Just in time for the release of the new Star Trek movie comes a brand new Star Trek video game featuring the new cast playing the original characters! Vulcans are using a secret space station to harness the power of their sun to provide energy to a new planet. But a new race of lizard-like warmongering aliens called the Gorn are trying to steal it so they can create rifts in the universe. Now it’s up to Captain Kirk and Spock to work together to stop the aliens from taking over Federation space! (PS3 version reviewed here)
The new Star Trek video game is a mish-mash of various types of gameplay. It’s one part third person shooter, where you must aim and shoot your phaser at enemies while taking cover when you can. You’ll also solve puzzles to bypass areas, and use teamwork to open stuck doors and hack computers by playing mini-games. Some light platforming is involved as well, as you can jump and climb when needed. In a way, it’s a lot like Sony’s popular Uncharted game series, except set in futuristic space instead.
As you defeat enemies, you’ll gain experience points which you can use to upgrade your scanner and phaser. You can also divvy out points to upgrade your teammate’s equipment, too. Choose to play as Kirk or Spock. You can have the computer control the other character, or play co-op with a friend locally or online. Graphics are fantastic and when a family member walked by and saw me playing, she couldn’t tell if I was watching a movie or a game! They even got many of the real celebrities to do the voices, too!
Unfortunately, the Star Trek game does have a few snags and problems. Camera angles can be horrible sometimes, and even more so if you are playing local co-op with a split screen! Even worse, the game isn’t clear how you can play co-op. Can you start a single player game and have a second person join in at any time? I tried that and it didn’t work. However, when I had another player start a game with me, I could play the next level by myself. It really wasn’t very clear. What makes matters worse is that the game doesn’t come with a physical instruction booklet. While the game gives you tutorials on how to control your character as you play, I wish I could’ve had a booklet to refer to so I could figure out my quandaries on the co-op confusion I had. But maybe I’m just old fashioned. At any rate, while it’s nowhere near perfect, I think die-hard Star Trek fans would enjoy this game anyway, especially if they liked the last two most recent movies.
Star Trek is rated T for Teen with ESRB descriptors of Animated Blood, Violence, and Language. I didn’t see any of the red stuff at all while playing, and most of the time you just zap enemies with your phaser. And many times, they’ll encourage you to not use lethal force by ‘setting your phaser to stun, not kill.’ Bad language is used sparingly, too. In other words, it’s just like Star Trek. So if you’re OK with your kids watching the TV shows and movies, they’ll be OK with the game, too.