When you talk about Sci-Fi two franchises spring to mind - Star Wars and Star Trek. Each has their own fan base, but while Star Wars fans predominantly live of six feature films, Star Trek fans have a swag of eleven films to enjoy and five live-action TV series. Personally I love both franchises, but probably lean towards Star Trek given the amount of content available.
The 2000s were some lean years for Star Trek fans however with Star Trek: Enterprise failing to catch on as a TV series and years without new content. Then in 2009 J.J. Abrams released his rebooted Star Trek film. Could new actors replaced classics such as Kirk, Spock, Bones? Well yes they did, and it was a fantastic film. With the sequel due in cinemas in May 2013, this video game is being launched at just the right time.
Visuals in this game look impressive.
There are several things that make the Star Trek video game so exciting. First of all it's an original story written by Marianne Krawczyk (who wrote God of War II) in conjunction with Alex Kurtzman and Bob Orci, that takes place after the events of the 2009 feature film, but before the events of the one due soon.
As such, it's a filler story between the two in which Kirk and Spock answer a distress call from a star base being torn apart by a binary star. On the star base Kirk and Spock meet a female Vulcan scientist named TíMar, the captain of the space station and childhood friend of Spock. While on the ship they learn about the Vulcan race trying to rebuild their civilization New Vulcan, a planet that orbits a binary star, upon which they encounter the great Vulcan leader Surok who is a lone survivor following an attack by a race known as the Gorn.
Alien worlds look superbly detailed in Star Trek.
With a development cycle that has lasted around three years, Star Trek isn't a game that has been rushed to market, although as we've seen with a certain Sega licensed shooter of late, even a six year development cycle on a game doesn't help sometimes. Still, Digital Extremes are a developer that seems to output solid titles, their last being The Darkness 2 and with everyone onboard to make this game great - from the filmmakers, to the studios, to the scriptwriters, visual effects and sound companies - everything is in place to get this right.
The game is played through the eyes of Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock (Zachary Quinto) as either single player or in co-op mode (although we're unsure if it's online or split-screen) and the developers have taken considerable time in ensuring each character has a different "style". Kirk has the ability to call in airstrikes for instance while Spock has abilities such as the mind meld.
While many of the early screens and trailers point to an action/shooter styled game the developers are keen to stress that there are also elements of exploration and adventure thrown in. We have also seen in previews a sequence where you take control of the U.S.S. Enterprise in space and enter a space shooter not unlike those classic Wing Commander or X-Wing games - albeit in much prettier form!
Digital Extremes have recreated much of the Enterprise space ship which will be instantly recognisable to fans of the series, however the game allows you to explore even more of the ship never seen before including Turbo Lift Shafts or Crew Quarters. Naturally the game will feature plenty of other new locations from planets, to space stations to explore as well.
Supporting 3DTV's (if you so choose) this game is one which should impress Star Trek fans for its attention to detail. Sure, it's not as gorgeous to look at as some other big titles, but the characters are instantly recognisable, the locations look varied, but they remain authentic to their big screen counterparts (primarily the U.S.S. Enterprise). Indeed even the lighting (lens flares we're looking at you) is reminiscent of the recent film(s) and indeed the game makers referred to ILM to ensure authenticity.
Spock attempts to escape an explosion.
Sound too is going to play a big part in the game and with the actors from the film providing voiceovers it will help the game tie into the new universe. The developers have also sought assistance from Custom Design who are working on the sound effects for the feature film while composer Michael Giacchino who has worked on the two J.J. Abrams feature films.
Apparently this game was only green lit when Chris Pine and Zachery Quinto agreed to provide their likenesses and voices to the game - and that's something we wholeheartedly agree with. There's no point pushing out something that is half-baked, it's all or nothing and from what we've seen of the game this is something which Star Trek fans will love. Expect a release in late April, a few weeks before the new film, Star Trek Into Darkness hits cinemas.
Below is the "Making The Game: The Ultimate Co-Op Experience Trailer for Star Trek.