Game Review – Star Trek DAC (XBox 360)

It is common for big summer movies to have their own videogames, usually loosely following the storyline of the film, with maybe a few new perspectives thrown in. The new Star Trek film has a videogame, however Paramount has taken a different approach with "Star Trek DAC," which is a budget-priced arcade shooter ‘inspired’ by the Star Trek feature film. Find out if you should take a shot at DAC up in our review below.  

 

Star Trek DAC was a bit of a surprise actually. TrekMovie.com first reported it back in back in March when we found a promotional flyer in and advance look at the contests for the April Blu-ray release of Star Trek TOS Season One. The initial question many people had was ‘what is it?’ and the second was ‘What the heck does DAC stand for?’ We now know that the game is a top-down multiplayer space shooter which could be thought of as ‘Asteroids on steroids’. As for the name, it still hasn’t officially been announced what DAC stands for but after playing the game it most likely stands for the three modes of game play: Deathmatch (Team), Assault and Conquest. All of these modes are focused around team gameplay, one side playing as the Federation and the other is the Romulan Empire.


Screenshot of Star Trek DAC

Teamdeath match is where there are two teams and both teams fight each other till either team achieves fifty kills. Assault mode forces one side to defend their strategic points while the other attempts to capture them, once a point is captured the defending team cannot recapture that point. Finally conquest mode gives both teams a main team strategic point as well as two neutral points, the objective in this match is to capture the two neutral points and then proceed to capture your opponents main point.

In the game you have three sets of ships you can choose from: Fighter, Bomber and Flagship. The fighter ship gives players a quick maneuverable ship which has low hit points. Its only weapon is a phaser cannon. The bomber has slightly better hit points but has no main guns, the ships entire arsenal relies on dropping bombs which explode a few seconds after their release. Finally the flagship has the most amount of hit points. The flagships resemble the Enterprise and Narada from the Star Trek movie. The flagship has an aiming icon which can be moved around which fires a burst weapon. the flagship also has a close range phaser cannon which can hit ships that come in close proximity to the flagship. Athough more powerful, the flagship is certainly the hardest too use. Each ship has strengths and weeknesses and the game is designed in a ‘rock, paper, scissors’ way so that no one ship type totally dominates.

Throughout the game there are power ups which can increase the power of your weapons or help restore any lost shield or hull points. There are also other items that you can pickup which can cloak your ship, give you a onetime use torpedo attack, a shield which protects you from any damage and many more.


Two flagships face off
(note symbol in bottom left indicating time remaining for current powerup)

The game has a pretty short learning curve to get into it and after just a few rounds learning the controls you can be very dangerous in multiplayer combat. However, there are deeper levels with a lot of strategy. If a player goes into a fight with the sole purpose of trying to be the lone hero and kill everyone, they’ll most likely die after taking down one ship. However, if you get a good team together then you can really turn the tides of battle. It would have been nice if there were more differences between the factions. as the there is really nothing much to differentiate the Federation or the Romulans. While this keeps the game balanced, it also loses another possible layer of strategy.

Star Trek DAC is not suppose to be a full length game, but is something that can be played (online or offline) for just a few minutes, but you can play so long as to lose track of time. While this title is not something that is going to rival the big release games such as Gears of War or Call of Duty, it is a lot of fun and is reminiscent of classics such as Asteroids and Galaga. While the Star Trek movie has been advertised as “not your father’s Star Trek”, this game, ironically, feels like old school games that came out in the 80’s. Although this game allows you to quickly jump in and fight, that is really all there is to it. If you are looking for any kind of story, this is not the game for you. And with a limited number of ships and maps (in the absence of additional download add-ons), there isn’t a lot of replay-ability for the game in the long term. Although there is no story related to the Star Trek movie, the game does feature music
from Michael Giacchino’s score, along with sound effects from the film, both of which truly enhance the ‘Star Trek-ness’ of the experience.


Star Trek D-A-C feels like an old school game

Star Trek DAC is a small little game that really packs a punch, while it doesn’t have an emphasis on story it really comes through with the simplicity of combat. This is a game that both casual and hardcore gamers can play while having a lot of fun. The game is currently available for the Xbox360 through Xbox Live for 800 Microsoft points. That makes the game cost $10. Compared to other games, it doesn’t feel like you are getting a lot and a more reasonable price might have been $5. You can decide for yourself as there is a playable demo you can play for free. DAC is expected to be released for the PC and PS3 in July.

Star Trek DAC Trailer



[also at YouTube]

 

What is next for Star Trek video games?
So sure, Star Trek DAC is fun, and it does not pretend to be a full featured video game tie-in, but it still leaves fans who want a richer story-based Star Trek gaming experience wanting. After releasing a handful of titles in 2006 & 2007, it appears that Bethesda Softworks no longer has the Star Trek gaming license. Now that the new Star Trek movie is a big success, maybe we will see renewed interest in Star Trek gaming and we can get some new games (beyond the upcoming Star Trek Online MMORPG). 

 

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JOE

Star Trek Bridge Commander will always be supreme…an amazing game.

Elite Force I and II and right there behind it.

Wes W.

Doesnt look to good

Gorn

Bethesda Softworks doesn’t have the Star Trek gaming license!?!? Damn it! They made a GREAT PlayStation 2 game called Star Trek: Conquest. It was fun game because, while it had a stort, it focused more on space combat.

R.I.P.
Bethesda Softworks Star Trek games
2006-2007

Wes W.

Well, I must elaborate, why would anyone want to play a game like this, when there are actual Star Trek games out there, like Bridge Commander, Elite Force, Starfleet Command, just to name a few. This reminds me of Encounters and Conquest, 2 disappointments. And can we just make a Bridge Commander-esque game for PC and the consoles? Or a starfleet Command type one?

noirgwio

I got a PS3, not an XBOX… But I’d probably skip this game because it’s all they ever churn out for Trek; Space flight/battle sims etc. Why can’t they make a grand RPG (role playing game) the likes of Final Fantasy, or covert espionage like Metal Gear Solid? Set in the Trek world, you captain a ship, or build up to it by the end after begining at ensign. Seeking out artifacts, a crew of specialists, new planets etc. With a sweeping saga that you play out. That is a Trek game I want to play!

section9

I’ll be charitable and call this “old school”.

Let’s say the marketing people should call this Version 1.0. This won’t sell. People want 3-D graphics and Heads-Up Display interactive shooter combat.

Yeesh. Paramount should know this before dropping a half-million dollars in development money on this.

Minitrap

#1

yeah, Bridge Commander is awesome, especially with the Kobayashi Maru-Mod.

jas_montreal

The visuals look really neat. But i have to say….. Why didn’t we get a huge official game with the movie ? It didn’t have to be supreme or anything… but a full huge game on the 360 or ps3 would have been nice.

JonBuck

I enjoy this game a lot, myself. Spent hours playing it, mostly with the Bomber. Can’t figure out how to use the Flagship’s short range phaser (or is it a tractor beam? I’m not sure).

Mee

@5…. Have you looked at star trek online yet?

http://www.startrekonline.com

Rick James

I’ll stick with Bridge Commander (with mods) or Starfleet Command 1, 2 or Orion Pirates.

noirgwio

Re: 10; I’ve been curious about what I’ve Heard, which isn’t much… Mostly due to that word ‘online’. Y’know in City On The Edge Of Forever (TOS) where Spock observes what little he has to work with as ‘stone knives and bearskins’? Well, I’m in a relatable situation. I have a PS3, a PC, yes… But my only online access (until finances provide) is a couple year old cellphone. So why can’t they make a regular RPG? Or an ap of a small section of the MMORPG set up as a stand alone 1 player game? STO does sound good though!

ShinRa Actual

Bethesda losing the Trek lisence is good news to me; Conquest and Encounters were decent budget games…but Legacy was just horrible. They basically put out a half-finished game (half the missions intended were cut, the CGI cutscenes were cut, a lot was cut….and it’s just horrible to play), charged us full price, and then promptly abandoned it at launch.

D-A-C is what it is…there’s not a whole lot to it. A major downer is the ship everyone wants to play (the Constitution class) is the most aggrivating to use with it’s cursor targeting gimmick.

8: We didn’t get a full on game because it would’ve taken a year or two’s work to get one made, and BethSoft either dropped the Star Trek Lisence or had it revoked after the Legacy debacle.

9: The close-in Phasers on the Flagship types are automatic.

Aaron R.

Sorry to say but as a gamer and a Trek fan I think this DAC game just blows big time… The controls are awkward and clunky and after 15 mins of frustration I am ready to quit and play something else… I have tried since I purchased it on day 1 to play this game 5 times and every time ended up just shutting it off.

It is really sad to because I loved the movie so much and the game looks graphic wise very nice but the controls… meh… oh well.

The NCC Factor

I REALLY want a sequel to Star Trek: Elite Force II, as far as I’m conserned that’s the best trek game yet!

NCC-73515

And the warp nacelles now work as impulse engines with rocket-like flames?

Sean

I played the demo and it’s nothing special. While I’m glad they didn’t do the standard “Official Game of the Movie” junk and butcher the movie, this just isn’t worth the money. There are plenty of free games you can play on your PC that do the same trick.

TheAmorphousBlob

D.A.C. = “Does Anyone Care?”

Gameplay sux, but it sure looks pretty.

trekboi

i have missed all the games- i hope i can start from a new game based on STAR TREK 11.

Lego Star Trek the videogame.

lt1701e

star trek legacy for 360. awsome game

Eli

I think EA has the Star Trek license now. They recently released a star trek game for cell phones and the ipod that resembles the DAC.

Here’s a link:
http://www.geek.com/articles/mobile/ea-mobile-releases-star-trek-mobile-game-20090520/

Rickroll'd.

Hell yeah, Lego Star Trek!

Kregano

I think that the best chance to get a game that feels like a Trek series would be to give BioWare the Trek gaming license and let them use the stuff they’ve developed for Mass Effect 1 and 2 to create a Trek RPG. I’m not sure what era it would be set in, but it could be possible to create a game that leads directly to Romulan War, in addition to scenarios in the Prime timeline and the ST09 timeline.

I felt like im playing star trek encounters again

Trekkie

Lego Star Trek would be awesome!