Star Trek Online, just as you might expect, is a sci-fi themed MMORPG that’s based primarily within the popular Star Trek franchise’s universe. Stepping into the role of a rising Starfleet Lieutenant, you’ll be tasked with commanding your own crew through unknown and potentially (see also: usually) dangerous and hostile sections of the galaxy.
Fans of the Star Trek series — whether the old-school version or the newer TV or movie reboots — will undoubtedly be at home within the Star Trek Online universe. Whether you’re simply cruising the stars in search of freedom and uncharted exploration or alternatively participating in extremely entertaining PvE ground combat or truly epic PvP tactical ship battles, it’s quite literally all a treat so long as you can get “into” the popular, richly historic sci-fi world of Star Trek.
Before we get into the actual gameplay, character customization and graphics, let us first — as we usually do — take a look at a brief rundown of the game’s basics. Cue the details!
Publisher: Perfect World Entertainment
Number of players: Low
Type of MMO: MMORPG
EXP Rate: Moderate
PvP: Factions & Duels
Filesize: Roughly 7GB
Worth Your Time: If you’re a Star Trek and/or sci-i fan? Absolutely!
Pros: Excellent graphics; ability to explore a fully realized Star Trek universe (or most of it anyway); great ground and tactical space combat; massively wide variety of different ship customization options; weekly episodes/events in the same kind of vein of Halo 4’s Spartan Ops; incredibly in-depth character creation tool.
Cons: Somewhat repetitive gameplay; controls could be better — or at least more intuitive; cloggy, cluttered interface; oftentimes quite buggy; most shop items worth their mettle are extremely, oftentimes ridiculously overpriced; free/non-subscribed players are very limited in terms of character slots and in-game chat access.
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As already stated, the overall gameplay of Star Trek Online consists of two separate fronts — on the “ground” battles and in the sky/space tactical spaceship combat. Both — at least at first — are well-designed and intuitive enough to present both a challenge and an entertainingly epic good time. Unfortunately, after extended play in either arena, the combat does indeed become a bit repetitive at times, although the overall atmosphere and truly living, vibrant in-game world more than makes up for it and will no doubt have you coming back again and again.
In terms of races, new characters are given the option of being either Human, Alien, Andorian, Bajoran, Bolian, Betazoid, Benzite, Pakled, Saurian, Ferengi, Tellarite, Trill and — of course — Vulcan. And no, despite being enthusiastic Star Trek fans ourselves, we didn’t recognize more than half of the aforementioned races either — so don’t feel too bad!
The class system in Star Trek Online is more in line with existing as a career class, with the options of Tactical Officer, Engineering Officer and Science Officer each offering a distinctly different — yet no less fun, ultimately — experience.
Going even further in the character customization process is said characters ship creation and subsequent upgrades. Players are given the choice of ships between Cruisers, Escorts and Science Vessels — with each more or less factoring directly in line with the three given character classes/careers as well.
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Just as you’d might expect, it would actually be quite a feat to make a Star Trek game without offering at least moderately impressive graphics — unless of course the developer simply just didn’t even try whatsoever. Thankfully for all of us, however, the good folks over at Perfect World Entertainment have indeed put the effort into making Star Trek Online easily one of the best looking MMORPG’s on the market to date — heck, it’s even one of the best looking MMO’s in general!
All in all, whether you’re a die-hard Trekkie or simply an avid sci-fi fanatic, you’ll no doubt be well pleased and feel distinctly at home amongst the sprawling galaxies within the Star Trek Online MMO universe.
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>> THE BOTTOM LINE
While you certainly don’t have to be a super avid Trek or sci-fi fan to enjoy Star Trek Online, it certainly helps to enhance the experience, that’s for sure. Your best bet if you’re curious or on the fence about the game is to give it a shot and see how you like it. Odds are, you won’t be sorry!
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FINAL SCORE: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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