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Star Trek Review

Publisher: Namco Bandai
Developer: Digital Extremes
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
UK Price: £27.69
US Price: $59.99

This year has been great for re-learning basic rules in how to determine the quality of a game before it’s released. Slowly we’re reminded to be sceptical of anything that’s licensed on an existing property and especially so if it’s being put out to coincide with the return of an on-screen counterpart. We were spoiled by Arkham Asylum and the like, showing us what happens when you handle a property with the utmost reverence and have it play to it’s strengths. Now we’re seeing what happens when care and attention aren’t as important as ensuring a timely release.

Star Trek Review
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Star Trek appears a rushed and under-budgeted race to the finish in an attempt to be sure it’s out around the same time as the the new film, Start Trek Into Darkness. It’s a cover-based shooter with some novel ideas and attempts to be slightly more, but is limited by a lack of polish.

Set slightly before the events of the new film, with the only connective tie being a throwaway line at the end informing players they’ve been called toward a new mission (in theatres now), Star Trek puts players into the brightly coloured shirts of Chris Pine’s Captain Kirk or Zachary Quinto’s Spock as they try to undermine the universe conquering threat of The Gorn. Whichever iconic character you don’t choose to inhabit will either follow you as an AI or can be controlled by a Co-op partner.

Star Trek Review
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There’s a decent enough graphical representation of each of the two figures, provided they aren’t animated. If their faces are entirely still it’s a decent enough likeness, but any motion at all leaves them so corpse-like it’s as if this is a tie-in with Weekend At Bernie's instead of the beloved Sci-Fi series. At the very least The Starship Enterprise, which makes several appearances, is well represented. Texture quality isn’t one of Star Trek’s slip-ups, it’s failing to better take advantage of it’s few unique qualities and sacrificing important hallmarks of a completed game.

Star Trek Review
Click to enlarge

For the most part Star Trek is a Gears Of War-esque shooter. You take cover to avoid being hurt and pop out to shoot your assailants. There’s a variety of weapons in the game that (mostly) have a secondary attack on the other shoulder button. The shotgun-substitute also serves as a grenade launcher, the rifle-like phaser has a regular fire and produces a shield. It does offer ability to try different tactics, but mostly you’ll use the standard attack as the game’s not overwhelmingly difficult.