If only Digital Extremes - a developer that's capable of more, as attested by The Darkness 2 - would leave things at that, the results might be forgivable nonetheless. Later in the game, levels open up and afford a decent array of tactical possibilities, such as teleportation pads, flanking routes up and along walls, forcefields to enable and disable, ventilation systems that provide access to the enemy's rear. You begin to get a sense of the merely acceptable co-op game that might have been, given a little more time in development. But even when Star Trek does manage to serve up a decent fight, there are deadening downers in the shape of those hacking sequences, some of them two-player, which crop up at a rate of one every five minutes.
The unkindest cut of all is that you only rarely get to actually command the Enterprise, and when you do, the implementation would disgrace the average Call of Duty turret sequence. Digital Extremes has, at least, managed to port over a few of the production values that make the J.J. Abrams films so characterful - watching your ship tear apart raggedy space bandits with warbling photon torpedoes is a gentle thrill. But these points of stylistic overlap only serve to emphasise the key takeaway here, which is that the relationship between the film and videogame industries is still largely one of mercenary opportunism. Star Trek deserves better, and so do you.
Here's a video chat with The Guardian's Keith Stuart to wash all that down. Star Trek: The Videogame is out now.
Set phasers to kill
- Resembles the film
- Boring cover combat
- Wearisome hacking puzzles
- Tepid level concepts
- Technically shoddy