E3 Impressions: New “Star Trek” Video Game Looks Amazing

Last week at the E3 show in Los Angeles I had a chance to see a special demo of the upcoming Star Trek game, set in the new movie universe. It has been a long wait for a new Star Trek video game, but this new title was worth the wait. More details and first impressions below.


New "Star Trek" game impresses at E3

The demo shown behind closed doors to members of the media at E3 started with one of the developers from Digital Extremes promising that their new Star Trek is "not just another licensed game." He then quickly acknowledged that this is what people always say. However, in this case, he may be telling the truth.

The new "Star Trek" game is a co-op action-adventure game set in the universe of the JJ Abrams 2009 Star Trek movie. The story for the game is a stand-alone adventure set between the 2009 Star Trek and the 2012 sequel. Players choose to play as either Kirk or Spock. If you don’t have a friend to play with (either with you or over the network) then the AI can takeover as your partner, but a real player can join you any time (and leave anytime).

The E3 demo was shown on two monitors (with two players) to demonstrate the "asymmetrical" play of Kirk and Spock, who require different styles of play. Each has their own view on the story and each has their own equipment and special abilities. For example, Kirk has a special "Captain’s Phaser" and as he gains experience he gets additional attacks, including "a really cool Wrath of Khan vaporize attack." Spock caries a Vulcan particle canon which has kill, stun and stasis setting (helpful for stealth attacks). Spock can also do mind-melds, including using them to confuse enemies in combat. 

Kirk and Spock play differently in the "Star Trek" co-op game

The game is being developed by Digital Extremes, who have been working on it since early 2010. According to Digital Extremes developers at E3, Star Trek is something "near and dear" to their hearts. They are also working very closely with Bad Robot and Kurtzman/Orci on the game, with apparently "day to day" feedback, including K/O working closely with BAFTA-winning writer Marianne Krawczyk on the game’s original story.

The demo started with Kirk and Spock returning to the Enterprise via a shuttle only to discover the ship had been captured in some "strange energy streams" and is surrounded by depth charges. As they cannot approach in the shuttle, they are forced to do a space jump to the ship and avoid debris and mines using their LSPUs (Life Support Propulsion Units). After landing on the ship and entering airlock, Kirk and Spock begin to explore the ship using tricorders to analyze the damage, override locked doors, and of course scan various red shirt corpses. In fact, scanning the red shirts is a key game point (more on that later).

After getting a distress call, they head to the Shuttle Bay, only to discover it was a trap laid by nasty aliens who are trying to take over the ship. At this point there was a cut scene, which nicely was still playable (and not like games where you can’t do anything for a few seconds). All during this you hear periodic dialog from Kirk and Spock and while the demo had placeholder voice work, we were told that Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto will be doing the final voice work for the game.

In addition to the real actors doing voice work the ship looks impressive and is recreated in great detail. But even more exciting, the game takes players into parts of the USS Enterprise that weren’t seen in the film. Digital Extremes has been given all the assets from the Star Trek movie, including blueprints and designs for parts of the USS Enterprise that weren’t seen (or seen in full) for the movie, like the Shuttle Bay.

Kirk and Spock get ambushed in the Shuttle Bay (notice Kirk has picked up a new phaser rifle)

The demo also showed interesting "buddy movie" dynamic for the co-op, such as a moment when Kirk has to get to med bay but can only make it assisted by Spock. When they get there Spock has to perform procedure on Kirk to get rid of some alien parasites, while Kirk is in bed shooting at creatures trying to attack. And it is in this scene that Spock has an easier time healing Kirk based on how many red shirts you previously scanned, so the game is not all run and gun.

After that Kirk gets up and was shown to do some serious ass-handing with his phaser rifle using interesting attack modes, including one where Spock fires at his shield to build up energy which Kirk then transfers into a massive attack, again showing how the players need to work together. This was followed by a cool scene we aren’t supposed to talk about, so I will just say it had Kirk do one of his classic snatching life from the jaws of death kind of things that shows this team know their lore.

After watching the demo I and others attending were suitably impressed. So far this game is getting excellent marks, and it already picked up a number of "best of show" awards and accolades at E3 from the Official Playstation Magazine, Official XBox Magazine, CNN, Electronic Playground, and more.

It has been so long since a Star Trek game has got me excited that I had forgotten what the experience was like. The game shown at E3 was a very promising co-op adventure with impressive game mechanics and a lot of fun. If the story for the game pans out in an interesting way, this "Star Trek" game could be the best Trek game ever.

E3 Trailer for Star Trek

The "Star Trek" game comes out in 2012 on PC, PlayStation 3 and XBox 360. There will also be a special phaser attachment for the PlayStation Move.

PlayStation Move Phaser Controller


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can’t wait to play this

I hope it’s just as awesome on the computer because that’s all I have. XD Very excited for this!

I’ve been hearing about this game and it sounds absolutely awesome. I can’t wait.

I hope Bones, Scotty or others are unlockable. Although based on the seemingly tight story structure of the game I don’t know it it would be possible. Maybe unlockable Shatner and Nimoy versions.

I’ve read a great review of the demo on IGN and I can’t wait for this game to come out, finally this could be the Star Trek game we’ve all been waiting for!

Forget about those lousy boring navigational games, this one for the hardcore Star Trek Fan/Gamer. We need something with action!

That’s be cool if you could explore other planets, and fly through space freely (kinda like a sandbox game or RPG) on your own and complete missions when you please, but this is what we need. An action packed game. :D

THAT’s why TOS had a more concealled bridge deck. That main view port on the bridge has already proved to be way too venerable twice already!.

The phaser attachment for the Playstation looks cool. But let’s hope the game lives up to the name Star Trek and not just a simple third person shooter. I hope there’s some sophisticated story telling. It can be done. Look at Mass Effect and Half Life. Interesting concept on Spock’s mind meld power. He would have to get right next to an enemy to do it. I mean he can’t fling it like the Force, can he?

If you can explore the whole ship, the means engineering or budgineering. Can we stop by Scotty’s for a beer? I keeed. I keeed.

“Amazing” is the word…

Can’t wait for another console game. Legacy seems like so long ago. . . Next they need ship combat.

Additional thoughts: I really liked the concept of S.T. Legacy, it just needed some more tweaking with add ons and actual DLC. Additional maps, more ships, upgradable ships, etc. Legacy was basically a glimpse of the best Trek game ever, unfortunately it became a quick paper/rock/scissors competition. But it’s still my favorite Trek game, there are so few good ones that are playable today.

What was your favorite?

Now this looks awesome :):)

Wow! This games looks like all KINDS of amazing. Love it!

Is everyone happy with the new engineering? Can we shut up about the brewery now?

I am not a big gamer, but this one I must have!!!!!

looks great, glad it’s the actual cast doing the voices, but you keep mentioning co-op I’m assuming it has a single player mode?

@ 8 & 9.Tom.


If you were addressing me, I never had any favourite ( Star Trek ) games.
However, over the past two years, I have followed several discussions online,where, quite a few fans seemed to lament the lack of decent Star
Trek games, claiming that this state of affairs was hurting the franchise.

When I first heard about the new Star Trek game, thanks to a poster on this site,I read about it , and, thought that it might possess what most of the other
games, apparently, sorely lacked.

I really hope that it is as amazing as it looks (on paper and teaser trailer). Personally, I have been excited by everything, I have seen and read about it , so far.

anybody else think that the playstation having an attachment for this game is awesome!!?? =)

I am no gamer either, but I hope to be able to get this game on X-Box 360 when it comes out for someone’s birthday. Just hope it doesn’t cost an “arm and a leg” which I suspect it will. Oh well.

Nice touch that Chris and Zach are going to be doing the voice work. It would also be nice if we get to come across the other bridge crew members on our travels throughout the ship. Even better if the actors do the voices for them too.

This might actually be a good Star Trek game. Just so long as it is all not fighting and blowing things up. Please…..?

Wonder what are the chances of a mod for the PC version so that we can run around the TOS Enterprise…. :)

This looks good, so it´s a small affair “Die Hard on the NuEnterprise while looking like Mass Effect”.

Sounds good to me, hope they launch it on PC.

Have to buy a ps move just to get that phaser!

Have they ever thought of building a phaser housing for a Wii system?

Man, this looks great. Too bad I won’t be getting that attachment. I already have a Wii, what would I need the far more expensive Move for? lol

I really want the game to come out as well for Nintendo Wii :):)

I hope they will have a version for the Wii U.


I think it’s fantastic that you not only get to play Kirk or Spock, but see parts of the ship that you didn’t get to see in the movie. The universe of Trek is all-immersive and just plain fascinating to explore.

I can’t wait until the day they develop video game machines that project images on all four walls of your den or living room, so that you can have a holodeck-like experience. (You saw the idea here first, folks!) Imagine the role-playing games you could play then! It would be like laser tag at home, except way cooler.

They’ll probably have something like that available for home use in a couple of decades, I would imagine.

Can’t wait


More concealed than what? They were all situated right on top of the saucer, vulnerable as all get out.

#18 – “Wonder what are the chances of a mod for the PC version so that we can run around the TOS Enterprise”

Why would you want to run around a bunch of blank featureless colored walls?

Lookin’ good!


“The screen,” shouldn’t be a window. Hence the reverse and magnification settings demonstrated throughout the series.

Nothing will every top “Star Trek Judgment Rites”… ;-)

“this “Star Trek” game could be the best Trek game ever.”


Because when I think of a great Star Trek game, the first thing that comes to mind is a game that intentionally excludes as many characters as possible and focuses solely on Kirk and Spock being the #1 changing force in the entire franchise.

Anthony, I’m disappointed in your expectations on thinking this could be the best Trek game ever. All I see here is another space action/shooter that thinks it’s being true to Star Trek based solely on the most recent Star Trek movie. I’ve even heard reports that you can have Spock mind-meld someone to attack their own men. Really? I’ve played Star Trek games that give you options on how to deal with bad guys peacefully or with force, not find different ways of just killing them.

I agree about Judgement Rites.

I’d love to see a Trek console game that does for the Kirk/Spock/McCoy stories what L.A. Noire and GTA do.

As a kid I loved the potential of Simon & Schuster’s flawed but ambitious Star Trek adventure games. (Yeah, the book company briefly tried its hand at computer games during the Apple IIE era.) The first one was “The Kobayashi Alternative,” which was too buggy to play but which tried to tackle this huge story scope in a quest to find Sulu, who is missing in a distant sector. The story was written by Diane Duane or one of those early Trek novelists, and you could go all over the galaxy doing all this stuff.

The Interplay games, like Judgement Rites, managed to recreate a little of this scope. The Chris Pine combat thing here looks cool but I’m still holding out for the modern-day version of that stuff.

I´m alternating my gaming between “Batman: Arkham Asylum” on a brand new PC, “Chrono Cross” on the PS2, and “Star Trek:A Final Unity” on the elder PC on the other bedroom.

mmm, quizás deba comprar un playstation 3 para el 2012!

@14 – Co-Op with AI playing the other character if you don’t have a friend…. friend can pop in at any point in the game.


Creo que puede jugar con el PC también, no hay necesidad de comprar un PS3 para jugar a la “Viaje a las Estrellas: el jueguito”.

One of my favorite parts in Judgement Rights was the mission “Museum Piece” where Kirk, Scotty and Chekov beam down to an intergalactic museum for shore leave. Suddenly the museum is taken over by terrorists who knock out all security and communications. What follows is a pretty fun adventure with Kirk, Scotty and Chekov being the trio of the story as they figure out how to use the museum’s artifacts in order to foil the terrorists plot.

The best part comes at the end when you’re presented with two ways of dealing with the terrorists. You can either use a primitive transporter to knock the terrorists out with a gas canister, or attempt to activate an ancient communications device to contact the Enterprise for backup.


If you choose to contact the Enterprise, you unintentionally contact the terrorists. Despite their actions in apprehending the museum’s personnel and knocking out the head administrator, they’re not stealing something for money or power. The terrorists are actually trying to steal one of the probes on display that was responsible the discovery of a planet that played a crucial part to the survival of a race who’s home world was dying. The museum administrator was going to hand over the probe over to a private owner while the terrorists believe it is an important cultural relic that belongs to the whole species. If you play your cards right, Kirk can convince the terrorists to give up in exchange that Starfleet will investigating the matter before any decisions on the probe are made. The terms are accepted, the terrorists surrender and thanks to Starfleet’s investigation, the probe is not handed over to a different party.

What this episode accomplished:

1. It was a story that didn’t focus on the Kirk, Spock and Bones dynamic but rather with Kirk, Scotty and Chekov.
2. The museum itself has a lot of interesting lore for Star Trek involving primitive transporters, space crafts and repair robots (Barney! Open the pod bay door!)
3. Kirk, Scotty and Chekov come up with creative ways to overcoming obstacles like constructing a rail gun and charging capacitors with alcohol.
4. The terrorists’ motive for robbing the museum is quite understandable and not cliché. You actually get to learn more about an alien culture.
5. You can have Kirk save the day peacefully without using his fists, phasers or “holier than thou” like comments.

That’s is how I like my Star Trek games. It’s Star Trek, yet it’s not afraid to do things differently like making other characters the focus of the story and not being about “A HIDDEN ENEMY THREATENS THE GALAXY!” that only Kirk and Spock can resolve.

I mean, no one is asking or talking about where the other characters are in this game. Where’s Uhura, McCoy, Scotty, Sulu and Chekov? This franchise seems to be going out of it’s way to depict Kirk and Spock as being the only competent characters in Star Trek to the point where they don’t need anyone else at all to accomplish a task. That’s just wrong.

I was wondering, is their a free mode? Unlockable characters? I hope so, ‘cus this looks like the best trek game since… wow, I have to agree with the lack of good trek games.

I’m not a gamer either but I may have to check this out.

I still have my doubts, but I am really hoping that they are unwarranted because everything that was just described sounds awesome! unfortunately we’ve all been burned before waiting on a GOOD ST game. Between this and Star Trek: Infinite Space…. it’s a good time to be a fan!

Jeyl – well, judging this was made by the dudes who made God of War, consider yourself lucky they were well behaved;

Instead of Vulcan nerve pinch, we would have Vulcan neck breaking, “Kratos ” style

Best movie = Best game.

This is what I’m talkin’ about! Here is hoping the game is as great as it looks, and just the first of many!

Still feels weird to me to use Spock and Kirk like this in a constant combat situation. Would Spock ever, ethically, use his mild meld powers to control another person’s mind to use them as decoys or expendable agents?

I think the game LOOKS like Star Trek, and it’ll be a fun co-op combat shooter, but so far I think it lacks a bit of the soul, especially with the way the characters play.

I usually buy games on the PC but may have to get the PS3 version so I can get the move controller. I initially wasn’t expecting much because Star Trek games usually get mediocre response at best but its nice to see that this may change. Its also nice to have a game that isn’t an online game. STO is nice and I’m interested in Infinite Space, but I do like my singleplayer gaming. They should do a new Starfleet Command set in the new universe, that would rock!

Browncoat, your on the right track there! Flesh out the new universe ships and weapons in a good tactical game.

#2 Chelsea- No worries! By the time this comes out, you can get either the PS3 or the Xbox 360…. just save a few dollars when you can until it comes out and give yourself a nice present when it arrives. Just don’t forget to save enough for the phasers too!!