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Womulans! photo
Womulans!

Star Trek Online adds a new preorder ship, goofy clothes


Spiffy combining Warbirds and head-cases
May 16
// Josh Tolentino
Star Trek Online is less than a week out from its latest big free content update, Legacy of Romulus, which, as may be expected, will introduce the playable Romulan Republic faction and a new line of Romulan Warbirds...

Review: Star Trek: The Video Game

Apr 30 // Ian Bonds
Star Trek: The Video Game (PlayStation 3, PC, Xbox 360 [reviewed])Developer: Digital ExtremesPublisher: Paramount Pictures, Namco Bandai GamesReleased: April 23, 2013MSRP: $59.99 Set between the events of the two films, Star Trek: The Video Game pits the crew of the Enterprise, led by Captain James T. Kirk and his first officer Spock, on a mission to stop an alien race from stealing a device and using its power to control the universe. You know, no big deal. The device itself, called Helios, was being used to terraform a planet into New Vulcan after the events of the first film left the Vulcans without a homeworld. The Gorn, an alien race from the classic TV series, steal the Genesis dev...er, the Helios device in order to destroy rather than create. Players take the roles of Kirk and Spock, either in single-player or co-op, to stop them. Ok, so the plotline may be a little familiar to fans of the television and film series, but it's a decent one, and should provide the player with some epic set pieces as they race across space, right? Sadly, one of the first failings with this title is just how boring the game is. Standard third-person shooter rules apply; shoot from the hip or down iron sights, use cover, leap, and climb. It's all typical fare, sure, but it's a little too typical. We've seen it all before in other games, and in those cases, it plays better. For example, the shooter mechanics, while competent at best, are offset by the characters' jerky movements. The slightest tap on an analog stick send your crewman running at a brisk pace, and lining up a shot tends to be an exercise in patience. The way the camera jerks around with every phaser blast recoil is also a bit grating on the eyes. There's at least a decent variety of weapons, and each features a standard and secondary fire function, such as your starting phaser having both a kill and stun function, or the arc blaster having a charged shot. The cover mechanics are a total joke, however, as switching from one spot to another, despite an on-screen button suggestion, never worked once. Instead of sliding or rolling to the next cover, my character would simply release from the cover and roll away in whatever direction it wanted. The controls for the rest of the game are even worse, as platforming is all but broken entirely. Numerous times I have lept to my doom while trying desperately to grasp a ledge to climb up from a chasm. Other times, I felt as though I would fall through a vent opening, only to catch myself on the edge and hang there a bit, looking stupid. While just attempting to move my character to the edge of the ledge to see if there was a jump I could even attempt, he dashed into the abyss and immediately fell to his death. Don't even get me started on the swimming, which will have you throwing your controller in anger -- that is, if you can tolerate the game long enough to make it to the one mission it's featured in. For the majority of the game you'll find yourself using the tricorder, your handheld scanning device that can reveal hidden pathways, activate panels, and uncover all sorts of plot devices to move the story forward. Usually, it's used for hacking doors or sentry units, and the mini-games involved are anything but intuitive as they present the puzzle before you and say "have at it!" Luckily, there are really only three puzzle types, so once you've figured them out, you'll see them over and over again and solve them with ease, save for the one co-op puzzle. For a co-op title, you'd think there'd be a steady stream of action or co-op opportunities to influence gamers to want to play cooperatively. Here, however, it's reduced to a puzzle where both players attempt to fiddle with a dial (one for each player) in order to match a wave pattern to unlock whatever it's preventing you from accessing. Outside of that, be prepared to ask your partner to help you pry open a lot of doors, or boost you up to higher ground. Honestly, for the first few minutes of the game, I wondered why the included co-op at all, when all Spock did was hold a door open for me a few times while I squeezed through the opening. Speaking of your partner, by now I'm sure you've heard of the issues there is with co-op on the PC version. Luckily -- and I use the word loosely -- I didn't have that issue on Xbox. I didn't play too many matches online, but connecting was fairly easy, though the other players seemed to have as many issues with the control as I did. For most of the game, however, I played with the computer operating my partner character, and we'll just say the AI is not nearly as smart as Spock is. While I didn't have any game-breaking issues where my character killed himself or it wouldn't allow me to go on, I did have one scenario where I had to reload a checkpoint because Spock just stood in place for no reason, and no amount of using the tricorder to give him an order of where to move to would work. Such insubordination. The rest of the time, though, Spock would either be blocking doors, or I'd suddenly be able to run right through him. The majority of the time, Spock was completely intangible, as I passed through him like so much Taco Bell. In fact, he was so poorly programmed that he could stand in full view of enemy characters during stealth sequences and not be seen. While this certainly helped me sneak around a bit, it was laughably terrible. Such graphical hiccups are all over this game. While the overall look of the game is fair, certain character models don't quite look right, as lip sync and facial movements give a creepy-doll horror show as their jaws unhinge to say three syllables. Cut scenes are a mixed bag, with some actor scans looking very well done, while others seemed to badly Photoshop the actor's face onto a badly rendered 3D body. The Gorn character models for their appearance in the new Universe version of Trek are pretty lame as they now look like generic dinosaur and lizard people. Not that the '60s TV show was much better with its giant rubber-headed costume, but these character models are bland, and they're pretty much the only enemies you see throughout the entire game (with a few minor exceptions). One nice touch is that they got the entire main cast of the reboot to reprise their characters. Simon Pegg as Scotty and Karl Urban as McCoy have some great bits of dialogue, and while the script isn't the strongest, it does get the characterization down; both of these roles provide some much-needed comic relief. The sound is also decent, using the score of the first film. But if I hear that echoing "ping" that signifies an enemy has spotted me one more time, I'm going to go "Amok Time" on someone. As predicted, this is yet another movie tie-in game that feels rushed and incomplete. Oddly, it has nothing to do with the plot of the upcoming film, so why it was rushed to coincide only proves it was made merely to cash-in on the popularity right at the film's release. With as many mechanics that it borrows from other titles, and how poorly it implements them, it should be beamed directly into the trash compactor. Sloppy, glitchy controls and graphics, tedious gameplay, and spotty co-op makes for one adventure you'll wish would boldly go away. It's dumb, Jim.
Star Trek review photo
Boldly, no.
As a life-long Star Trek fan, I was skeptical about the reboot. However, my worries were unfounded as the 2009 film quickly became one of my favorites in the series, and it's attention to what came before while paving a new p...

Steam issues photo
Steam issues

Riptide and Star Trek co-op problems related to Steam


It's been a rough week for co-op
Apr 27
// Fraser Brown
You've just picked up a game to play with your mates, and you're appropriately excited. Maybe it's Dead Island: Riptide, and you're preparing to slaughter a million zombies all in the name of good fun, or perhaps you're getti...
New releases photo
New releases

New releases: Don't Starve will be the end of you


Plus Dead Island: Riptide, Star Trek, StarDrive, and Monaco
Apr 22
// Fraser Brown
I'm a bit late with this week's new releases, as I'm still recovering from my wee sister's wedding, where I wracked up an ungodly bar bill. Your sympathy and donations will be greatly appreciated.  It's a busy week, and...

Star Trek on PC is broken as f*ck!

Apr 21 // Jim Sterling
Most insultingly of all, the game's official PR channels have decided to try and diminish the problems of those affected, claiming "only a fraction" of users have experienced problems. When that "fraction" seems to include anybody attempting to review the thing and loads of customers, I don't think we're dealing with a tiny handful.  Even if it were the case, having a "tiny fraction" of users unable to play the game's only real draw is fucking shameful, and absolutely nothing to boast about. It especially doesn't help when a developer for the game, Kenneth Lindenbaum, is posting on the Steam forums that it works fine for him and there isn't a problem.  And this is all before we get into the accusations of the development team flooding Metacritic with fake positive user reviews. While it promises to be looking into the issues, Digital Extremes has so far displayed a lackluster and slow response to complaints, as well as a bad attitude it's in no position to have.  So yes, Star Trek for PC is broken, unable to do what it advertised itself as doing. We'll have a review coming from Ian Bonds, but my personal recommendation is to ignore this crude waste of time.  You had one job. One.
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The sole reason the game exists ... doesn't work
The latest Star Trek release has its fair share of problems -- chief among them being that it's kind of boring -- but PC users are in for an altogether more shocking problem. The online co-op, arguably the entire point of th...

Womulans! photo
Womulans!

Star Trek Online decloaks Legacy Packs for its expansion


Now you too can 'buy' Star Trek Online's free expansion
Apr 18
// Josh Tolentino
We're just about a month out until Star Trek Online gets a bunch of funny-foreheaded Vulcans stuffed into it for its Legacy of Romulus expansion, which is set to debut a whole new faction to step into the 25th century. ...
Star Trek video photo
Star Trek video

William Shatner fights a lizard for Star Trek: The Game


Gorn but not forgotten
Mar 30
// Fraser Brown
It may be Chris Pine's James T. Kirk who will face off against the reptilian Gorn in the upcoming Star Trek: The Game, but it was William Shatner who first fought these scaly buggers back in Star Trek: The Original Series. S...

GDC: Digital Extremes' Star Trek isn't looking too hot

Mar 26 // Abel Girmay
Star Trek: The Game (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)Developer: Digital ExtremesPublisher: Namco Bandai, Paramount StudiosRelease: April 23, 2013 Like Army of Two, 2013's Star Trek is built around co-op play. You can solo it of course, but playing with a human partner is ideal. This comes out in the writing quite a bit, with no shortage of friendly banter between the action-happy, smart-mouthed Kirk and the calm, calculated Spock. Both characters see Chris Pine and Zack Quinto reprise their respective roles, as does the remainder of the USS Enterprise crew. Simon Pegg is Scotty, Zoe Saldana is Uhura, and so on. The remainder of Star Trek's presentation is getting the same TLC, with the films' composer Michael Giacchino returning to lead a 100-piece orchestra for the score, and God of War series writer Marianne Krawczyk penning the script. If one thing is clear, it's that Star Trek is certainly not lacking for production values. More than an extra gun, you and your partner are actually reliant on each other, and in more ways than your help-me-open-this-door segments -- though there are plenty of those too. In a GDC demo, I found myself regularly splitting up from my partner, with the actions happening on one end affecting the other. Playing as Kirk, one of the early platforming segments had me racing to the end in order to disable a trap laser my Spock partner had to dodge. We've seen these sorts of co-op moments before, and at the very least they work just as well here. Not working quite so well are the moment-to-moment shooting and platforming. Don't get me wrong its all functional, just not particularly refined. With the exception of some areas that offer two ways to reach an objective, presumably for convenience as you have to wait for your partner to make it across before you can start, the platforming is completely linear. That on its own is not a bad thing, but it's almost funny when the way forward is highlighted by black-and-yellow caution stripes. With the exception of a few hidden paths, literally every claimable ledge was highlighted by these caution stripes. In this particular demo, which took place on a rapidly decaying space station, it became almost comedic as I would often walk into a room, have the floor explode and upended right in front of me, and see black-and-yellow stripes neatly adorned across the scalable rubble. Immersion breaking aside, there doesn't seem to be a great sense of momentum or weight to the platforming, with jumps that feel like canned animations rather than fluid movements. Shooting feels similarly rudimentary in places with aiming that doesn't feel particularity smooth. That grievance aside, the gunplay features some level of variety with 25 different weapons, each with an alternate fire. And yes, there is a phaser, and you can set it to stun or kill. Weapons are also upgradable with XP, accrued from finding collectibles among other actions, improving damage recharge speed and the like. So while Star Trek takes a lot of cues from the better games in the action-adventure genre, I can't honestly hold out hope that they will meld well for this specific title.
Star Trek photo
Beam me up, Sc--actually, no rush
Take a beloved franchise like Star Trek, influences from the heavier hitters in a genre, and you can't go too wrong, right? Well that final verdict of course remains to be seen, but I can't say Digital Extremes' Star Trek makes a good case for itself.

Womulans! photo
Womulans!

Star Trek Online introduces Romulans in its May expansion


A third faction warps in
Mar 21
// Josh Tolentino
Big news for Star Trek fans of the MMO-playing persuasion, as Cryptic have decloaked the next big update to Star Trek Online. Titled "Legacy of Romulus", it's pretty much the largest single expansion since the game went Free...
Star Trek game trailer photo
Star Trek game trailer

See how the new Star Trek game was made


The 'ultimate co-op experience' detailed
Feb 15
// Chris Carter
Yep, that Star Trek game is a thing, and now you can see how the game came to life in this new video. Brian Miller of Paramount Pictures goes over a few principles, like the ideologies behind Kirk and Spock's play-styles, as...
Star Trek movie game photo
Star Trek movie game

The Star Trek film tie-in game is still a thing


Coming in April
Feb 12
// Chris Carter
Yep, that Star Trek game is still happening, and a new trailer has surfaced, showing off some gameplay and in-game visuals. More or less, it's looking like a Mass Effect clone, and since anything substantial hasn't really be...
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Star Trek Online teases stuff for May, probably Romulans


At least there's no suspense
Feb 02
// Josh Tolentino
Star Trek Online may have just barely begun celebrating its third birthday with free spaceships and fan-made trailers, but Cryptic aren't about to stop trying to give people reasons to check out their free-to-play Trek t...
Star Trek Online photo
Star Trek Online

Fan makes third-anniversary trailer for Star Trek Online


Beam me up, Scotty!
Feb 01
// Joshua Derocher
YouTube user StoLilyGarrett is a big fan of Star Trek Online. So much of a fan that he has made his own trailer for each anniversary of the game. He makes these very nice-looking trailers using only in-game footage. Eve...
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Star Trek Online celebrating 3rd birthday with free ship


Starships up the wazoo
Jan 31
// Josh Tolentino
Time really does fly (in space), seeing as Cryptic's Star Trek Online MMO celebrates its third anniversary starting tomorrow, January 31st. As is customary for the genre, they're holding a big ol' party to commemorate t...
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Star Trek The Video Game dated: April 23, 2013


Box art revealed
Dec 20
// Dale North
We finally have a solid date for Star Trek The Video Game: April 23, 2013, coming to Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. Namco Bandai says that the game will be available for pre-orders at national retailers starting tomorrow. If you're no...
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gamescom: This Star Trek trailer reintroduces the Gorn


Aug 14
// Jordan Devore
While it had been previously announced that the Gorn would be what Spock and Kirk get to shoot at in Digital Extremes' Star Trek, this isn't what I was expecting. Can you blame me? This game, due out early next year, picks u...
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New Star Trek Online update live, brings player starbases


Jul 17
// Josh Tolentino
Remember when Cryptic and Perfect World told you about their upcoming "Season 6" update to Star Trek Online? No? Well, it's up now, they've got a trailer to tell you all about it. In case you can't load it, the update's pret...
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E3: Star Trek hands-off event was NOT like Disney World


Jun 07
// Tony Ponce
It's kind of unfair to compare Star Trek to Star Wars 1313, and I know I'm only furthering the Star Wars vs. Star Trek rivalry, but there's no way I could not think about my hands-off LucasArts session. Whereas the Star Wars ...
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The Greatest Chest Bump of all time


Jun 07
// Jonathan Holmes
I love your smile.
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E3: Tag team Gorn in Star Trek


Jun 05
// Fraser Brown
There are a lot of good antagonists in the Star Trek universe, most notably the Klingon Empire and the Borg Collective. But ever since William Shatner dodged polystyrene rocks being thrown by a man in a lizard suit, people ha...
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Making a new home in Star Trek Online


May 23
// Fraser Brown
Star Trek Online's episodic additions are one aspect of the game that's generally been done right, especially thanks to player feedback. The latest series, Season Six: Under Siege, is bringing a new story, new equipment and m...
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Cryptic discovers a security breach over a year old


Apr 26
// Fraser Brown
Cryptic Studios informed Champions Online and Star Trek Online customers of a security breach today. Although Cryptic only just became aware of the breach, it actually happened in December 2010. Usernames, handles and encrypt...

Preview: Star Trek is shaping up to be something special

Apr 17 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
Star Trek (PC [Demoed], PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)Developer: Digital ExtremesPublisher: Namco Bandai Games Paramount Digital EntertainmentRelease: Q1 2013 Digital Extremes started work on Star Trek over two years ago with the goal of making a great triple A rated game. The studio has been working hand-in-hand with Paramount Studios whom have literally opened up the Star Trek vaults to them, granting access to every department that worked on the movie to create an authentic Star Trek feel. JJ Abram's Bad Robot has been close to the development process as well, crafting a unique and original storyline. Last, but certainly not least, Marianne Krawczyk, one of the main writers of the God of War series, rounds out the team behind the project. Namco began the live gameplay presentation by displaying the asymmetrical co-op experience with two giant projector screen, one displaying Captain Kirk's perspective and the other Spock's. A cool thing to note here first was that both screens were displayed in 3D through NVIDIA's NVision technology simultaneously. We were getting two different perspectives from the campaign in 3D at the same time, and it was looking pretty damn good. The demo begins with Kirk and Spock returning from an away mission to see the Enterprise ensnared by weird energy tendrils. No one is responding to hails, so the duo dive out of their away ship and hurdle towards the Enterprise in space. This section reminded me a lot of Dead Space 2's zero-g areas as the pair had to avoid space debris until they made it into the ship.  Once in, the duo discovers strange alien devices attached all around the ship and a deadly toxin that has killed all that it's infected. Here, Digital Extremes showed off the Tricorder and how it's been expanded for game as it will convey gameplay objectives and be used as a game mechanic. In this case, Spock used the Tricorder to scan the corpse of a red shirt to discover the toxin. While this is a co-op experience, Steve Sinclair, Creative Director at Digital Extremes, stressed each character offers a different, yet complementary perspective. Later on, Digital Extremes' Sheldon Carter compared the exploration as "akin to Metroid Prime" in the ways you can go about the environment with each character. Next we got to see the difference between Kirk and Spock's weaponry. The weapons extend beyond just a phaser, and are designed to fit the personality of each character. Kirk's phaser, for instance, evokes the feeling of a revolver as you switch between kill and stun modes. Spock was utilizing a Vulcan Repeating Cannon, and it's alternative fire can put enemies in a stasis causing the victim to be clueless as to what just happened to them. Weapons also have co-op features associated to them. Later we see Kirk holding onto a deflector shield that can be used to attack enemies once Spock fires on the shield to charge it up. Weapons gain experience points as well, so the more you use them the more upgrades are unlocked. It's definitely interesting how the developers are taking on the co-op experience here. You can of course play the game by yourself, but that means the AI will be in control of the other character. Digital Extremes told us they're putting in a lot of effort into the AI, but we'll see how that turns out in the final product. I hate AI controlled co-op allies, so it's good to know there will be seamless drop in/drop out co-op, and a splitscreen option as well. Further into the demo, the pair make their way into the shuttle bay where a cutscene kicks in. The duo are trying to listen to a distress signal, but are cut off when the unknown enemy forces drop in for a surprise attack. The cutscenes were said to be interactive and the player can fire upon the enemy during this scene. Note that the enemies on display here were just placeholders and the big reveal is being saved for E3. As Kirk takes cover behind some boxes, Spock manages to grab onto an enemy and use his special Mindmeld attack, thus causing the enemy to fight on the their side. It's at this point that Kirk's leg gets hit with that toxin, preventing him from walking. Spock now has to carry Kirk to the Medbay, so while Spock is moving it's up to Kirk to shoot at the enemies along the way. Once in the Medbay, Kirk is laid out on a table where he has to continue firing at the intruders and the Spock player must use a laser device to exterminate the viruses in Kirk's leg in a little mini-game of sorts. The heroes then fight a little bit longer before getting captured and taken to the bridge where the enemy forces demand Kirk hand over control of the Enterprise. Kirk starts messing with the control panel, but unbeknownst to the enemy, Kirk actually summons the away ship from the beginning of demo to crash right into the bridge. The impact causes the bridge to break apart, sucking out the bad guys, and potentially our heroes, as the screen fades to black. We got only a small taste of just how Star Trek is shaping out. During a Q&A segment, questions such as music, controlling the Enterprise ship itself, whether the actors from the film would voice the characters and even if the game would be appearing on the Wii U were asked. Nothing was confirmed nor denied, with Paramount and Digital Extremes stating that there will be some big reveals at E3 later this year. Marianne Krawczyk
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The stigma of bad videogame tie-ins with movie franchises is very hard to overcome. Often rushed to coincide with the corresponding film's release, movie based games almost always suck. So you'll have to forgive me for initi...

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Captain's Log: Tribbles drank all of my Earl Grey


Mar 13
// Fraser Brown
Despite its rough development, back in the beginning of 2010 I really did have high hopes for Star Trek Online. Lots of customization, being able to fight the Borg, playing a Klingon, I was giddy with anticipation. Then it la...
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Namco Bandai to co-publish Digital Extremes' Star Trek


Feb 10
// Jordan Devore
Hot off The Darkness II, it's been announced that Namco Bandai has signed with Paramount Pictures to co-publish and distribute the upcoming Star Trek in development at Digital Extremes for Xbox 360, PC, and PlayStation 3. Thi...
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Star Trek Online turns 2, offers you the next Enterprise


Feb 02
// Josh Tolentino
Yeah, you read that right, nerds: The next starship Enterprise (registry code NCC-1701-F). Well, not the Enterprise itself, but an Odyssey-class Federation cruiser, the same model as the Enterprise-F. Players who sh...
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Star Trek Online is now free and the Ferengi are dismayed


Jan 17
// Fraser Brown
As of today, trekking through the stars has become considerably cheaper, it's free actually. Cryptic Studios' Star Trek Online has officially shifted to a free-to-play model. You can download it now from Steam or STO's websi...
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Star Trek Online free-to-play early access underway


Jan 09
// Patrick Hancock
Surprising approximately no one, Star Trek Online announced last year that it was making the jump to free-to-play. Players with a current or past subscription have had access to the new model since January 5th, while everyone...
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Star Trek Online going free-to-play January 17th, 2012


Nov 11
// Brett Zeidler
As reported a couple months ago Star Trek Online is still on track to becoming free-to-play. It's set to make the jump January 17th, 2012. It'll soon be joining the ranks among DC Universe Online, Lord of the Rings Online, Su...






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