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Customer Review

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointed, 13 May 2013
This review is from: Star Trek (PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
A lot of the previous reviews have focused on frustrations with the game, especially the co-op which is apparently `broken'. I'll take their word for it as I've not tried it.

But I wanted to go into a little bit more detail related to the game play itself. The rating I've given it should give you a pretty good idea about my thoughts, but the most shocking thing for me is that even as a BIG Star Trek fan (ok, I don't dress up and go to conventions, nor do I speak Klingon), I was sorely disappointed.

The first movie reboot was fantastic, and many positives have been heard about the impending sequel. This makes it even more difficult to understand why `they' would damage the reputation of the franchise with this pile of rubbish.

Some basics: The voice acting is provided by the cast of the recent movies. So this is a huge plus for the game. The negative is that whereas in the movie(s), the interaction (for example) between Spock and Kirk adds humour and relief from tense space battles and alien attacks, the interaction in the game seem numb and boring. You don't once get the urge to laugh. This is a shame.

Graphically the game is average at best. A lot of bland corridors/caverns/ships. It can actually be hard to determine what your next course of action is due to the fact that if you lose your bearings, all doors/caves look identical so you're not sure where you came from and where you're meant to be going. With the exception of the crew of the Enterprise, the rest of the characters are bland and have little by way of differentiating features.
The space battles are `ok' at best. Graphically this is probably the highlight, but the game almost plays itself in these scenes so it's not exactly nail biting stuff.

Your first choice is whether to play as Kirk or as Spock. I have not tried Spock, but I doubt the experience will change much. The game is first and foremost a shooter. Yes, it's a shooter set in the Star Trek environment, but it's still a shooter. And a poor one, and a very easy one. There is a very limited choice of weapons, and although you can pick up and use alien weapons, it doesn't change the game play a great deal.
I admit to being thrilled with the idea of using a tricorder in this game. It makes you feel part of the universe. But the use itself is a bit silly after a while. The tricorder becomes uber-powerful allowing for hacking, overrides of turrets, deactivating mines, unlocking doors etc etc. A pocket sized R2D2 if you like.

A lot of emphasis has been placed on interaction between Kirk and Spock during missions. Many tasks require both characters participating. When you're playing solo, you simply `ask' your partner for help - and this is easy to do as the game shows you where to stand and what to do. The biggest issue I have with this type of game is that you have limited control over your partner in single player. And the developers have shown the intellect of a two year old in this area. Many `optional' tasks (which the game offers as optional objectives in order to complete missions as a `true' Starfleet officer) require the use of stealth. You cannot control the `stealthyness' of a character that you do not control. This gives you two choices. One you order your partner to stay put at the start of the mission. Meaning you're shorthanded. Or you let them tag along, and subsequently get spotted, resulting in failure of the optional objective.
And of course, the npc partner sometimes also gets stuck. Meaning that after an eternity of creeping around to reach a door, you realise that you need your partner to pry it open together. If you call them to you, they either get spotted and the alarms go off, or they just run on the spot...... Not nice.

The shoot and cover aspect works averagely. Nothing to write home about, except that you do often end up taking cover on the wrong side of a partition, which is not so great when you're trying to hide.

The best or most novel bit for me after the tricorder effect wore off, was the use of `portable' transporters'. Reminded me a bit of `Prey' (that game a looong time ago) where you could walk on ceilings and walls.
It effectively means that you can beam your partner across large gaps or bulkheads in ships and space stations, and that once there, your partner can beam you across the same gap, allowing you both to move around areas that are inaccessible otherwise, an interesting idea that I enjoyed.

However, the overall impression the game made on me was poor. I would not play it again, even to try the alternate route. The game is extremely linear and you are often herded down non-descript passages and caves. The objectives are all very similar and usually involve traversing an open space cautiously, or via access vents/corridors in order to access a terminal or door etc.

My love of the series took a hit with this game. I can only hope that `Into Darkness' will repair the damage done by this unpolished and seemingly unfinished game.
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