In retrospect, having fired up Star Trek with high hopes seems foolish. It's not like I don't have a track record of being disappointed by game tie-ins to films and properties that I love (see my Iron Man 2, Captain America and Amazing Spider-Man reviews). But... I don't know. I blame the Batman: Arkham games. Granted, they're not tied to the Nolan movies, but still...
And Paramount. Paramount did a good job of making the right noises
about the pitfalls of tie-ins and investing sufficient time, money and resources in making Star Trek
good. There was, it once seemed, a chance that this game would be decent.
It's not, though.
The game is a co-op cover-based shooter with third-person action/adventure elements and light puzzling. If that sounds like an overly-efficient description then it's an apt one. Star Trek
's a precision-engineered blend of features that have been tried, tested and found to work in other games, with little to elevate it beyond being the sum of its parts.
I mean, it has a Star Trek
license attached to it. We've covered that. But, despite having a few cool touches that license does little to lift the game. You play as either Kirk or Spock, with whichever character rejected trailing round after you powered by either AI or another player. There's an intergalactic plot afoot with the Gorn mucking about with wormholes and it falls to the crew of the Enterprise (but mostly Kirk and Spock) to deal with it.
So, on the plus side you get vocal contributions from Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto as Kirk and Spock respectively. And you get the Enterprise, complete with a few areas we've not seen since the reboot. There is
something undeniably cool about striding onto the bridge and sitting in the captain's chair.
However, thanks to some lacklustre scripting Pine and Quinto's dialogue hardly sparkles. Similarly, the plot is far from inspiring. Much has been made of the inclusion of the Gorn, a monster from the original series that was once a solitary man in a rubber suit but is now a whole race of space dinosaurs. While Kirk's original fight with the Gorn
is the stuff of Trek
legend thanks to its geriatric pace and power, it's not that evident which fans the villain's inclusion is servicing. I'm not sure that die-hard fans of the original series are running out in droves to play a shooter based on the reboot and I'm not convinced that recent converts give a toss.
It must be said, though, that by getting behind developer Digital Extremes with things like the voice cast and (apparently) a bit of input from JJ Abrams, Paramount has helped the studio deiver an air of authenticity in the game.
Unfortunately, none of that adds up to very much. Subtract the direction of Abrams and the scripting of Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman and it turns out that what you're left with in the raw material of the new Star Trek
is some fairly generic SF. Yes, some of the designs are classics, but the problem with classics in this context is that they have become a default position. Without any flair in the production all Starfleet's big machines look a bit generic now.