With the release of ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ I thought I’d buy the game – the aptly named Star Trek. I usually avoid movie tie-ins as they’re rarely good. In fact I can’t think of a good movie tie-in game, if you can think of one write it down in the comments (I won’t hold my breath).
The problem is that the games usually start being made around the time a film starts gathering momentum. The film looks like its going to make some money and the game is sort of hashed together at the last minute. The end product is usually rushed out, and although it could be a competent companion to the film, it’s usually a poor end result, rife with bugs and just a means to catch out the idiots hoping to relive the movie experience.
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This is a co-op game – you can play as either Captain Kirk (the Chris Pine version, not the Shatner version) or Kirk’s best friend with the personality of a dead woodlouse, Spock (Zachary Quinto not Nimoy). The story is classic, probably ancient, Star Trek stuff. You’re sent to investigate a space station that promptly explodes and, upon further investigation of a nearby planet, it seems that those pesky Gorns have stolen a bad thing: think WMD with science. If you’re unfamiliar with the Gorn, then here is William Shatner at his best:
The character design and the voice acting were both surprisingly good; they used the voice actors from the film and all the main crew of the enterprise seem to have taken part. They also use the same music score from the first game that ups the tempo when things get ‘crazy‘. The characters look and sound like they’re supposed to, but unfortunately the animation falls flat when they try to talk in cut scenes. At one point Bones opened his mouth to speak, only for his face to fall apart like a horse meat kebab.
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The game play is like a clown with a bagpipe (sad and annoying). In fairness to Star Trek, it would be a passable third person shooter if it wasn’t for all the glitches. My first experience of a bug was less than a minute into the game, where I moved out of the way of a space janitor and he trapped me in a doorway forever. If you are going to purchase this, then go get a friend/ relative/ prostitute to play with, because the AI Spock is useless. Several times I needed reviving and he got stuck on something or just watched me with those cold Vulcan eyes. In the end I just sent him into a corner and used him to hack everything, as the mini games were all the same and I had dinosaurs to shoot. The stealth bits are frustrating because Spock is either completely invisible in his combat blue sweater, or a rampant killing machine. The shooting portion is pretty much: Run, Cover, Stun with Phaser, repeat until the game finishes.
To be honest there were things I liked about this game, but that was mostly film nostalgia. The voice acting, the fact characters looked like they were supposed to, and the music, were all good. It’s a shame most of the game was so boring, like the constant climbing. Is that all Star fleet do? Train in climbing, for climbing situations? It seems like all game characters nowadays need to be able to climb like Assassins Creed to meet some kind of quota.
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The campaign is around 9 hours, but it will feel like more as Kirk quips constantly about the repetitive mundanity ‘Not another swimming bit’ or ‘This again?’ and I can only agree with him. The worst part is that it doesn’t even mention, or have any footage of, ‘Into Darkness’. In fact it looks like it should have been released directly after the first film. This game isn’t worth it. For true Sci-fi third person give Mass Effect or Dead Space a go. The trailer for this game is as cringeworthy as watching smut with your mum, so here’s the trailer for the much better film (we hope).