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Preview: Star Trek D-A-C

10:00 AM on 04.27.2009 // Hamza CTZ Aziz

The new Star Trek movie starring Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto (best eyebrows in Hollywood) is set to hit theatres next month. To tie in with the movie, Paramount is releasing Star Trek D-A-C for XBLA, PSN and PC.

D-A-C is about the continued battles between the Federation and Romulan fleets with all the ships inspired by the look of the new film. The focus is solely on multiplayer so there’s no real story to it, but it's a fun experience.

Set engines to Warp 10 and boldly go beyond the jump to see what Star Trek D-A-C is all about.

Star Trek D-A-C (Xbox 360, PlayStation3, PC)
Developer: Naked Sky Entertainment
Publisher: Paramount Digital Entertainment
To be released: May (around the time the movie is released
MSRP: 800 Microsoft Points, $10.00

Star Trek D-A-C is all about the multiplayer. Up to twelve people take to the stars and battle it out with six people on the Federation side and six people on the Romulan side. Each side will have access to three ship classes. The ships are all the same on both sides, they just have different looks to match the respective races:
  • The Flagship is the biggest of the three ships. It’s a little slower compared to the other two but packs a bigger punch.
  • The Fighter is in the middle compared to all three ships. It has average shield strength and average weapons strength. You can use the right stick to aim your gun freely all around your ship.
  • The Bomber is your low end ship, but it’s fastest of the three. You can’t fire at anyone directly. Instead, you drop bombs behind your ship that explode after a couple of seconds. It’s best to get right next to your target or try to get them to chase you.
On every map, there are power orbs and special weapons that you can pick up. The power orbs are used to upgrade your weapons and ship. The more you collect, the stronger you get. The special weapons are kind of like Mario Kart weapons in that you can only hold one at a time and the effect won’t last forever. Special weapons include special torpedos, cloaking, invulnerability and a weapon that makes a mirror image of your current ship.

When firing your main gun, your energy meter starts to deplete. It recharges at a slow rate so you have to be mindful of your meter during a battle. If you shoot your load off too fast, you’ll be in the middle of a fire fight with nothing to shoot. Your health meter also recharges so it would be a wise tactic to use your boosting ability to run away from a battle. At the same time, using boost takes energy from your weapons meter so you’ll really have pay attention to the meter at all times.

If you do happen to die, all is not lost. You’ll have the ability to escape your ship via an escape pod. You need to survive for about five seconds while in the escape pod in order to respawn quicker and to keep most of your upgrades. If you get taken out while in your escape pod, you’ll have a longer respawn time and you’ll lose most of your upgrades.

Star Trek D-A-C will see players battling it out in three game modes:
  • Team deathmatch is exactly what it sounds like. First side to 50 kills within ten minutes wins.
  • In Conquest mode, players need to take over the other fleet's base within ten minutes. Each side starts off with one base already locked in their favor and there are two neutral bases in the upper and lower center of the map. Players need to stay within the ring that represents the base for a certain amount of time in order to capture the base. Once one side has captured both neutral points, they can go to the locked enemy base and capture it.
  • In Assault, one team goes on offense and one goes on defense. The offensive team needs to capture four base points scattered across the map. The defensive team needs to stop the offensive team until time is up and the teams switch side. It’s pretty straight forward, but a nice touch to Assault is that the defensive team gets missile turrets and mine fields to help defend the bases.

The maps are rather huge so it's a good thing that you have a star map to refer to in order to make your way across the map. Pressing the map button pulls up the entire sector and you can see in real time who is where and where all the base points are. There will be a total of five unique maps, but there’s no real difference to any of them. It’s more for the visuals and all the maps are very nice to look at.

One very nice touch to the game is that you can bring in AI controlled ships. You can play the game by yourself with 11 AI ships or have the AI fill in if you can’t find enough people to play with online. The AI teammates are pretty smart and they're also pretty brutal when I went against them in my hands-on playthrough.

Overall, the game was a fun experience. My only beef with the game is that there are only three ships to choose from. I like having a wide variety when it comes to these type of games but we may see some DLC down the road that could hopefully add more ship classes. Expect a demo for the game around the time the game is released too. Photo Gallery: (11 images)
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