Space, the final frontier… well, perhaps, but it was not the number one destination of this year’s E3 in Los Angeles. No, that honor goes to Namco Bandai’s Star Trek Theater. It was there that I dutifully took my seat, put on my 3D glasses, and let Giacchino’s magical score wash over me.
The Star Trek: The Game demo continued with the obligatory starship porn. A memorable flyby around the Enterprise, a seamless transition through the window to the bridge, and the story was well on it’s way.
And what a story it is.
Surprise surprise, New Vulcan is in trouble. Didn’t we learn from the first movie that nothing good ever results from contact with the Vulcan homeworld?
The demo showed off a unique split gaming mechanic. Each character has his own story. We saw different perspectives, one of Kirk doing his command schtick and another of Spock manning the sensors. With a potential crisis looming, the two protagonists headed down to the transporter and that’s when the real fun began. This is where the split storytelling elements started to shine. It was subtle, but it caught my attention… when the dapper Captain strolled down the corridor he received a wink and a smile from an Orion. Spock went down a moment later and she simply turned around paying him little notice. If this type of attention to detail and character is the standard and not the exception then this will truly be a great Star Trek gaming experience.
Enter familiar cover-based gaming. The intrepid Enterprise duo receives a cold welcome from some unruly scientists and are forced to set phasers to stun.
After a blast, a nerve pinch (so awesome), some fancy scanning, and a Cumberbatch eureka moment (it’s a toxin affecting the Vulcans) Kirk and company make their way to the surface.
Enter the big reveal… here there be Gorn!
These Gorn are not the slow, rubberized versions we are used to from the original series. These are fast, lithe, and scarier than Picard’s Risan Speedo. If I took anything away from this presentation, it was a recurring nightmare of that screaming, fang-bared Gorn.
And now the running and the screaming…
Pine and Quinto (cause really, the resemblance to the actors is uncanny) soon found themselves surrounded by the scaly beasts. Not even Scotty could beam them out and they soon found themselves cornered and outnumbered. Kirk doesn’t like to do anything small so he orders an orbital strike, obliterating the Gorn and half the platform in the process. Of course this alerted other Gorn vessels who began to swarm the area and then… well… you’ll just have to buy the game to find out!
All in all, a very effective presentation. Sure, there were some noticeable issues, such as what I can only describe as a texture bug making Scotty look like he just got out of the pool, but over all it was a smooth and polished demo. This is definitely a game to watch. Check back often and tune into Trek Radio for all the latest news, information, and developer interviews!