E3 2011: Eyes on with Star Trek

Back in the 1990's there were a ton of Star Trek PC titles released from several different publishers including Interplay, Microprose and Simon and Schuster Interactive. Later Activision got the rights to all of the Star Trek TV shows and movies and released a number of games in the early 2000s before deciding to dump the license. Bethesda Softworks had the rights for a couple of years with poor results. Currently we have the MMO Star Trek Online, set after the events of the Next Generation TV show.

In 2009, Star Trek as a franchise got rebooted with J.J. Abrams's feature film. While that movie got a small tie-in game (a downloadable space shooter, Star Trek DAC) the movie never really got a proper game adaptation. In 2012 that changes with Star Trek, an upcoming third person co-op shooter from developer Digital Extremes and publisher Paramount Digital Entertainment. We got to see an early build oif the game at E3 2011 this week.

The development team that was showing off the demo made the point that this would not be the typical crappy movie tie-in. The game has been in development for at least a year and a half and have been working with Abrams and the team at Bad Robot to make sure that this Star Trek game would actually be a good game to play rather than just a marketing point. The game itself takes place sometime in between the first Star Trek film and the second, currently scheduled for release sometime in 2012. The story is also designed to be a stand alone adventure and won't really be a prequel to the second move.

The big selling point of the game is the co-op theme of you controlling either Kirk or Spock. Each character is different than the other and might accomplish the same goals in a different way while still working together. Our look at the E3 demo began with Kirk and Spock making a spectacular EVA from a shuttle to the Enterprise which has come under attack by aliens who have place mines inside and outside the ship.

Once Kirk and Spock board the Enterprise (and even the way they enter is different from each other) they start to explore the wrecked ship which doesn't appear to have any of its crew members on board. Sure enough the duo confront the mysterious alies and start firing their phasers. However Kirk and Spock are captured and brought to the bridge where Kirk decided to blow the bridge's window, sucking the aliens out into space. The demo ends with Kirk and Spock also seemingly in danger of being sucked out themselves.

The game uses Digital Extremes' own in-house Evolution Engine and visually Star Trek as a game looks pretty sharp even in this early stage of development. It's clear that the development team also want a smooth storyline that makes good use of Kirk and Spock's different personalities. Overall the new Star Trek game is looking highly promising and hopefully we will see more before the game comes out in 2012.

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