There are a lot of things to take into account when looking at the new Star Trek game co-published by Namco-Bandai and Paramount. The central question is this; Are they looking to make a AAA title that stands on its own rights, or are they going to be content making the worlds first non-shit movie tie in game? Lets delve in together, see if we can find the answer;
So lets begin with the story, Paramount as keeping pretty schtum with details, aside from the hands on we got to play with that had us exploring ships and boosting through space while avoiding intense heat from stars and keeping our spuds untoasted, we know that the plot of game will act as a bridge between the 2009 movie and the soon to be released Star Trek Into Darkness.
This to begin with already calls a few things into question, games that carry on and bridge gaps or set themselves before movies have shown us in the past that it needs to be taken extremely seriously or it will fall on its face. Examples of this would be Stranglehold (the video game sequel to Hard Boiled, extremely repetitive and not well received) and Aliens: Colonial Marines (Don’t...Just don’t).
With a crack team of writers all involved with with the 2009 film and the writing input of one of the writers from the epic God of War series, we’d say it’s going to go well from first impressions. However it is not possible to forget that this is a movie tie in game, regardless of how good the story is, there is a chance that people will dismiss it anyway by the simple virtue of it being a movie tie-in.
The game itself is a third person shooter with aspects of inspiration from modern blockbusters games such as Uncharted, it's main pushing point is co-op, a point which few games manage to do well aside from Army of Two. In this game it is in fact of the most important points, players can choose whether to be Spock or Kirk and each of them is a different experience. Spock is able to do things like mind meld or take on specific other supporting duties via minigames, one example has us healing Kirk’s leg to continue onwards but before getting to the healing bay you must support him. Playing in coop mode has Spock controlling all movement supporting Kirk who handles all of the shooting on the way. Touches like this do bring to light the imprtoance of coop in the overall experience however it does also as the question, if Spock gets mini games and mind melds, what's the point of playing as Kirk?
For all intents and purposes it does appear that Paramount and Namco-Bandai have pulled out all the stops this time around, with a brand new musical score created by the team in charge of the epic score from the 2009 film. Alongside this they have gone to the effort to bring back the entire cast from the film alongside the returning appearance of Leonard Nimoy as Spock Prime. Making full use of the range of voices and characters available they have put together some great voice acting to both help along the story as well as have some pretty funny back and forths between the characters ( tip. Try to make Spock sit in the captains chair, it's hilarious.)
In terms of the graphics altogether it is a decent looking game, but it does have a few flaws. The idea is to make the Enterprise feel like its own entity and have her as her own separate character, you visit locations shown in the film and few you do not. In some places the attention to detail is immaculate, you can see the weave of starfleet uniform fabrics, but in other places detail is at a premium, it feels like in some situations they decided they could pick and choose which places would have decent texture levels. Alongside that while the voice acting is superb on all levels and the story is potentially awesome, the lip syncing is godawful. Just..godawful, alongside that characters do tend to run into each other and through each other, resulting in a graphically mixed version of Spock and kirk, who we called "Spirk"....or alternatively "Kock"...
Jumping is an inexact science in this as is the cover based shooting, however these are all things that can be rectified, just things we noticed about the preview version we had our hands on, there is still time to get things tightened up in time for production.
All in all it it is anybody's guess what this could be, it could be a decent game on its own accord rather than just a movie tie in, after getting a hands on with it and looking at the amount of effort put into it, it's really anybody's game, which is why we find this game so intriguing.
With an original plot that could bridge the gap between a great movie and a potentially great movie, an all star cast, roughly 25 weapons with multiple firing methods, grenades and what appears to be solid co-op, only time will tell if Star Trek makes history as the first non-shit movie game.