Star Trek: Online – A UK Perspective
By guest author Chris Pressland
It’s a punishing task to review an MMO, especially an MMO that follows a series with arguably one of the biggest followings in all pop culture, and it adds even more insult to injury when it only launched a few weeks ago. I personally have only achieved the rank of Lieutenant Commander 2 in the game so far, but I have to say this is by far one of the most innovative ‘Leveling up’ systems I’ve seen in a game so far and it really pushes you to gain as much experience as possible as quickly as possible. I’ll go into further detail a little later but I wanted to cover my initial thoughts before going off at a tangent on specific areas of the game.
When I started the game the servers were absolute chaos and you were very lucky if you could even login, not to mention I couldn’t do ground missions or levels inside space stations because the game would simply crash out after the frame rate taking a nose dive. But after a few days they certainly got things sorted out, now there’s only a few missions that don’t work properly, I remember a random case where the Borg suddenly warped in and started kicking arse in a Klingon vs Federation Star System. Doesn’t matter how much damn firepower you throw at those tactical cubes, they keep coming! But like I said, most of the main bugs are worked out now and the game maintains the usual addictive quality of all MMOs. My rating out of ten, giving that I’m a massive Star Trek fan anyway, 7/10.
The Game loses points in various areas; firstly I would have liked to see a Mac and Linux client. From what I’ve seen the game entirely uses DirectX 9 and Internet Explorer for it’s built in browser, shame they didn’t use OpenGL and Webkit.
Secondly, getting a new ship lets you mount more weapons, but you can still only fire one at a time. Take this, my initial ship had two ‘Dual Heavy Disruptor Cannons’ mounted on front, one fired, one recharged and so forth. However my second ship allowed me to mount Three ‘Dual Disruptor Cannons’ however I can still only fire one at a time so I’m not actually getting any extra firepower. Sure I could swap it out for a Photon Torpedo Launcher or a Phaser Array, but I’d rather just have more angry-looking ship.
Thirdly, the customisation options for the ships are terrible, not even remotely good. I’m sure they get better as you continue through the game but the starter ship and the second ship you get both basically look the same.
Finally, Klingon Swordmasters are HORRIBLE! Sure my team and I can take out one or two of them coming at us, but what happens when a third gets involved? DEATH! Which raises another point, I can’t see ANY penalties for dying in the game.
I’ll quickly go over the levelling up system and then I’ll leave you to your own conclusions.
This game has redefined levelling up and I’ve never seen anything this good before. You level up in levels of ten, and after the tenth level you go up a Rank, you start as a lieutenant and slowly become an Admiral. This is great because it adds the same sort of things that’d go with a real promotion, new ships, more privileges, better items, missions, etc.
Like all MMOs this game will continue to evolve and get better and better and I can only hope that its popularity continues to soar. Personally this’ll be the game of 2010 for me if I didn’t have to use BootCamp to play the darn thing.
****I’m sure the UK review and the USA review are the same, I just enjoy nagging Chris about his “fanny” jokes. Thanks for contributing, CP.
Filed under: Internet Culture, MMO, scifi | 3 Comments
Tags: Games, MMO, Star Trek, Star Trek Online