At the big E3 gaming show in LA this week, Paramount and Namco Bandai are showcasing the upcoming Star Trek coop game, set in the new movie universe. There are long lines to get in to see a demo, but we here at TrekMovie can now share some of that demo footage, plus a new look at a Gorn from the game, shots of the E3 both, and my impressions of the demo.
Paramount & Namco Demo Star Trek at E3 + watch the video
"Star Trek" (coming to PC, XBox 360 and Playstation3 in early 2013) is a coop game set between the 2009 Star Trek movie and the 2013 sequel. Players chose to be either Kirk or Spock, each with their own style of gameplay. The game is being developed by Ontario-based Digital Extremes (Bioshock 2, Dark Sector, The Darkness 2) who are working closely with Paramount and Bad Robot. "Star Trek" features an original story written by Marianne Krawczyk (Gods of War) who is working closely with the writer/producers of the new Star Trek films, Bob Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof.
The new story kicks off with the USS Enterprise investigating why communications with New Vulcan have been cut off. Once they arrive, Kirk and Spock beam down and discover that the colony has been overrun by a race of lizards (known to Trek fans as the Gorn). Players must work together both fighting the Gorn and solving various problems to save the colony. While there is a lot of fighting in the game, you will also explore the colony, new areas of the Enterprise and other ships and have to figure out various puzzles. Even when you are fighting, there is more than just run and gun. For example at one point Spock has to scan the enemy to fight a weak spot.
From the demonstrations of the game seen both last year and this year at E3, I can say that they have really captured the feel of the JJ Abrams movie universe. The look, sounds, music and pacing are all familiar. This is especially enhanced by the voices of Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto as Kirk and Spock with banter that feels authentic and adds fun to the experience. The rest of the cast are also lending their voices to the game, and in E3 Demo Simon Pegg’s Scotty provides an important supporting role (like sending down a photon torpedo strike) as well as offering his trademark quips.
The Star Trek presence at E3 2012 was impressive. Firstly Star Trek dominated the Namco Bandai booth with lots of Trek-themed display monitors and a section for people to take their picture in a captain’s chair (complete with booth babes in Starfleet uniform). And for the demo section (with a huge line) attendees were taken through a turbolift/airlock before being ushered into the demo room, where there were two big screens (one for Kirk and one for Spock).
As for the demo itself, it was also impressive. Usually it can be somewhat boring watching someone else play a game, but the style of the Star Trek game is quite cinematic and draws you in to what’s going on, even just as an observer.
They chose to show off a 3D version of the game to add even more wow factor. Here are a couple of video clips from the demo with a split screen showing you the Kirk gameplay on the left and Spock on the right.
The big news this week is that The Gorn were announced to be the villains for the game, but that is only part of the story. The team are using this as an opportunity to expand on The Gorn, literally. In the game you will encounter a number of different types of Gorn (different sub-species perhaps), each with their own abilities and challenges. And the Gorn are not just killer lizards, they have their own ships and technology and through the game we will learn about their motivations and why they are on New Vulcan.
While the game fits well into the new movie universe, it also has a bit of a scary movie feel. While not considered part of the survival horror game genre, there are definitely frights in store. Obviously the inclusion of the Gorn only amps this up.
Paramount took their time with this game instead of just rushing it out, so it doesn’t feel like just another licensed game. As a contributor to Movies.com, I was also at E3 to do a story on movie-related games. While there are some other promising entries (including Lego: Lord of the Rings and Star Wars 1313), this Star Trek game truly stands out. The game continues to get good buzz from the gaming press as well.
In talking to the people working on this game at Namco, Paramount and Digital Extremes I feel like they are on the right track. Outside of Star Trek Online, there has not been anything good to talk about in Trek gaming in a very long time. This new Star Trek game looks like it will change all of that in 2013. When I first saw the game at last year’s E3 I was very impressed and after this year I am even more excited. This game could be the best Star Trek game ever.
Stay tuned to TrekMovie for more on the Star Trek game, including some interviews from E3.