Star Trek Online is a massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG) that is free to download and play. Its story, setting and characters are based on the hit TV series Star Trek so this is a great game for Star Trek and science fiction fans who are looking for a space exploration game with thrilling space battles.
Running the game on your PC
Star Trek Online has a flexible configuration menu, with plenty of tweaks available to adapt to your computer needs. It is worth to mention that this game requires a decent graphic card and strong internet connection in order to work at maximum efficiency. If you find the settings to be too demanding, you can adjust them to trade performance for video quality.
All sounds and background music add the extraordinary feeling of reliving your favorite Star Trek memories, with all the emotional and intriguing moments you experienced in your youth. No doubts about it, the developers are true fans of the series and they did imprint these aspects in all the graphics of the weapons, ships, space stations, aliens, Planets and in the design of the Universe.
Taking our first voyage
A considerable amount of work has went into the character creation menu, as we discover a delightful tool that helps generate our favorite alien heroes or, even better, create customized ones. You can choose to be part of the Federation, Klingon or Romulus Empire. Our first assigned position will be that of an officer, therefore we must choose a career path from Engineer, Science or Tactical Officer. The next step is to select our character race such as: Human, Andorian, Vulcan, Trill, Romulan and many others, significant to the Star Trek franchise. The last step is to select our character traits, which will influence our play style, followed by body model customization.
The mechanics of the game are quite different from those of the general MMORPGs, which we are usually used to. In other words, it is recommended that you complete the basic tutorial in order not to get confused with the gameplay later on.
As you graduate from the game tutorial, you are given a free ship to roam around the Universe, complete quests and have fun battling in PVE or PVP events. Right from the start you find out that you can travel to all Space Sectors, as there is no restriction to your level or lore progression. Also you can recruit independent AI bridge officers, with various stats and classes, who will make your game experience a lot easier. You cannot be attacked in space while you “warp” from Sector to Sector, but passing multiple Sectors and Star Systems will require your patience as you wait for the frequent loading screens to process. One other interesting aspect is that quests don’t force you to follow a linear path, as every mission is independent of each other.
There is huge amount of ships you can chose from and all are very well designed and even offer a neat inside view, as you explore the command bridge. You can upgrade your ship and improve it, as harder and more dangerous enemies will soon cross your path.
All hands to the bridge
Combat is a big part of the game and we are talking serious fighting. Rather than being a game that takes down swarms of enemies, your ship approaches a more tactical battle, where you have to consider your defenses versus your opponent’s cunning attack strategy. It’s best to focus a small number of ships, in a fight, as your vessel has four shield arcs and if any of them fail you will be vulnerable if attacked by multiple foes. The same happens for your enemy, so taking down one of his arches, with your “phaser” cannons, will leave his hull open to a direct hit from one of your devastating torpedoes.
PVP is more involved than PVE, as other players are slicker and faster reacting than most AI. The energizing feeling of taking your opponents down while you are still in one piece, will reward you with great experience and honor.
As space combat will only cover most of the game time, you can also beam down to a Planet and have various interactions with the civilizations you will encounter. Most ground combats missions are not at the same height value as the ones from space. There is surely a lot more work being done for this part of the game, as developers update their content frequently. But this is not a huge misstep as planetary combat is not as predominant as space combat.
Lore and Economy
Quests have poor voice acting and tend to be repetitive sometimes, as you destroy AI ships, beam up characters or assists other ally ship in combat. What keeps them going is the Lore that makes constant references to events and characters that were present in the Star Trek episode series and movies. Already in Season 8: Legacy of Romulus, the game has new and better content added in, that includes new activities, ships, characters and expansions for the lore.
The Economy of the game is divided in 4 main currencies such as “Energy Credits” that buy most in-game items, “Dilithium” that is used for ship upgrades, “Fleet Assets” that can be spent on star-base projects and “Gold-Pressed Latinum” (GPL) used for unique items and quests. There are two more secondary currencies called “Lobi Crystals” used to buy special items in the Lobi Crystal Consortium and “Zen” that can be purchased with real money and can acquire you cosmetic and optional in-game features.
Time to beam me up
While Star Trek Online is an apparently simple and straight forward MMORPG, it has a continuous history of updates that shape it into a more formidable space simulation platform. The interactive combat system, between mighty ships, makes player come back again-and-again for more action and adventure. Ground combat is a welcoming sight, yet it is a long way from becoming a dominating part of the game. In a fast sweep we can conclude that Star Trek Online is a monumental game that honors the classic series with the same name, transcending a sense of glory and respect through great battles and exploration of the unknown regions of the Universe.