Replay Value:
Overall Rating:
Online Gameplay:
Not Rated
Namco Bandai Games
Digital Extremes
Number Of Players:
Release Date:
April 23, 2013

Some things never change. Unfortunately, the trend of awful games based on movies remains intact, as evidenced by the latest Digital Extremes effort. Many are anticipating the new “Star Trek” movie but nobody should be excited about the interactive adventure. This is destined to annoy the hell out of old-school fans of the legendary series, and it can’t even appeal to those who enjoy great action games. …‘cuz it’s a long way from “great.” And you know, it’s sad, because I get the feeling that had they stayed true to the original “Star Trek” theme, the hardcore fans would’ve tolerated significant issues.

But with J.J. Abrams in charge, that old-school style is long gone and in its place is a flashy, substance-less production riddled with glaring problems and glitches. The graphics don’t compete well on any scale, even if you’re being somewhat lenient. The character modeling is mediocre, the environments are less than mediocre, and the presentation lacks that patented “Star Trek” style. If you’re going to reinvent an iconic series (much to the dismay of long-time followers), you have to at least jump off the screen. You have to titillate the mindless and the casual, those who don’t care about “Star Trek” and just want a blockbuster action flick.

But the developers couldn’t even do that. The entire production looks and sounds amateurish and unrefined. Thankfully, despite a repetitive and uninspired soundtrack and laughable special effects, decent voice performances manage to shine through. Having the actors from the film is a big plus, and Spock, Kirk and especially Scotty (voiced by the always amusing Simon Pegg) keeps us mildly interested in the slipshod, cookie-cutter plot. Sadly, the pathetic effects that accompany this third-person shooter – because in truth, that’s what this is – are hugely disappointing, and that score could’ve been a lot better. I figure this series deserves a majestic track, right? Obviously, development resources were limited.

You just can’t hide that fact. I’ve never understood why publishers think gamers won’t notice instantaneously that a production just didn’t have the requisite resources/talent. That leaps off the screen the minute you start to play Star Trek: The Video Game . This is a soulless, empty, even adolescent and at times asinine quest, and it spits directly in the face of a revered and acclaimed franchise. I’m not even a “Star Trek” fan and I know this is borderline blasphemous. And hey, I could’ve lived with a poorly written storyline had the action been tight and entertaining. The plot would’ve been insulting to the series, but at least the game would’ve been fun .

How hard could it be, really? So you don’t want to stick to the old-fashioned theme from yesteryear. Okay, make a cooperative third-person sci-fi shooter that boasts bombastic set pieces, solid and reliable control, and plenty of over-the-top action sequences. It has been done many times before. Even an average attempt might’ve proved passable. But this just doesn’t cut the mustard. Not long after learning about the Gorn’s attack on the Federation, and the subsequent plan to attack the Gorn on their home planet, the game shifts to a generic, unfulfilling, glitchy shooter. The story wasn’t shaping up to be anything special, so you hoped…