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Star Trekkin' across the universe

By Blackwalt - Posted on 24 January 2014

On the Starship Enterprise under Captain  Kirk  Blackwalt?

This is not another Artemis post. Although we should totally do that again! Version 2 is out!

This is about the 2013 release Star Trek the video game. Which despite creative advertising did not review well (43% at Gamerankings). This was unfortunate because it supported full two player coop and I had been keeping an eye on it for just that reason.

However a bad game at $59.99 does not always mean a bad game at a lower price. And some games turn out to be significantly better played cooperatively vs single player. I am looking at you Aliens Colonial Marines! (which was both cheap ($9.99) and played better cooperatively)

Did I find Star Trek at $9.99? No I did not. I found it at $9.77 in the bargain, bargain section of Walmart. I was only buying it if I could find two copies and boy did I have to dig for that second copy! Which was marked and scanned at $14.99. I made Coxxorz pay for that one btw.

Just kidding. They fixed it at cash. Where the teller confirmed if I really wanted to buy the game. Twice.

Boldly going forward 'cause we can't find reverse

So Coxxorz and Blackwalt being alone on Sega Nite decided it was time to try the $9.77 experiment. Once Coxxorz found his copy... "are you sure you gave it to me?" Well, yes, but it still took him a while to find it. Then we discovered it was double wrapped for linguistic purposes. No, really.

Under the first layer of shrink wrap there was a separate cover - a French cover wrapped around another layer of shrink wrap:

The second layer of shrink wrap - a Spanish language cover:

Oddly the Spanish language had no English at all, the french copy was technically bilingual. Once we dug it out of the trash can to double check.

The language on the DVD itself? Spanish. Oh oh.

We didn't bother to install the game to our hard drives as we did not expect it to last long. We ended up being pleasantly disappointed and I have since installed it onto my hard drive.

The first dissension among the Federation began at the start screen. "Did you want to play as Kirk or as Spock." It turns out that (in our own minds) we both want to be the hero who got all the hot alien chicks. Particularly the green ones. There ended up being an quick resolution to our detente when I skillfully deployed my copious diplomatic skills. "Hey, the host gets to choose! Congratulations you're Spock. Long live Captain Blackwalt!"

We even ended up being Spock and Kirk in English as the Spanish labelled DVD never bothered us again.

Okay, to keep this relatively short:

Boldly going forward, still can't find reverse (the Good):

  • The characters were all voiced by the original actors although Uhura never sounded quite right.
  • The script was fairly well written. There was a lot of humour and they played well off of previous conversations.
  • Optional mission objectives added to the challenge. You didn't have to complete the Star Fleet commendations but they gave more XP.
  • Multiple mission types through out the chapter. Puzzles to find your way through levels, coop doors, coop lift, dodging and hiding from sun spots, one person stopping a rotating engine well his partner locks it in place, carrying Kirk to sick bay under fire to heal his broken leg. Spock (Coxxorz) - "This is weird, I am not really sure what I am doing." Kirk (Blackwalt) - "Just what the guy under the knife wants to hear."
  • Ahhh. All is right with the worldAhhh. All is right with the world

  • Uhura was wearing black underwear (Spock conducted a purely scientific survey).
  • You could converse with everyone on the bridge.
  • Collectibles.
  • Earned XP could be used to upgrade your characters. We complemented ourselves with one going weapons and offense and one going all sciency and defensive.
  • You could sit in the Captains Chair!

It's life, Jim, but not as we know it, not as we know it, Captain. (the Indifferent):

  • Some of the character models were good. Some of them were not.
  • Character movement was odd although usually it worked, there were discrepancies.
  • A lot of graphical goodness but minimal interactivity.
  • The two chapters we played were of decent length and variety.
  • A lot of secondary characters standing around. Usually facing the walls, corners and repeating conversations
  • Achievements were earned.

It's worse than that, he's dead, Jim, dead, Jim, dead, Jim (the Bad):

  • Tricorder, tricorder, tricorder. You were constantly hit over the head by how much you needed to use it.
  • After defeating an enemy you are supposed to tricorder scan them for experience. But it only worked sometimes.
  • If Starfleet is supposed to be peaceful why are their separate achievements for killing enemies with each weapon? Some 100, some 50, some 20. That is a lot of dead aliens.
  • The Vulcan Pulse Cannons have no stun settings. Hello! They're Vulcans. (turns out it does we just never found it until after we killed a few Gorn and failed one of our secondary objectives. Well Kirk did, Spock didn't kill anyone. Pansy).
  • After stunning an enemy you then have to get close to them and knock them out physically. Sounds weird but it's true.
  • You could not stun each other. Or other allies
  •    What the... I just got up two seconds ago!   What the... I just got up two seconds ago!

  • Space battle. We passed but we had no idea what we were doing. It took a lot of tries.
  • (Updated late) Cover that looked big enough for two players wasn't. The first player to get into cover lived. The other was burnt alive by solar flares. Despite the cover being more that wide enough for two – sorry get your own. Longer cover was fine but it took a while to figure out the cut off point. Both of us died at least once due to this game mechanic.
  • Spock could sit in my Captains Chair!

Ah! We come in peace, shoot to kill, shoot to kill, shoot to kill

Now that I know about the killing achievements there will be no more stun.

Analysis, Mr. Spock?

"Fascinating Captain, it did not suck."

If this sounds like a positive review of a notoriously bad game then, surprise, it is. Whether it was the $10 price point or playing it cooperatively we both enjoyed our time with the game. I obviously must have as I stayed up to 2:00 AM finishing the second mission.

Obviously it wasn't the triple A title it was advertised as but I never encountered an obvious "oh my god, this is awful" moment. Or, at least, not yet as we are only two missions in.

Perhaps the best comment I can give to our Star Trek experience is we are planning to play more missions. And yes, I am looking forward to it.

Additional Content:

Lt. Uhura, report

Here is the Star Trek the video game launch trailer for you to enjoy:

The headline and creative sub-heads were stolen from the song Star Trekkin' by The Beat. Which you should totally listen to if you are a Star Trek fan. I include it here:

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