Released to coincide with the big screen return of J.J. Abrams’ rebooted Star Trek film series, Star Trek The Video Game is out now for PC, Xbox 360 and Playstation3 and can be ordered from Amazon.co.uk.
Rather than adapt either the 2009 film or this year’s Star Trek Into Darkness, Paramount Pictures and Namco Bandai have crafted a brand new plot which sees the Enterprise crew plunged into a fight with classic series monster the Gorn after a terraforming device opens a rift in space.
The game can be played both in single-player mode, in which you control Kirk with Spock tagging along for the ride, offering tips and helping heal Kirk when injured in battle, or two-player mode in which you each control one of the pair, giving Spock a bigger part in the action.
The story takes place across a number of locations including New Vulcan, space and a Federation outpost but unfortunately the action seldom varies.
Your passage through it involves guiding Kirk and Spock through a series of battles with the Gorn plus Vulcan & Federation types infected by a mind control virus, solving puzzles and completing mini-games.
The last of these are an unfortunate distraction from the main action – in the middle of a mission you’re suddenly asked to ‘hack’ something by matching a series of sound waves or playing what is undeniably a game of ‘snake’ masquerading as the re-routing of a computer system.
Overall the locations are well designed and nicely presented, but sadly there are some weak design points – Kirk and Spock have a habit of waddling around rather than moving fluidly and, while there’s some good character detail, costumes and skin layers look flat and unmoving.
The whole movie cast are back to provide the crew’s voices but the dialogue is often stilted and the action regularly interrupted by cut scenes.
While the sequences aim to give the game a larger, more cinematic feel, they’re too regular and lengthy.
On the plus side the game offers plenty of action, an impressive array of weapons, each with dual fire modes, and nicely fleshes out the Abrams Trek universe.
While we were impressed with the sections of the game we played at the recent press launch, playing the whole game is a less satisfying experience than we’d hoped for.
Star Trek The Video Game feels dated with a strictly linear path through both each mission which compares poorly with modern titles such as the Modern Warfare series.
Our verdict: 3/5