People will hate on this game, for it's name and for the fact that it stands in the very tall shadow of WoW. That being said WoW doesn't have exclusive rights on fun. The Open beta ran like a beta, many problems. But they were being fixed impressively, something even more impressive though was the amount of feedback cryptic appeared to be responding to. While patching and fixing this game they are already addressing gripes and balance problems players dont like, they seem at this time to have a vested interest in this game. Thats a good thing no matter your viewpoint.
Over the short course of an open beta I have seen patch after patch making this game better and better and hopefully in full swing come launch day, I can tell you all the usual things about customisation. But you will hear that again and again.
What I will tell you is this: Today I took a trip to deep space nine, on my return to earth I had to make sure peace was still intact at a federation settlement. After that I had to deal with the Orion syndicate who were commiting piracy on a federation outpost. I fought 5 squadrons in a weird but pleasing mix of mmo buffs, and pure action.
To add to all that pure STAR TREK action: While fighting these ships I was waiting for my jamming sensors to recharge, concentrating my fire on one of the enemies shields so I could take down and launch a high yield photon torpedo While my bridge officer enabled the tractor beam to fire yet more accurately at the now held target. However other ships are firing on my rear shield. So i boost power to rear shields. I pick off a few enemy but my shields aren't good, So I call an emergency engineering team who help fix the problem while i divert main power to shields rather than the standard "balanced" power mode. Once fixed up I finish the enemy , I recieve a hail from the outpost from a greatful federation member. After hailing Admiral Quinn at starfleet I am leaving the system to my next adventure...
...I ended up joining a fleet of really fun people as many many of us found our home in the sol system, invaded by the Borg and they are certainly still powerful. With some great teamwork we scratched the surface taking out probes and sheres even one cube in the fleet i was in. But the borg were relentless, and the klingon presence only helped to confuse. We are at war with the klingons, yet there seems to be some kind of deplomacy and co-operation taking place. However in the confusion the klingon ships are also fired upon, a fatal mistake and now three way battle between some of the largest powers in the trek universe.
(it was insane!!) This was like watching "the way of the warrior" or any number of the big dominion episodes from ds9 like being a part of those epic battles. All this and i am still on my first ship just below Lt. commander.
I also got to earthdock to find that it was a complete war inside, i couldn't tell one race from the other it was pure war.The normally tranquille Earthdock i have been used to these last couple of weeks was in choas bodies dropping all over...bit i did get to shoot a klingon in the face! well worth it!
With this final crazy scene the beta came to an end. And I barely scratched the surface. It may not be as deeply layered as the long standing Warcraft, but it's not Warcraft and never tries to be. This IS Star trek, thats what it sets out to be and thats what it achieves, from the music to the voiceovers to the "Majel Barret" computer voice we have known(and loved) in all recent series. It is still an mmo, there is some grinding and there are some less than rewarding quest's. But cryptic seem to listen and there is no doubt that this game maybe ready for launch. But it is far far from completed. I say that in a good way..there is content not open yet and content yet to be added. I have not even questioned that content because I have not seen much of what was offered to me already.
Being a Star Trek fan, I read every quest I let every situation play out. Unlike Warcraft where i just skipped all the text and went to the next grind zone..now i read the text..and sometimes if I hadn't I could not have completed the mission. Or found out what happened to spock in this timeline for e.g.(there are many story based hints at the events of nero, spock and the entire Trek world..hehe I even went to RISA!) And the grind? well it hardly feels like that at this point, it is varied enough that i didn't feel too much like I Was grinding. There is more variance in it than i expected.
I think expectations will be everything to your experience at this game, personally i think star trek games have been below par for the majority. Even the better games were quite average and were really only lifted to higher status because of the star trek name on top of a(sadly in most cases) average game.
Though the competition doesn't say much. THIS IS THE BEST STAR TREK GAME YOU WILL PLAY. It's this or nothing. Thats not a good sign, so my expectations were very low coming into this. After a day of feeling a bit lost, I got the bug. This game FEELS so star trek it pulls you into that famliar world and once it does it wont let go. Suddenly the awkward space combat makes sense and I am working really hard to do it well, and I am not bad if i do say so. It becomes easier to fly and thus you stop worring about controls and start thinking a few more tactics.
The graphics wont be the most mind blowing, but they are up to date and perfect star trek art all the way through. The ships are amazing the the space scenes are what you always wished for in a trek game. familiar too. everything about this game feels familiar I wont ruin any of the suprises you might notice. I think in the long run what wuill keep this game going(apart from new content) is people teaming really makes sense and there are less selfish reasons to do it...you do it for the same reasons. I found so far my playing experience with other to be really postive and actually when things get tough..this is when the spacd combat suddenly becomes more tactial and UNIQUE to this game and the feel of star trek. When teaming with fleets or just teams this game for me is mostly untouchable..awsomeness with a tricorder.
The game is not perfect and what kind of plans cryptic have remain to be seen. But it's a game thats actually worth playing, WITH the star trek game logo that means this game has a future no matter how large or small. This game will be a hit with many "trek" gamers and many gamers alike. The only uncertainty is in it's very nature of being an MMO, it's a tough market for them these days. But the generic YET escoteric nature of this game should ensure what ever level of success, it will most likely retain a very good player base. which should open up more possibities for the future of the game.
What with this years reboot and now STO it's a good time to be a trek fan, I am GENUINLY recommending this game rather than making excuses for it. Thats refrshing for a star trek game! There are many deals and the lifetime subscription offer is going to change very shortly so if thats somethng you are interested in you need to look now. As it will go up alot in price when the offer is over. And who knows they could end the offer entirely like other games.
Othewise there are plenty of other options for purchase. check out each edition as each pre-order gives you something free at the day of launch..and some of those things are well worth having! The one place you might not get it is HERE yes amazon have stopped selling it and we have all recieved a notice that they will be sending the game late. Infact the only negative about this pre-order was dealing with amazon at all. I have been a customer here for years. Thats stops when i recieve my copy. I wont be dealing with these clowns again.
If you are a trek fan dont scratch your head just try it..if not try it anyways it one of the better mmo's out there if you are looking to get away from wow or the nasty nature of EVE. I still cant help but think "i was in a fleet fighting the borg today" and the most telling thing was when the servers went down at the end of the open beta...I was saddened that i couldn't play and started looking to see how many days i had to wait!! Now THATS a sign of a good game.