Every so often, a game will come out that tests our breaking point. Just how much more can you take before a game becomes virtually unplayable, non-functional, and frustrating to no end? Star Trek is not only all of these things, but it also has you questioning your sanity and leaves your jaw dropped in awe at the amount of technical flaws it has. The Star Trek video game is one of the most flawed titles I've had the displeasure of playing in a very long time.
Star Trek serves as a tie-in to the most recent Star Trek: Into Darkness movie, the second film in J.J. Abrams' reboot series. The game takes place in between Abrams' two films and tells another adventure tale of Kirk and Spock, this time having to stop the lizard-like Gorn creatures from causing mass destruction. Star Trek feels somewhat like a buddy cop movie with its strong focus on co-op. You play the entire game as either Kirk or Spock with the left over character being controlled by a friend or the game's AI. A mixture of different gameplay elements are blended into this adventure which consist of Uncharted-esque climbing sequences, puzzle solving, space battles, but most prominently- shooting. Variety in gameplay in an adventure game is always a good idea in theory, but in Star Trek, these ideas were put in a blender, and the smoothie just came out completely wrong.
As said before, the game mainly focuses on shooting, and that's unfortunately the most boring thing about it. Shooting mechanics are bland, unimaginitive, and are far less functional than many games to come out before it. Going into cover feels as clunky as square wheels with design choices that make absolutely no sense. Why do I have to HOLD the B button to transition over to another cover position? Among these intended problems, there are some unintended ones as well. More than once, I attempted to turn and run from out of my cover, and the command literally just didn't work. In fact, there were way too many instances where Kirk's character animations could not keep up with my movement during combat situations. Doing a complete 180 can confuse Kirk's body animation to the point where my movement was reversed. For a brief moment, up was down, down was up, left was right, and right was left. It made absolutely no sense, and it happened more than once.
Guns themselves are nothing special. Assault rifles, sniper rifles, it's all here, and they're all interchangeable. A good strategy would be to stick with your default blaster, actually. It has unlimited ammo, isn't as underpowered as you think it would be, and has a stun feature which allows for a close-quarters one-hit kill. That's another dire problem with Star Trek; other than the frustration faced with the technical problems, there is absolutely no challenge. Most enemies go down with one stun-and-hit attack and unlike more functional shooters, blind-fire is terribly precise. There is almost no reason why you should have to trigger-aim while shooting because a dot reticle on the screen(which is also present in some cutscenes for some reason) points exactly where your projectiles will go, and it always hits that mark. There are also weapon upgrades in the game that, trust me, are never a necessity. On top of that, the Gorn in this game are either severely mentally challenged, or have terrible AI. I do believe it's the latter. I can count on two hands the amount of times I stood directly in front of a Gorn enemy, and it did nothing.
The co-op focus could shed some sort of life on this mess, but it only makes matters a lot worse. In fact, partner AI is significantly more terrible than enemy AI. I can also count on two hands the amount of times I was downed by an enemy waiting for revival, to which Spock shouted "I'm coming"...and then he just stood there. He wasn't even fighting off enemies. He just stood there. At another moment in the same situation, Spock did attempt to come help me, but got caught on a wall, glitching furiously towards it in a constant running animation. Your partner will also rarely be able to manuever obstacles successfully or fluidly. First thing Spock did when the game began was levitate in the air. Seriously. After the opening cinematic ended and the gameplay started, Spock's character model began floating in the air. If that doesn't tell you enough, I don't know what will.
Throughout Star Trek, you'll be constantly using a device called the tricorder. This gadget shows you where your current objectives are and allows you to hack and open doors and devices. Upon a hack attempt, you'll encounter a mini-game of some type. These mini-games offer no challenge or creativity. There's one mini-game type you can literally complete by moving the sticks up and down and pressing A repeatedly. One of the more interesting things you use in your tricorder is a function that reveals the location of enemies using cloaking, but even that gets boring. Star Trek is gushing with gameplay elements that overstay their welcome. There's a section in which Kirk and Spock obtain transporter guns which can beam the other player over to specific platforms in zero gravity environments. This was midly interesting at the start, but the game never did anything creative with it. It just became very repetitive.
Like its gameplay, Star Trek has absolutely no passion put into its environments. To boot, this is one of the graphically worst looking games I've played in while. It's a little cool to be aboard the Enterprise at first, but the game immediately drops you into areas that look the same in all directions. You'd think even the Gorn home planet would be a good opportunity to do something visually interesting, but it looks as unappealing as everything else. With that being said about the unimaginative artistic direction, nothing else in the game can compare to the truly terrifying technical issues of the game's presentation. Full character models can clip through OTHER full character models entirely, to which your camera may zoom in automatically and reveal the eyeballs, tongue, and teeth of that model. Even the poorly animated faces of the characters look genuinely scary at times, and those are glitch-free.
Aside from the passable voice work from the film's cast, everything about the way Star Trek is presented is dull and filled to the brim with technical issues. There is one amusing error when you have your tricorder out; your character's model seems to be locked to the camera, thus the perspective makes it seem like you are tiny in comparison to other characters when up close to them. It's something you have to see to believe. The final nail in the coffin though was a moment in which about 4 enemy Gorn were standing on a balcony above me upon entering a room, and each Gorn was scripted to jump down and attack me...They each jumped down from the balcony, and clipped through the floor entirely. I never got to fight them. They fell through the world. Enemies also being able to shoot completely through solid walls is very frustrating and confusing. The list of these issues goes on and on.
It's a strange day when I can say Star Trek is one of the most mystifying games I've ever played. Glitches, glitches, glitches, and more glitches. Oh, and there's a game here too, but it's dull and not really worth your time. The shooting is bland, the mini-games are uninspired, the graphics are nearly Xbox 1 level of quality, the art style is nonexistent, the AI is utterly broken, and so is the rest of the game. If you're not a fan of the saga, do yourself a favor and avoid this video game adaptation.
+ The voice acting uses the original cast
- Glitches and bugs galore
- Environments are bland
- Gameplay is unimaginative
- AI is broken
- Graphics are below average
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