So, the official open beta for Star Trek Online came out last week. I tried and failed to pick up a beta key from several sources, and so originally didn’t really pay much attention to it.
But then, as the week progressed, as a lot of friends online had picked it up (through beta keys or just by pre-ordering), I started to hear a lot of good things about it.
After several chat sessions on IM and forums, I figured what the heck, and on Friday, pre-ordered it. I figured at the very least, even if I hated it, I’d be helping to continue currying some interest in the Star Trek games franchise. Since my little games group and I have been responsible for one of the only other Trek-based roleplaying experiences around, I was going in with a very stern view on the entire thing.
So yeah, as far as the beta goes, Star Trek Online is a good game.
Ever since it was announced, I was always scared that this would be the nail in the coffin that would totally kill Star Trek games for all time, but I think this one just might make it.
So when you start the game, you get to design a character, being able to choose from an impressive list of Star Trek races (I made a human male, named Kulhane of course. XD). Once the character is ready, you can name your ship (The Federation starship Pwnage XD). Then, in a reeeally cheesy turn of events, after the tutorial, you become the commanding officer of this ship, at the ripe old rank of ensign (Though I suppose trying to explain that would be nearly impossible).
And once you gained control of the ship, you can then choose to customize it. In a really interesting concept, instead of having a list of static ships to choose from, you can mix and match bits and pieces of 3 separate ships to kitbash together your own ship. Not the most Trek canon of all things, but it’s also great not seeing the exact same ships flying around.
Finally, once you have your ship, it’s basically a standard MMO model… you can form teams, complete missions, participate in PvP as well as just hang out at the various locations of Trek.
In any case, the dudes over at Cryptic have definitely done their homework when it comes to Trek canon, something I’m very glad to see. Since it’s set in the future of the TV shows, I’m also glad to see that they’ve also used that fact to extend certain events from the show without deviating too dramatically (Though 8472 being enemies of the Federation does have me confused a bit, but it is at least feasible from the events of the show). There are a few instances where they’ve had to deviate from the canon a bit, but I believe that’s primarily for the benefit of improving gameplay, so I’ll let that slide. And overall, the quality of the graphics for such an expansive game have blown me away.
On that note, there are a few things I don’t like about. Mainly that some of the graphical elements seem really cartoony (Like the crazy size of doors on the ships XD) and the handling and speed of the ships. It usually takes a pretty long, uneventful time to get from one place to another… and this can be compounded by the ships extremely slow turning speeds too. Hopefully this is just because my ship is the starter one, but I guess we’ll find out.
In any case, I had a great time this weekend playing Star Trek Online with my friends… having made it to level 8 by the end of it. This is my first-ever purchased MMORPG, so given my total lack of experience, I’m very curious to see how this goes. One of my main concerns is the game sucks me in and I become one of those crazy MMO addicts, so I would like to emphasize that I’m looking out for that…
And I almost forgot… this is the beta. The finished version comes out on Feb 2. Can’t wait!
- Published January 18, 2010
- Categories Video Games