- Publisher: Namco Bandai
- Developer: Digital Extremes
- ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
- Genre: Action-Adventure
- Pros: A Rich Universe to Explore
- Cons: That Gets Turned Into a Generic Shooter
To be fair, "Star Trek" clearly came from a more ambitious place than the average licensed game (like the horrendous "Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse," "Rise of the Guardians," "The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct" or "Aliens: Colonial Marines" -- the last two still the top two contenders for worst game of 2013 to date). More than a mere sci-fi shooter (which wouldn't have worked given that "Star Trek" was always a world of diplomacy over violence), "Star Trek: The Video Game" encourages teamwork through co-op play and puzzle solving. The problem is that the puzzles are so generic, dull, and horrendously designed that you'll want to shoot Spock with your phaser. And not on Stun. You take Kirk, your buddy takes Spock, or vice versa, and you work together to pry open doors, go up elevators, carry power cells, and some of the most numbingly dull gameplay you'll encounter all year. Who knew the final frontier was so boring?
You'll spend most of the 10 or so hours of "Star Trek" fighting the Gorn, an alien race of enemies that look like dinosaurs with phasers. I can't express enough how awful the character and enemy design is here. It's virtually incomplete on a visual level in that shots don't really look like they connect (it's that old-fashioned gaming thing where there's a circle of light around an enemy that indicates a hit) and enemies have no AI of which to speak. They'll run the wrong way, shoot in the wrong direction, and generally look unbelievably stupid. In terms of enemy AI and design, you won't play a worse game this year.
It makes you dread enemy encounters. So what does that leave? Some puzzle solving that actually makes use of some nifty technology at times. The game picks up notably when it goes vertical as Kirk and Spock take turns teleporting each other to platforms to get from point A to point B. It hints at what the game could have been -- non-violent, creative gameplay. There are numerous times when you'll hack equipment or doors and these mini-games, while blunt and unrefined, are at least nice diversions from the hideous graphics and awful shooter mechanics.
Awful AI, dull storytelling, repetitive puzzle-solving, at least you can do it all with a friend. You BETTER do it all with a friend because the AI of Spock were you to play Kirk on your own will drive you crazy. There were literally times where I had to go get Spock like a dog who can't find the door. At other moments, I just flashes into the elevator in which I'm waiting for him or wherever he may be needed. And the clunkiness of interaction with the AI-controlled partner is unbelievable.
Clunky is the word overall for "Star Trek". Why does it take Kirk a full minute to put down a power cell while in mid-combat? Why are the cover mechanics just silly? Why did that enemy appear out of nowhere and another one disappear? There are enough of these kind of glitches in "Star Trek" to make one call it incomplete. I wish it was. Then we could be more forgiving.