Star Trek Resurgence review
Screenshot by Destructoid

Review: Star Trek Resurgence

Star Trek Resurgence is a success in terms of telling an engaging story, but like past narrative games of its type, the game suffers from technical hiccups. You may not want to be beamed up right away.

Star Trek Resurgence is Resolute

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Captain’s Log: Star Trek Resurgence succeeds at telling a gripping story, like many episodes of the long-running series. However, in this game, you’re taking on the important role of First Officer Jara and Petty Officer Carter on the U.S.S. Resolute. You’ll make impactful decisions, solve mysteries, and truly think on your feet. It’s exhilarating as a casual Star Trek fan, but the game does suffer from annoying bugs that detract from the experience.

Shields up in Star Trek Resurgence
Screenshot by Destructoid

Star Trek Resurgence (PS5 [reviewed],  PC, Xbox Series X/S)
Developer: Dramatic Labs
Publisher: Epic Games
Released: May 23, 2023
MSRP: $39.99

A logical storyline

Over 20 former Telltale staffers—including writers, developers, designers, artists, and producers—are involved in Star Trek Resurgenceand it’s clear their story-forward gameplay focus hasn’t changed one bit. You’re playing as two separate characters—Petty Office Carter and First Office Jara, second in line to the Captain—who have alternate missions throughout the narrative. Both of them have their own relationships they nurture or ruin as we’ve seen from Telltale games in the past. Thankfully, the vague meme of “blank will remember that” is replaced. Instead, there’s a detailed explanation of each character’s feelings toward your actions. It’s a somewhat evolved form of the tried and true Telltale formula.

The narrative revolves around Jara and Carter as they face a new ancient threat. The game constantly switches between the characters as the plot moves on with each chapter. I won’t go into spoilers, but the U.S.S. Resolute faces much more than a diplomatic matter between the Alydians and the Hotari, who are fighting over a valuable resource called Deurideum. As the plot continues, there are shocking mysteries you’ll discover that lead to a grand threat to the galaxy. The U.S.S. Resolute and its crew will be fighting for their lives. Carter wants to protect his dear friends, while Jara hopes to maintain a steady ship that’s lost so many lives before her tenure.

Difficult decisions

While I’d like more focus on side characters as the series does, the personalities truly shine through. The Vulcan Chovak is frustratingly hard to impress, while Captain Solano is more selfish and wants to preserve his own career over the crew.

Like any other Telltale narrative game, the new studio Dramatic Labs makes your decisions difficult. Each decision carries weight on the characters surrounding Jara and Carter. You’ll impress one character, and the other will become upset by your actions. They’ll also reference their issues or successes from your past judgment later on. Your decisions matter, and trust is a major factor in the game. As I reached the climax, I felt my choices mattered, and tension hung over me as I was forced to choose. The stakes of your decisions actually shocked me; it’s a matter of life and death for your crew.

A slow start

Unfortunately, the plot is somewhat slow and meandering during the first quarter of the game as it dives into the conflict between the Alydians and Hotari. Trekkies will enjoy the deep-dive science found in the sci-fi genre. However, the pace was slow until the antagonist showed their face. It gives a bad first impression, but as the story continues, the riveting plot thickens. This is thanks in part to the excellent voice cast and the well-thought-out script.

As a casual Star Trek fan, there were some terms I didn’t understand. It doesn’t overall hurt the narrative, but it would have been helpful to have some sort of encyclopedia about the races or a character bio of each person you meet.

Something that could be worked on in a potential sequel is the ability to casually chat with your crew members. We go through the basics with each character’s backstory, but I’d like to know more about Commander Westbrook or Lieutenant Bedrosian, for example. They weren’t developed enough for me to care.

Almost a Star Trek simulator

Shuttle piloting in Star Trek Resurgence
Screenshot by Destructoid

Many aspects of being a Starfleet First Officer and Petty Officer are included in this game. You’ll be scanning objects with your handy Tricorder, flying a shuttle, and, of course, setting your phaser to stun as you shoot down enemies, among other activities. There’s a certain attention to detail to each object in the game, and the Tricorder being used in puzzle segments is genius. As you’re scanning, you’re revealing hints about the plot and lore of these worlds.

It’s cool to interact with the  U.S.S Resolute’s functionality, like the transporter, and even harness technology from other ships. When you go out exploring each world, it’s a rush, especially if you’re a Star Trek fan. Dramatic Labs is even faithful to all of the ship and gadget sounds, and the visual aesthetics match the timeline this game is set in.

There is one particular mini-game that isn’t explained well. At a few points in the game, you have to configure the Buffer Integrity, Signal Harmonics, and Pattern Gain to increase power. Unfortunately, the bars keep moving abruptly, reducing the power meter. For many minutes, I was so confused until I realized that the waves inside the bar determine the wavelength of your power bars. This wasn’t explained at all, leading to much frustration.

In addition, flying a shuttle is boring. These sections last too long, and the controls aren’t the best as you move up and down space. Other than avoiding rings in front of you, there’s not much going on with the shuttle sections other than some conversations between your character and a crewmate.

A somewhat rough launch

Star Trek game issues
Screenshot by Destructoid

With prior Telltale games, you expect jank, and despite using a new engine and forming a new studio, Star Trek Resurgence is no different. Despite the multiple delays, the game’s pretty buggy. Faces blur, and hair loses focus whenever a character moves. I experienced moments when dialogue was repeated or wasn’t activated whatsoever. Even some important subtitles don’t show up during conversations. The game’s also not a looker. The models aren’t that detailed, and some of the characters’ faces genuinely creeped me out.

But every once in a while, the art behind the rough graphics shows beauty. The inspiring attention to detail in each Star Trek computer system, the engrossing environments, and some facial animations strike you from time to time. It does make up for its visual shortcomings at points, like when entering unique alien ships and seeing set pieces such as the huge tractor beam shown below.

Beam Me Up
Screenshot by Destructoid

Most narrative games of this ilk allow you to jump into multiple points of the storyline, so you can see the alternate choices take shape quickly. However, Star Trek Resurgence‘s replayability is hard to deal with as there’s a maddening lack of a chapter-select feature.

The cutscenes last a long time, and it would have been nice to at least skip the text. There are multiple scenarios that occur from your decisions, but if you can’t access them easily, it truly breaks the fun. Very few people will replay the game just to see each ending and character interaction because of how slow your progress is. You also have to keep in mind the sluggish opening hours as well. Unlike the Telltale games, there are no episodes, so you have to start the 10-hour game from the very beginning. This won’t be logical for trophy and achievement hunters.


Despite multiple graphical and audio issues, Star Trek Resurgence is worth checking out. The experience of the former Telltale employees shows in Dramatic Labs. Somehow, the engine is just as buggy, but the gripping storyline and characters shine bright. It’s also cool how dedicated the studio is to recreating the gadgets from this Star Trek era. If you’re a Trekkie or a casual fan, you should give this game a go.

[This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]

Solid and definitely has an audience. There could be some hard-to-ignore faults, but the experience is fun.

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Chris Penwell
Chris is a writer for multiple outlets, including Destructoid! He loves narrative games like Kingdom Hearts, Life is Strange, and Beyond Good & Evil. However, he does enjoy Fortnite and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate from time to time.