While we have reviewed a number of games over the course of the last two years, Star Trek Online represents the first MMORPG we’ve been tapped to cover. The game itself starts out with a tremendous amount of character customization, allowing players to take on any one of seemingly countless amounts of races. Each of these races, whether it be Breen, Human, Betazoid, or even Klingon (which is unlocked after a certain amount of time with the game) has a set of race-specific buffs and debuffs, giving players some additional choices when it comes to determining what role they would like to take in the game. Compared to a game like World of Warcraft, there is a tremendous amount of feature characterization, with the amount of different facial and body modifications likely crossing over to the millions of possibilities.
The game itself looks to provide player with equal amounts of ship and individual-level battles, which seems to be the crux around whether the title is good or simply another one on the pile. Where we were told that the title was being stress tested on a smaller number of servers, the most major problem surrounding the first-person side of the game had to be lag. There seemed to be heavier than normal gravity when it came to individuals moving around, running, or even loading different screen. Where a number of games have other rooms besides the currently-active one loaded, STO brought up countless loading screens when it came to turbolifts, transfers from bridge to spacedock, and the like. However, where the game does really shine has to be the sheer amount of math and decisions required of players regarding the best gear for ones role, whether they are in an away team or building their ship up. Where the amount of different currencies on the title may seem a little confusing, I have no doubt that players will be able to figure exactly what’s up after a few days of playing.
The heavy reliance on the Orion Syndicate in the early reaches of the game may make low-level grinding a little monotonous – are they that major of a cartel? Star Trek Online is a pretty game with a tremendous amount of things to do and things to customize, but there are some seriously nagging issues that should be fixed before the average MMORPGer takes on the title.
Star Trek Online (PC) / 2010 Atari / http://www.startrekonline.com / http://www.atari.com