Space… the Final Frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Her ongoing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life forms and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before.
I’ve deliberately waited before writing this as the game is only a few months old. They say a good review chooses three things you like and three things you hate then write about them. So, here’s my effort.
First I’ll tell you the three things I hate about the game, providing I can think of three. Unlike WoW, LotRO and some other games in this genre that have persistent open worlds ST:O is heavily instanced. Every time I want to change areas I have to go through a loading screen and even in safe social areas there is a maximum population of fifty players. This to me isn’t very massive, so the first “M” in MMORPG is gone.
My second gripe is that the game isn’t very Star Trek. By this I mean we plough through space, phasers at maximum, solving every problem with big guns. Don’t misunderstand this is fun, but not very Star Trek I expected a few diplomatic missions here and there.
My last gripe is the distinct lack of content and difficulty. You can easily play from start to the current level cap in less than 100 hours, alone, never having to group up at all. This makes it more like a single player game with multi-player elements than an MMO in my opinion. Enough with the bad let’s move on to the good stuff.
OK, the good bits. The ship to ship combat is excellent, I don’t think I’ve played a game with space or aerial battle that has done it better. The UI for your ship and abilities is well laid out and responsive. From the beginning, as you level up, the combat becomes more tactical with enemy ships using similar skills to you. This of course requires you, the player, to adapt your own tactics.
The level of character customisation is very good allowing for a near infinite variety of player characters. You can play as many of the known and loved species from the show, such as, Betazoid, Trill, Vulcan and Bajoran and more are becoming available by micro transaction all the time. Ships are also customisable with a choice of three basic patterns for each ship. From there you can mix and match parts, such as, hull and saucer from these three to make a unique ship of your own.
Though many aren’t keen I like the skill tree and how it works. Unlike, for instance, LotRO where as you gain experience and level up you are given a particular skill at certain levels. ST:O skill tree where you choose your own skills and interchangeable kits, each of which, has a different set of abilities. This allows the player to specialise in, for instance, tanking while having the option to change kits at a moments notice and use a different specialisation.
I give the game a solid 75% and believe it can only improve with time.