When I heard that there was a Star Trek MMO being put together in 2008 it definitely peaked my interest. I am a big Star Trek fan, so news also made me somewhat nervous. In my opinion past Star Trek games were not been that great. The one good game out of the bunch was a game that produced a sequel “ST: Voyager Elite Force”. There was a Klingon space combat game on PC that had the right idea but didn’t pull it off. Either way, I was still somewhat excited to see something from this new game. The screenshots and developer videos which came later, really made me feel like this was Star Trek.
I had not placed any kind of preorder or planned on even buying the game once it had been released because honestly it fell off my radar. I found out in December 09 I could get into the open beta and before I knew it I was “boldly going….”. After a week of flying around space exploring strange worlds and civilizations I came to the conclusion that I could not stop playing. I had to buy this game once it was released and see if it feels like something I could spend $14 a month on after the initial purchase. I actually preorder the game so I could get the preorder bonus (different retailers had different bonuses) and an early head start into the game. So Friday the 29th of January rolled around and at 1pm my time I was able to start playing.
The retail game and the beta start off exactly the same. You have fives choices of species when creating your character and you can only be Federation. There are five federation species to choose from as well as a six “unknown” class of species you can create yourself. So in the beta I created an “unknown” alien. This reminds me of Odo from the DS9 series who was an unknown species because he did not know where he came from or what he truly was. This time I created a human male (bald like me) and enjoyed the outfit choices. You have 6 or so outfits with many choices of customizing the outfit using colors, etc. Also you can buy a Klingon or Ferangi to play as a Federation officer from the Cryptic Store. The character creation process is not anything spectacular but it gets the job done, in my opinion.
The game starts with you on-board a starship fighting the Borg and you are the highest ranking officer. All the other Senior Staff have been killed and you beam aboard another starship to help clear the Borg off that ship. Once done you beam back to your ship and finish off the remaining Borg in a space battle. Once finished, you go back to the Sol system (earth starbase location) and there an Admiral will promote you to Lt and give you your own ship in this time of war. Having played the first few levels in the beta I was able to enjoy the beginning of the game even more.
Once you get promoted for the first time. You go out on missions (quests) space missions and away missions to level up. You can also promote your bridge officers from Ensign to Lt. once you get your second promotion (Lt Com). The bridge officers have to have a certain amount of skills but that should happening when you “Skill Up” you crew or character. On the Earth Starbase there are places to get weapons and other gear as well. I typically got all my things from completely quests or loot. That why I can save more energy credits which I believe you do not even get from missions right away. You however can sell items in your inventory. Everyone you can sell it to might be a little different on the cost they would buy it for, but moving on.
The space combat in this game is excellent. I really enjoy it! Especially in fleet battles with many other ships on both sides. The PvP games are ok, but sometimes waiting on a game to start can be annoying. I do enjoy upgrading my weapons to better torpedoes. You start off with photon torpedoes, but now I have plasma and quantum torpedoes. That is real cool and there are different beam weapons of course that is also good fun. The ground combat (away missions) are not the best and really one of the complaints about the game I have heard. Honestly it does not bother me. Maybe because I have seen worse I do not know. Yes I do get frustrated about having trouble moving or targeting. It doesn’t stop me from doing the missions. I enjoy leveling and definitely getting loot so I like it fine. Also once your character in the Federation reaches level 6 you unlock the option to create a new character to play as a member of the Klingon faction.
The one major complaint I have and I am not the only one is the mission where you use these commodities (loot) you get. I never have enough I never see enough in loot. I am sure not going to go buy any. Cryptic is aware of this issue as well. Also in STO you can create or join a fleet. With me a big revision3.com fan I had to join the Totally Rad Fleet.
One last note, I played two missions on the Klingon faction that you cannot play until level 6 of your federation player. I really liked that a lot. The fact that you can cloak WOW! Other than that it is the same basic system just with Klingons.
This game was reviewed on the PC.
Combat is excellent, Upgrading the weapons is a blast.
Can get a bit repetitive, feels like a rushed product.