Star Trek Online Hands On Video & Media Reactions From PAX

Cryptic showed off a public demo of Star Trek Online at PAX; Penny Arcade Expo, in Seattle this past weekend. We have some video of these live demos below along with some of the media reactions to the first hands one with the upcoming MMORPG. Cryptic also released some more screenshots.


Close-up look at Star Trek Online
Star Trek Online goes into closed beta later this year and was shown to the public for the first time at PAX. Here are a couple of videos showing off the space and ground combat (thanks to tacticalzen and HailingFrequency).

Space Combat
These video sequences give a very view of the interface which looks very clean and simple to navigate. Something interesting about the top video is at 2:01 there will be a display box to ‘Take Items'(it appears that as soon as you defeat an enemy in STO you will immediately be allowed to pick up any items).

Ground Combat
These give a view view of ground combat. The interface for this looks very simple and similar to space combat.

More video
There are more videos at YouTube for both space and ground combat demos from PAX. Also Star Trek gaming site Hailing Frequency also has a video interview Craig Zinkevich, you can view that at their site

Media Reactions
A few of the big gaming sites were at PAX and Star Trek Online was one of the hot topics. First hand impressions were mostly positive, but there were some critiques as well. Here are a collection of some of the reactions to the game.

And just like that our PAX 2009 demo is over. The game certainly looks good and its use of the Trek universe in a timeline that is several decades beyond the Next Gen/DS9/Voyager time zone allows it to use pretty much everything in the Trek universe (no J.J. Abrams alternate timeline here). The gameplay is definitely action based, much like Cryptic’s earlier work. Our biggest worry about the game at this point is that it feel much like other MMO games.

AS a Star Trek fan for far longer than I’d like to admit, I was pleased with what I saw of Star Trek Online, to a point. Cryptic has displayed a great deal of respect for the property, which shows in the graphical design, interface elements, and some of the odd design choices they’ve made in order to keep the feel of the franchise intact. I just hope the away team mechanic doesn’t end up being an example of how their reverence for the series backfired.


STO’s space combat was easily the most talked about gameplay element over the two days I spent on the show floor at PAX. Nearly everyone I spoke to had either played it and had something positive to say about Cryptic’s approach to space combat, or were trying to find time to sneak away from their own booth to get some hands-on time with it. Considering the caliber of the developers and titles on display at the show, the fact that STO’s ship combat was generating such a high buzz factor really speaks volumes about the potential of the game, at least if initial impressions based on a single looped demo mission are any indication.


Space combat was lots of fun, even for someone that was learning on the fly. It’s very tactical with a deliberate, steady pace that allows you to make regular decisions without feeling like you have to mash buttons. It also happened to feel very much like Star Trek, something that was somewhat lacking in the ground-based portion of the game.


All in all, Trek Online definitely captures the feel and style of Star Trek. The merits of an MMO are ultimately determined by how it plays out in the long run: How tedious the character growth is, how interesting the writing is, how worthwhile the mission objectives are. If you spend less time shooting Klingons than you do collecting a dozen tribble pelts to trade the some guy’s dilithium crystals, it’s gonna be pretty lousy. But I’m hoping Cryptic manages to avoid such a basic mistake. It’s clear their designers get Trek fans: They even presented the demo as a time loop with the Guardian of Forever, allowing players to jump to the beginning of the demo within the narrative by letting them to jump through the Guardian to restart. If that sort of nerdy cleverness is present throughout the entire adventure, it could be one of those rare licensed MMOs that does its namesake justice.



Finally, Cryptic’s new screenshot for the weekend shows off their new Miranda class navigating an asteroid field.

And GameSpy’s preview includes some exclusive shots, including this one of the customization station.


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Ground combat sucks! I don’t know, but it is nothing special this game.

3 Points of 5

Mongo Want!

This game is the reason i’m buying a labtop.

Anyone spotted the Danube Class Runabout outside the window in that Gamespy image? The scaling of this game is awesome in my opinion!

His strategy suggests 2 dimensional thinking …

But seriously, where’s the bridge view? Come on guys, don’t take a step backwards.

WOW: all these people saying that they are buying computers for this game each time cryptic throws out a screenshot. Wait. There have been too many very bad Star Trek games; many games that should have been good sucked: Legacy.

I’m just glad they seem to have done away with the “segmented/missing pieces” kinda approach to the starship hulls.

Great article, good vids and great comments from the game sites.

THE SMOKE – I hope you are ready to spend a crapload of money on a laptop to play a modern game with any kind of efficiency LOL.

Youd probably get more for your money with a desktop system


How you know? Mongo not good with computer. Hand too big.

#6 Why the Legacy bashing. What is it about this game that Trekkers hate? I admit the missions aren’t so great, but online play is cool.

I more a ship combat person than ground combat

Why does it always have to revolve around combat? I agree with some of the other folks who have posted about the Trek gaming experience as a whole that it would be nice if there wass a way to “explore strange new worlds and seek out new life forms”. Set up first contact protocols or find mysteries on unexplored planets. Combat doesn’t necessarily need to be excluded, but neither should it be the focus. And all I have seen was ship battles and ground battles.

I’m not a gamer kind of a guy so I’m not interested in this sort of a game. They hardly need my $.

Can’t wait for this game!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It looks sweet!!!

#13… I agree. Of course, I’d like the battle platform to be solid for the sake of gameplay …because ultimately that is what will be the basis of success for the game online. – that is just a fact of the MMO gaming world. BUT I’d also like their to be some Science… with my fiction. The character or alter-ego I create for this game may not be solely a warrior and should be able to reflect my own wishes… perhaps I’m an explorer today… perhaps I want to discover the cure for some pandemic on a distant federation planet… or maybe I just want to kick Klingon butt…. hopefully all of these gaming “desires” can be fulfilled … and perhaps the designers are writing this into their quest scripts…. we can hope.

oh Ground combat sucks! female keep shoot to klingon few times then knock down. should hit once a time. battle in space look so cool..

oh Ground combat sucks! female keep shoot to klingon few times then knock down. should hit once a time. battle in space look so cool..

omg how SICK of the endless whining am I??

The game looks awesome and I can’t WAIT to play it!

If you don’t like the game, make a better one, yeesh!


You’re right. We should all just shut up unless we have something positive to add to conversations. Nobody wants to hear about any dissention, particularly if it could lead to improvements or broaden the spectrum of the target audience.

BTW, welcome to the internet.

I like the look of the space combat, but the ground combat is lacking. I’d like to see your foes use cover instead of running up to you and firing at you. It would have been nice to see some duck and cover and using strategy. Hopefully its something they can fix.

Other than that the game looks nice.

Hmm not sold on all the weapons that seem to impact the ship even with shields up. Would have liked to see them impact on a nice shield bubble instead.

i wish they had done something more with bridge commander and sto mixted together this game looks horrible.

Meh, I’ll still log hundreads of hours in this game, but I still don’t like Cryptic’s style of purposely making everything look cartoony and fantastic.

On the bright side, they were saying good things about including ship interiors in future expansions, being more a question of time rather than just an idea.

On a related topic:

Join the {UFP}United Federation of Planets Guild Fleet, over 150 members strong, in anticipation of STO. New recruits apply here:

Your referrer: {UFP}Neospectrum

Could you imagine what today would be like if The Great Bird of the Galaxy had todays graphic quality back in 1964 as he created Star Trek. But back then they were just moving from Film to Video, I do not think even in there dreams any thing like CGI movie effects were even any where near being dreamed about.

They had not even invented the 300 baud Acustic Cuppled Modem (thats 27 characters typed per second on a box you squezed the Bell black phone handset into. And now I can watch live video over the DSL phone line, and HD at that.

Personally I’ll have to go with thew majority on this –

Space Combat looks Awesome

Ground Combat looks Blah (Nothing Special)

Would like to see more things to do then combat.

So far so good though in my view.

Will we be able to render medical assistance to plague-stricken colonies?

Will we be able to negotiate peace treaties between warring factions?

Can we choose to try to disable a ship, instead of simply blowing it up? Or attempt to find peaceful ways to resolve conflict?

Can we seek out new life and new civilisations, without then killing them for xp and loot?

My concern is that this looks like Star Trek, but I am unsure whether it’ll feel like it.

Exploration is a big part of the game and Cryptic has hinted at some of your other questions as well.
Check out the ask Cryptic section on the STO website, good stuff there about game content.

Couldnt agree more.

btw for all haters, why you even review this game eh? seems to a pointless effort to bash a game you have no interest in.

This game will blow SW:TOR and EVE out of the water, or dark matter should i say.

I would mention Warcraft but that is the biggest failure in gaming history!!!.

Anyways hope to see ya’ll on STO someday, l8ers :)


How is WoW the biggest failure in gaming history? It makes the most money out of any MMO around, has the most players of any MMO around and is still going very strongly. If that’s a failure then everything else must really suck big time ….

never played it just gone thro all tem message and seen like in space GOOD on thr ground CRAP well i look forword to playing it


space combat looks good, I agree would like to see shield impacts and plasma venting from warp nacelles.

graphics look tremendous and ground combat looks good as well, however future expansions should include ship and space station interiors, think they have already said ages ago that all they want to do right now is get thing online.

as a fan who has been waiting some time for this game and got really upset with the last crowd who tried to make this game all i really want is start playing the game.

The game can be refined in the future.

They may even have addons for sale every year which could really spice things up.

cant wait to play this

game looks good from the vids on show looking at the space combat it looks good i am impressed.

When I was at PAX I had commented how the Ship combat gameplay felt slow, so one of the guys at the booth loaded up the USS Defiant and a whole crap ton of Klingons. OMFG this game is going to be fun…

Also….Someone needs to do some proof reading. also some of the comments should have been proof read, I thought us trekkies were smart?

#19= Best. Post. Ever.

Sorry, but … to me this game looks like a shoot-em-up in space. Graphics aren’t bad, but I thought that Star Trek was about diplomacy, mysteries, anomalies, strange new worlds and new cultures, etc. Even with the biggest enemies, killing was only the last resort. But in this demo, it looks like this will be the “shoot first, collect look later” kind of a game. Which, in turn, means that we only get to decide how we want to blow something and/or someone up.

Honestly the more of this game I see the less I like it. I’ll probably try a free trial, if they have one like WoW, but I doubt I’ll like it. It seems like an ok MMO wrapped in something that looks vaguely like Star Trek.

I would also like to see shield impacts and hull impacts with damage to the ship. Like blowing off a naccell, hull in the saucer or burn marks on the hull. A bridge view would be cool but i perfer an outside view in combat. As to the ground combat it still needs some work and polish. let’s hope that they do some more fine tuning.

some of u guys are whining, geeze it hasnt even come out in beta yet, stop and think what is beta for to make ajustments, give it time with exspansion and update you guys act like this is the final product, im sure when it lauches there maybe shield bubbles and etc, they said they were giving the trekies and gamer everything they want in the game give cryptic time, theres a process to putting out a mmo, i wasnt sure about champions until i played it and i really love the game, it puts city of heroes to shame, champions rocks, and i have the same feeling about star trek online , im willing to wait and see , i think champions online and STO will compete with WOW on some level, i played wow i got bored with it, and i went back two times to wow, champions is great, and i think star trek online will be also you gus just need to give it a chance let them finish the game thru beta , and even after lanuch, dont you think they will be listening to there paying customers, because most of them are trekkies or will be, and there are alot of trekkies around the world

I had the opportunity to play the game there, and some of you are taking a bit too much from this. First of all, they said that the game had a lot of fine tuning and development to go, and that ground combat wasn’t at its best. Second, the demo was designed to be 5-10 minutes at the most. You can’t show much story development in that time. Combat and space flight were probably the only things they could give a good preview of in that time.

One guy also said they were trying their best to get movement around the ship working before release, and if they couldn’t it would almost certainly come for free later on. All in all it looks like it is going to be a very fun game, especially for fans.

star trek bridge commander beats the hell out of the space combat this game has to offer and star trek starfleet command 3 has the exact same gameplay and visuals as this game. i’m really dissapointed that gameplay and graphics hasnt increased much at all in the last 10 or so years. in star trek bridge commander the ships didnt look tiny they actually had some scale to them like in the movies. i’m sorrowly dissapointed. and whats up with the cartoonish looking ground combat?

I just hope that they release some sort of demo or trial. After being very disappointed with Legacy (that was $80 down the drain), I am very sceptical and wary of buying STO before I try it firsthand. Ok some elements do look good, the screenshots look awesome, and when you read or hear the devs talk about the background and gameplay elements they have incorporated it does sound promising. But the game play videos above do resemble Star Trek Command 3. Let’s just hope that what we currently have seen or heard to date doesn’t do final game justice. Otherwise if this turns out to be a mish mash, i’ll be hoping that fan based games such as Star Trek Excalibur come to the rescue for the future of Trek gaming.

I agree with you and everyone else from the Bridge Commander camp. you’d think that the devs would have learned from the tragedy of Legacy. Star Trek Excalibur will be there for people who want a true star trek experience – and it’s FREE

As someone who has never played an mmo, do they usually come with a single player option? Because depending on the price, I’d be happy as punch with a newer version of Starfleet Command 3, quite honestly.