With very few exceptions, video games based on movies tend to be pretty horrible.
They’re generally designed as quick cash grabs by both the movie studio and the game developer.
But, every once in a while, a game comes out that is as good or better than the movie that inspired it. Nintendo fans will remember the fantastic Goldeneye, based on the 1995 James Bond movie.
So when Bandai and Paramount announced that there would be a game set in J.J. Abrams’ new Star Trek universe, I was skeptical. However, over the development of the game, screenshots and video came out that made it look like it might actually be decent. It had a reputable publisher and all the talent from the movie to do voice acting, as well as its own story and musical score.
I picked up the game earlier this week to try out. It starts out strong – the visuals look great, and the Enterprise is reproduced perfectly, inch by inch, on the interior and the exterior. A great deal of attention has been paid to the environments and lighting.
The story feels like a classic Star Trek movie tale, with an alien race stealing an important gadget that could spell certain doom for the galaxy if Kirk and his crew can’t stop them in time.
You choose to play as either Captain Kirk or Spock, and you can have a friend play with you as the other. This is for the best, as I quickly found that the computer is not very helpful when controlling your partner.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the first flaw that I found – this game is full of glitches and other odd problems. Sometimes the goal is unclear and you must walk around hoping you trigger an event. Step one foot near a fire, and you’re instantly dead. The game almost seems to actively work against being fun.
Most of all, the game is short. I was able to complete the entire thing in two evenings after work. For a game that costs $60 at retail, I feel like I should get more than a few nights worth of entertainment.
I can tell that a lot of work went into this game, but that it was still probably rushed to market to tie in with the new Star Trek movie coming out in May. There are pieces of a good game here, but the total product seems unfinished and just isn’t very much fun.
Star Trek is available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. Game was reviewed using the Xbox 360 edition. Screenshots are from the PC version.