E3 2011 Impressions: Star Trek

Before I go into what I was shown, let me give you a few of the really quick details of the game.

First, unlike other movie based video games Star Trek has been in development longer than next year's big budget film. So you can rest assured it is not being rushed to hit a filming schedule. Second, it is also being penned by Marianne Krawczyk of God Of War fame and some of the film's writing team. This should make the original story of this game just as epic as the film's. On top of that, all of the 3D models used for the film were supplied to the development team to be used for the game. So we can expect the actual ship designs from the films for us to explore. Lastly, it is a "buddy" story of sorts and focuses completely on Kirk and Spock for the adventure. Each with their own perspective on the events and their own appropriate equipment.

I'll continue what was shown in the pre-alpha build of Star Trek after this video for the game.

Note: The demo was shown in a two screen co-op mode.

Right out of the gate, we are thrown right into the action as Kirk and Spock are aboard a shuttle trying to get back to the Enterprise. Since the ship is under attack, they can't pilot the shuttle back or teleport so it's time to space jump. This lead to a fast paced flight where players had to dodge wreckage, enemy mines and other floating debris before landing safely on the Enterprise.

This is where the strong writing and scripting came in really cool. Each had their own way of landing based on the character's personality. Kirk opening his chute at last second leading to a crash and tumble while Spock very precise leading to him to keep walking after touchdown. Watching both screens I was able to see the two totally different play experiences happening real time and even though scripted, the vantage never left that of the specific character's. Meaning on Spock's screen we got to watch Kirk tumble and crash while on Kirk's all we saw was the world spinning.

Once Kirk gained his bearings, it was off to show how Tricorders are to be used in the game. As you would assume, to scan things and help bypass computer lock outs. Here it was explained that the scans did more than just give you extra information on the story, but that the actual data could be used to make certain challenges a bit easier. Like lowering the difficulty or puzzles because the characters had more intel. In this case it was scanning the dead "red shirts" for some toxin that had killed them.

After a few scans, the two receive a distress call from a crew member that has survived the onslaught. They are informed to head to the shuttle bay using the closest turbo lift. Once the doors opened the proof of the 3D model mention above were shown. It seriously looked and felt like I was looking at scenes from the previous movie. At least for the few seconds before Kirk and Spock were ambushed by whoever had taken the ship.

We were then presented with a few interactive cut scenes from each player's perspectives. Kirk being up in the action calling out for Spock's help and Spock at a distance. Not once during the cut scene did the view point change for each player. On top of that, it was a fully scripted scene where control was never removed from the player. Kirk kept firing at the enemies while the event played out. In the end, Kirk was hit with the same toxin that killed all the "red shirts" and Spock needs to get him to med bay.

Another interesting game play sequence took place. While Kirk could not walk and needed Spock to carry him, it did not stop him from shooting and placing down cover for Spock. It was like watching a rail-shooter on Kirk's screen that was being controlled by the player of Spock. This continued even after Kirk was placed down on a Medbay table so Spock could remove the toxin. So now while Kirk was shooting, Spock had a mini-game loaded on screen to flush the toxins out of Kirk. Showing again how the two characters have a completely different in game experience.

Once back on his feet the two continue forward to the bridge of the Enterprise deploying more of the abilities of the tricorder, an energy shield, and some alternate firing from their weapons. But in the end, they are subdued and knocked out only to wake on the bridge surrounded by the enemy.

There was more shown, but at this time I can't speak on it. But what I will say is that this does not look like a film based game that is going to suck monkey balls. I feel that it is going to be something that all the Trekkies out there will want besides Star Trek Online. It captured the characters, story and world perfectly in just the pre-alpha demo, so I can only imagine what will happen when it goes gold near the end of 2012.