Star Trek Online

I highly reccomend this game, at least to any Star Trek (or maybe space simulator) fans. I had heard this game was one to miss, so I didn’t try it for a long time, even when it was free. Oh, how much time I wasted… What this game does that is rare, albeit not unique, is feels like Star Trek. The attention to detail is, for me, what makes it.

2012-02-15_00001

My second ship, the I.S.S. Jormangandf. It was meant to be U.S.S Jormangarndr, but the U and the R got cut off, as you can see.

A common complaint I heard was that the basic combat is lame. I actually found the space combat to be very tactical. The basic difficulty setting feels true to the show, but I recommend playing it on the next up. This means that the game actually provides some challenge. You need to think about how to position your ship, so that no shield facing (of which there are four) is worn down so much that your hull is exposed. Phasers are most effective against shields and torpedos are effective against the hull. There are a variety of different types of weapons, all based on things from the show. You move in a 3D space, although you’re limited by having to be the “right” way up. I was pleasantly surprised to find that ships handle like they should, with a bulky starship, like the Enterprise D laboriously heaving itself about while science ships or tactical ships like the Defiant can skip about much more fluently.

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Battle Damage on a Defiant class.

The ground combat is completely missable. In fact, it often becomes simply annoying in the higher difficulty. You can play it top down like an MMO, or from an over-the-shoulder view like a third-person shooter. It’s important to note, however, that your fire doesn’t go where you aim, but auto-locks to the enemy you’re targeting.

The only thing I can complain about aesthetically is the faces. While they’re pleasantly stylised for humans, many of the alien races just look like humans with some lame retexturing, and I found this very jarring, breaking any immersion I felt. Everything else looks like it should, especially the ships.

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A Klingon Bird of Prey about to jump to warp.

The best thing I can say about this game is that if you like Star Trek, it’s probably worth checking out. On the surface, it’s a fairly standard MMO, although the ship movement adds a distinguishing game play element. For fans of Star Trek: Bridge Commander or its Kobayashi-Maru mod, this is the closest I’ve come to feeling like a Starfleet captain since I stopped playing that game.

I know I’ve skipped some things so if you want to know anything about the game, ask me in the comments and I’ll tell you as best I remember.

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