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Star Trek

With the release of the new Stark Trek movie ‘Into Darkness’ looming on the horizon – Namco Bandai and Digital Extremes bring gamers an original Trekkie adventure set in a timeline taking place between the two films. Now within the realms of the new visionary universe, gamers take the helm of Captain Kirk and Spock as they must fight to overcome an evil alien race known as The Gorn – a bunch of baddies with evil intentions of turning all other races into luminous, lobotomized slaves. The only question that remains is this… is Star Trek a game you need to beam up this instant?

…The short answer? No. For a game set in the 23rd century, Star Trek certainly feels prehistoric in its approach. There’s an evident level of faithfulness to the original source material that deserves some recognition and will undoubtedly please hardcore fans of the franchise – however the whole adventure is sadly marred by loose controls, basic level design and hundreds of other general inadequacies that really shouldn’t be present in this generation of gaming. I must admit my position as a reviewer is always a difficult one as I’m not the target audience a developer has in mind; I’m here to scrutinise their work, comparing and contrasting all the little foibles in order to derive the overall entertainment factor and quality of a game. Where my position is favourable, however, is in being able to spot pretty quickly how poor a piece of work is and at the end of the day it doesn’t take a genius to recognise that Star Trek is so glitchy and unfinished I wouldn’t be surprised if the title screen accidentally mis-spelled the names of the heroes to read: “Kock” and “Spirk”. The game feels so rushed from start to finish that it’s quite simply a chore to play through; I dread to think who felt the game was ready to be released as a major title – they’ve singlehandedly nailed the credibility of this title right into the ground.


This review isn’t to humiliate the game in any way, it genuinely had a lot of potential going forward. The dialogue is fairly believable, the witty exchanges between Spock and Kirk often feel like an extension of the J.J Abrams movie experience and the option to explore unseen areas of the galaxy and the U.S.S Enterprise itself are more than enough reasons to get excited about the prospects of the game – it just falls flat on so many core areas of contemporary gaming that it borders on the unplayable. Graphically the game is reminiscent of Duke Nukem Forever in so much that it feels like it belongs in the PS2-era; relatively bland textures and basic facial animations littering the game from beginning to end. The third-person combat (complete with chest-high walls and dumb AI) feels like a genuine re-skin of the Gears of War franchise and I haven’t had this much trouble controlling a character since Silent Hill 2/Alone in the Dark. I’m a pretty veteran gamer and a lot of the time Spock would completely disobey me, walking the opposite way or directly into a pool of fire – only to walk away for a moment and then straight back into the fire again until death. Not really the sort of crazy Star Trek shenanigans that I grew up with…

I rarely felt engaged with the narrative and that’s probably because it’s as tenuous and predictable as they come; a series of boring revalations surrounding The Gorn’s intentions broken down by numerous waves of uninspiring fire-fights. The weapons you use throughout the campaign have absolutely no depth and while that might not be an important factor to some, firefights undoubtedly take up a substantial part of the game. When you’re not blasting your way through waves of mindless enemies, you will occasionally find the time to interact with NPCs (my only enjoyment in the game) and solve some poorly explained mini-games. Later things attempt to perk up with the prospects of skydiving and engaging in space battles but if you think those sound fun you need to remember just how poorly the game struggles to handle the most basic things… such as moving.


It would be criminal to dissect the game any further. It’s clearly an unfinished title that doesn’t fully reflect the overall quality that both Digital Extremes and Namco Bandai possess. It’s a game that feels like a chore to play through beyond its opening few chapters and despite any attempts at humour and characterisation between the two fan-favourite characters there really is no saving grace for this one. While the graphics and narrative are decidedly weak, its the gameplay this time that severely lets the side down. Perhaps one day a developer will put some real elbow grease and a lot of TLC into the making of the next Star Trek – and then we may be dealing with a completely different game. I really hope that some day soon that’s the case. I really hope that one day… someone makes it so…

My name is Albert and I have been gaming since I ever got my hands on a Game Boy Color. You could say I am in love with the gaming industry and pretty much anything involving games. I have written about games briefly for another site and I hope to broaden my horizons through Explosion. I am currently a sophomore majoring in Communications and I take plenty of time to relax on the Xbox 360 mostly, but I'm open to it all!