Star Trek Online: GameInformer Preview
This preview was published in the April 2009 issue of GameInformer magazine.
NEW LIFE, NEW CIVILIZATIONS
Even as Cryptic Studios creeps closer to its impending launch of Champions Online, details on its other big project continue to emerge. Coming to both PC and unannounced consoles, Star Trek Online has a number of elements to make Trek fans squeal with embarrassing glee, but one of the coolest of these is the character creator. Cryptic elaborated on the system at this year's New York Comic Con.
All of the expected facial morphing tools are available to players, albeit with a greater flexibility than is offered in most MMOs. You'll pick any of the hallmark Star Trek races, from vulcans and klingons to gorn and andorians. For many players, the more exciting option will be to craft their own race, intermingling facial and body features from several different races, and morphing those parts to create a brand new alien species within the sprawling Trek universe.
No matter your exterior appearance, you'll have some big choices to make as the game begins. Set 30 years after the end of Star Trek: Nemesis, much has changed in the Alpha Quadrant. The Klingon Empire and the Federation are about to enter into all-out war, and players must decide which faction to join. Though you'll begin play with a small ship of your own to command, every character still chooses a baseline career path, such as tactics, engineering, or science. This helps determine your unique skill set as you advance, even as you add bridge crew to supplement those abilities.
The general game design concept has remained largely intact since our cover story on the game last October. The game offers a mix of space exploration and planetary excursions, with an episodic structure that keeps the story moving forward. Any given scenario might involve a trip between multiple worlds, a tactical battle amid a spinning asteroid field, followed by a harrowing chase across some crystalline alien landscape. If the new Trek movie manages to garner some enthusiasm this summer, Star Trek Online may turn more than a few heads when it releases several months later.