete which is, according to the game, how a real Starfleet officer would act. You have your handy Tricorder which you use to scan the environment, enemies and various other items. You can also use your tricorder to remotely hack terminals, locate invisible enemies and more. By performing these actions you will gain XP which you can use to unlock new skills. These skills ranged from being able to jam your enemy’s weapon to being able to scan things farther off in the distance with your tricorder to getting the software suite which would allow you to instantly hack modules and more. My favorite one to use was definitely the software suite, however, jamming the weapons of my enemy definitely helped me out a time or two in difficult situations.
Star Trek: The Game is an example of something that could have been really good but, for whatever reason, never quite gets there. Whether it was lack of time, budget or something else, it felt like this game was rushed out to meet the release schedule of the upccoming movie. There is far too much wrong with this title to really recommend it. If you are a huge Star Trek fan and absolutely must play this game then do yourself a favor and simply rent it. The game isn’t completely broken as I was able to beat it but there are so many other great games out there that you don’t need to waste your time here.
+ Nice dialogue between the Enterprise crew
– Inexcusable A.I. deficiencies
– Glitches abound and turns this into another mediocre licensed title.
Summary: Star Trek: The Game was rushed to the market before it was completed. Just go see the new movie and don’t even bother with this title.
Review Score: 4/10
Originally posted on May 8, 2013 on Totally Gaming Network