Star Trek Online Review – by Optimus Douche

I figured PopTards needed an infusion of some gaming geeky goodness, so I’m taking a break from my comic book reporting duties on Ain’t It Cool News to describe my first month on the amazingly fantastic MMO Star Trek Online.

Since my mind is linear and obtuse, I’ll be delivering this round-up chronologically.

The Setting – A Time That Will Never Come

Set seventy some years after Spock and JJ Abrams irreparably split Star Trek continuity into two universes, you start the game imbedded firmly in what is now being called the Star Trek Prime universe. You know — that universe where the ship bridges did not look like a trip to the Apple® store?  The universe where we had a Kirk, a Sisco, a Picard…the universe that we all grew up with and cherished as children. Yes  the game is set in THAT universe — and it is glorious.

Don’t get me wrong I love the new movie, but while watching it I still had a nagging feeling that all I had loved was lost. Much the same way I feel with every Ret-Con or Crisis reset in comic books. Progression is good, but my long boxes would like to have some relevance.

This was the way to go though for an MMO. I firmly believe that after the plethora of TV failures and the mass love for the new Star Trek Universe, the Star Trek Prime Universe could only continue in this fashion…well, this or comic books. TV simply can’t compete with the production value of movies.  Especially with the brilliant stage set by the good folks at Atari.

The entire universe is now at war. The Kitimer Accords crumbled and the federation is once again at war with the Klingons. The Romulans are still a bunch of shifty bastards. The Dominion lies in waiting for those intrepid explorers that level up high enough to blow past DS9…and let us not forget the…BORG!!!!!

Training Day

In what is probably the best use of “carrot stickiness” (i.e. rewards for playing the game), you start only being able to play for the Federation. Klingon, Romulan, Dominion and Borg characters only become available after you level up your primary Federation character. Smart move boys, as any MMO veteran knows, the ability to get lost in alt characters is sometimes too enticing and it means you never hit end game – just a lot of characters in the middle game ether.

So I created my avatar, a stately little Vulcan representing my Ain’t It Cool News pen name Optimous Douche…scratch that…the puritans at Atari don’t like the word “douche”…Ok, I shall henceforth be Optimous Dwuche, the first Vulcan with a cleft pallet.

Now that I am alive…I am plunked inside my starting ship. A small Defiant Class vessel; the “little engine that could” that kicked so much ass on DS9. This is the only part of the game that I would say lacked originality. My captain dies in a scuffle against the Klingons and I am placed in charge of the vessel – the same way so many great Captains before me ended up at the helm. We’ll get to space combat mechanics in a minute, just know that it is glorious.

After I take the helm I am placed with several other noobs inside a training instance where I combat a MOTHER-FUCKING BORG cube. A lowly Lieutenant and already I am helming a ship against the Borg…thank you Atari.

Once the cube is destroyed I am “plunked” again (this is not a slight – I have no idea how to traverse the universe yet) several miles above Earth’s stratosphere inside the federation’s primary space station. I’m told Admiral Quinn needs to see me immediately. Well, hell’s bells I better get moving. Thankfully Admiral Quinn’s door glows like a bug light. And like any good bug, I walk to the door, click and go. Once inside the Admiral’s Office, I’m given told that the Federation is in such a state that a little pee-on like myself gets to keep my ship and help defend the cosmos. Awesome! I love a war scenario where the forces have more equipment than qualified people to work it.

I get my first officer to place inside one of the two tactical slots at my ships helm and we are whisked away to our first ground training mission. More detail to come.

We complete our mission and voila back on the Sol system station and I start getting my real missions.

Space – The Awesome Frontier

One of the first missions you get is from the great-great Grandson of Sulu. The game is filled with this sort of continuity goodness. You meet everyone or their progeny from the original Star Trek universe. The two that standout for me have been baby Sulu and baby Paris the daughter of Tom Paris and Tores from Voyager. Sulu doles out the space defense and exploration missions – the grind if you will.  While Admiral Quinn’s chores progress you through the main story. Remember this, even though Quinn gives you missions specific to your level, you will not always be able to complete them on your lonesome.

Sulu acclimates you to navigating the universe. The universe is divided into Sector Blocks, which contain 3 to 4 sectors. Each sector has a plethora of systems – and it is all traversable and playable. That equals a fuckload of content folks. I’ve been playing for a month now and have only traversed three of the fifteen or so sector blocks. I haven’t even begun to traverse each system in each sector.

Space combat is simply fun, far from a grind at all. It is simple enough for noobs, but not so simple that you ever feel as though you are being spoon fed the game. Yes, you die a lot. But if you play right using the abilities of your officers — yes you can strategize yourself to safety.

Ground Missions – Getting Dirty

One of my chief complaints about MMOs is the plethora of fucktards that play along with you. I simply do not like to group as a rule of thumb because of these Ninja Looting asshats. With games like WoW and EQ, you have to group; you need the abilities of healers, warriors and enchanters to complete missions. In Star Trek Online you are your own group. Sure you can team with others and for some of the BIG missions you will HAVE to group, but for the most part, using your bridge officers as away team members you are your own group. Grab a tactical, an engineer and a science officer and you have all of the tanking, healing and buffs you need.

The ground missions are greatly varied between combat, hunt and pecks and diplomatic missions. You know just like the REAL Star Trek.

Final Analysis

I love this fucking game. It is a perfect way to continue a fictional universe I cherish…actually make that covet. As a game – simply stellar.

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4 Comments to “Star Trek Online Review – by Optimus Douche”

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  1. JD says:

    Great review, Sir Douche. Is that pronounced Doo-Chey?
    One of my fave things about the new movie was it's ability to keep things moving forward without compromising the continuity of all that came before it. I'm glad that this game is as aware as it should be. When you have something with such a large fan-base it's important to keep all these things in mind, and it's pretty cool that they did their best to stay true to them. So many "universes" just do things willy nilly, with no sense of previous continuity..
    sounds like this is a pretty bad-ass game to boot!

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