Star Trek Online - Yes, It’s Really True
For any true Star Trek fan, and any MMO gaming fan, Star Trek Online sounds almost too good to be true. And, if done correctly, there is no end to what Cryptic Studios can do with this upcoming release. After a rock start in development, on August 10, 2008, at a confrence in Las Vegas, Cryptic and Spock himself, Leonard Nimoy, announced the game’s first trailer. This awesome piece of work showed both Federation and Klingon ships both fighting each other, and the notorious Borg. There were other areas of the trailer that had fans excited, such as being able to capture and board enemy ships. But, of course, true to MMO gaming form - no true release date was set for the title to be launched. Instead, a time frame of “less than three years” was given to gamers who were already chomping at the bit to get their hands on the game. Well, as of now, the game is set to release in beta form in late 2009, and you can find out about signing up for the beta test on the Star Trek Online site, at https://www.startrekonline.com.
The Game Play
Now, for those that have been checking out the site on a normal basis, we’ve picked up that each gamer will have their own ship to pilot. Now, you only get two different options of ship to choose from right now, Federation or Klingon, but it has been said in a couple of gaming confrences that you might even be able to create your own completely new race of being (which, let’s face it, would be super sweet). From your ship, you’ll be able to explore the universe, including the ability to beam yourself and an away party down to a planet’s surface. Although, be warned, you will sometimes find yourself in combat when you are on another planet. And what space adventure in Star Trek Online would be complete without the ability to explore your own ship? (Yeah, I can’t wait for that part either to see just how interactive the players are with the ship itself.)
Players will have to keep up with their own rank as a captain of their ship in either army, and while you will be considered a “captain” when you are at the helm of your own ship, you will still have a normal rank to move up. On your ship, you will have several crewmen that are NPC’s that you can interact with to help your ship run smoothly. While you won’t be able to pilot or own any of the famous ships from the movies and television shows, it’s rumored that you will come in contact with several of them during the game play, as well as famous characters to brighten up your game time. You will also have the ability to recruit different races to your crew that will help bring special abilities to your ship and crew.
To raise your rank, you will have to complete quests - just like in other MMO games. These are all to be issues from a central command post for either army that you choose. Of course, you will also be able to gain experience and ranking from exploration of unchartered planets. And, you will have a wealth of different ships to choose from as you rise through the ranks of the game.
As far as combat goes, you’ll have two different ways to fight. One is through the away team missions where you are actually down on a planet, fighting with phasers or hand-to-hand combat with another race of beings. The other is ship-to-ship combat with NPC’s and other players. In ship-to-ship combat, you will be using your navigational system, positioning, sheilds, and so on - just like in the Star Trek movies and TV series.
Also, you should have access to a Galactic economy, such as the Auction Houses in other MMO games. This will fluctuate on market prices, trading alliances, and more and should be very interesting to see how this part of the game is worked out.
It’s also rumored that players will have the ability to form alliances, either in the form of fleets or guilds. This will help gamers pool together their resources and build spacestations, mining areas, shipyards, and more. With this new aspect of the game, it should be very interesting to see just how powerful fleets or guilds can become and the different abilities that they gain as they grow.
For me, I am really looking forward to this MMO game, as are many fans of both MMO games and Star Trek. I think that if the game is done correctly, it will pull in a massive fan base from both sides, and will pull in some gamers that are not fans of MMO games simply because this gives them the ability to live out their Star Trek fantasies in a completely interactive style of game play.
If you are ready to find out more about Star Trek Online, head over to their main site, register, and start poking around. You will find tons of great forum posts about the game, screenshots from the developers, and even your chance to win a beta key.
Live well and prosper!
This post is part of the series: Star Trek Online Reviews
A collection of reviews for various editions of Star Trek Online.