Star Trek: 25th Anniversary
The search for a fun Star Trek game to play and review was long and eventful, finally I settled on this little outing mostly due to the fact that it’s actually pretty decent and works as a kind of 4th Season for The Original Series.
The good thing about this game is that, in the CD version anyway, the original cast of the series actually voice the characters and add a certain authenticity, nostalgia and validity to the whole thing. This really does feel like you’re playing through further adventures the old gang would have undertaken.
The game opens on…
Already that sounds awesome.
I always thought that Star Trek, with its leather-wearing Borgs and everything, would be ripe for a Hellraiser crossover. Sadly, this is a job for cheap fan-fiction, not for this game.
Turns out the inhabitants of some planet have been having problems with what they call “demons” but might actually be something much less messed-up.
Kirk and pals beam down…
… and decide to investigate.
There are about 7 missions altogether (7 episodes, basically) and in-between you’re meant to fly the Enterprise to its various destinations. You refer to a star map then manoeuvre around space until you reach the right planet/space station/whatever. Get it wrong and you get into conflicts with Klingon or Romulan ships, and since it’s not that easy to control the Enterprise in this game, that doesn’t always go too well.
When those space battles work out, though, they’re pretty darn fun.
The game is actually so detailed and creative in terms of how those missions develop that it would be enjoyable just to sit back and watch someone play the entire thing. This is both great and not so great since that means the game is about as fun to watch as it is to play when playing it should be much more rewarding in its own way. Problem being: the game is quite methodical, long and moves at a slower pace, when you’re first playing it at least. It’s not one of those action games that never stops throwing stuff at you, it has its cool “action sequences” but most of the time you’re required to put together mini conundrums using your knowledge of the Original Series and… your brain.
So Trekkies understand what I mean: think The Wrath Of Khan told at the pace of Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
One instance sees the gang being faced with an electrical presence that’s blocking their path. You’re meant to use your phaser to melt iron rocks on the floor then dip a piece of wood in it and throw it at the thing.
Kirk’s iron pole always gets the job done.
The whole “demons” plot soon comes to its thrilling conclusion…
… and you’re off to more adventures.
Gotta love that floor, by the way, I wonder how many light cycle races are going on over it as we speak. And I thought Data’s invisible suit in Star Trek: Insurrection was the Tron-iest that Star Trek could get…
I was wrong.
“Star Tron”: there’s some more cheap fan fiction for y’all to think about.
For me, the best part of the game comes from the interactions between our main characters. I mean, sure the cast of the series say their lines like they’re reading the list of ingredients at the back of a soda can but it’s still cool to hear them say some of this stuff.
You’ve got the classic McCoy vs Spock verbal conflicts:
But by far the best thing you can do in this game, besides of course flying the Enterprise, is make Kirk say the rudest things to people he barely knows. You can choose which lines of dialog you want the character to say and you have the option to make Kirk be a complete douchebag. Although that only slows down your progress, it’s still totally worth it.
One guy, for example, tells him about these unique items he’s been collecting and Kirk just goes:
What a douche.
Wait ’til Starfleet hears about this, that Captain is HISTORY.
Seriously, they let Kirk get away with murder. And that was before he saved the whales!
Look at him, making everyone play Dr Franken on their Game Boys when they should be hard at work scanning things and spouting random smart-sounding nonsense.
Sometimes rude Kirk works, however, when he’s meant to be defiant against an enemy.
Take THAT, Anthony Hopkins as Odin from the movie Thor!
Another good thing about the game is that it doesn’t sugarcoat its more dramatic moments too much. In one scene, they show up on a ship and some bloodbath has just occurred so you’ve just got these bodies lying around everywhere, it’s pretty dark.
Some characters even die in the game (mostly red shirts lol)!
The writing throughout is pretty darn good and it shows that those people who made the game knew Star Trek rather well and set out to capture the spirit of those Original Series,which I think they’ve done successfully. It’s a shame that there wasn’t any more variety in terms of the action stuff. A few mini-games in between levels or cool cut-scenes (with close-ups, preferably) might have let the game breathe a little bit and made it flow better.
As it stands, if you’re a die hard Star Trek: TOS fan it’s well worth checking out. Even if it’s just for the stories. Its sequel, Judgment Rites, ditto. It’s basically more of the same but if you play one and enjoy it, you might as well give it a go.
Perhaps not the most entertaining Star Trek game out there but perhaps one of the most faithful to the original material.
Check it out.
Man, I can’t wait for Star Trek: Into Darkness to come out. Maybe I can beam to next month and see it then!
*beams into J.J. Abrams*