E3 Star Trek Game Demo Impressions + New Demo & Booth Video

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.

One of the Gorn from "Star Trek" the game

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.

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I like the idea of utilizing the Gorn, but they look a lot different from what we’ve seen before. At least in TOS.


The Gorn look weird and crazier than what we’ve ever seen in the prime universe. Wonder why they didn’t stick with the original Gorn body.

In before the Gorn cliches start. The demo looks neat, and I definitely like that Kirk and Spock had to walk to the turbolift instead of that just being a cutscene. Hopefully that means you can walk around the ship when you want.

Looks very cool. It looks very well made, with high production value, but unfortunately they chose to make it a generic third person shooter. It would have been interesting to have seen them make it more of an adventure game, with a little shooting. Oh well, it’s good to see some new trek media non-the-less.

Wow, at last a Star Trek game that is cool, up to date and totally relevant to what gamers and fans expect of a massive franchise like Star Trek.

I’m sure some fans will say this is just a shoot to kill game but if it is essentially that then who cares, In it’s 45 year history, Star Trek has been many things. This is perfect for where Star Trek should be right now, relevant to today’s world.


Because it’s Abram’s universe. That question can be asked a lot concerning his Star Trek lol.

Love the graphics and game-play, but the Gorn looks little more than a velociraptor from Jurassic Park. Gorns are supposed to be an intelligent species — you wouldn’t know that from this video.

My 10 and 15 sons will love this, me not so much. But that is OK, as my sons are probably the market they are after anyway.

Hey, if this helps to bring more people to Trek, I am all for it, even if it doesn’t offer much for us older fans.

@6. On the other hand, if TOS had modern special effects and a larger budget, I am sure that the original Gorn would look a lot more alien then Gary Combs in a cheesy plastic suit.

But still, they should be more than just velociraptors?

Ah, perhaps now it makes sense that while Kirk faced a slow-moving Gorn, Archer faced a faster, raptor-like Gorn.

Here is a review just in on this game from a Trek gaming fan, and it sounds pretty positive:


Has anyone played a Trek game and said wow…this is great?…Im hoping this will break the mold..and i played them all…trek online…Elite Force..not to bad…Armada was kinda good but not wow…

Maybe how there are different races in the human races, maybe for the Gorn they have different types of reptiles who evolved into intelligent humanoids? Just a thought…

PS, I want an action figure of that Gorn ;)

13. This isn’t exactly “canon,” but what you suggested reminds me of the way the Gorn are portrayed in the Star Fleet universe, the interpretation from the old “Star Fleet Battles” board games and the first two “Starfleet Command” computer games based on them. In those games, the Gorn weren’t one race but several neighboring races that were related to different extents all pulled together under a loose central government called the Gorn Confederation.

Of course, in that universe, the Gorn were also portrayed as clearly sentient and a lot friendlier… unlike what we see here and in other recent Trek media featuring them (except for the IDW comics’ “Spotlight” issue where they’re portrayed as well-meaning), the SFU Gorn were mortal enemies of the Romulans and, ironically, the Federation’s most loyal allies. Weird, huh?

Why does anyone expect things in modern Star Trek (movie or games) to look exactly like they did in the TOS series?

It’s just plain stupid to expect that. This is a modern version of that show. It’s suppose to look different. It’s not a copy. It’s a modern version.

I expect it to look different. If the gorn looked just like that rediculous “guy in a rubber suit” thing from the TOS episode I would be hugely disapointed, and I’m sure most gamers would laugh and not buy the game.

The point to bringing back Star Trek (from JJ) was to modernize it and make it relevent in today’s entertainment world. You don’t do that by simply copying TOS.

Why anyone expects that is beyond me.

Damn, more money to spend! It looks very nice.

TNG Blu-Rays, Star Trek 12 tickets several times (and 3D!), Star Trek computer game… after all these years they are making more money from this fan than ever before!

Shut up and take my money Paramount/CBS!!!!! DAMN YOU!

This looks very, very promising, I like it alot.

My only dilema is what format to get it on?

I hear the PlayStation move version with have its own Phaser Pistol.

It is possible to update the Gorn without straying too far away from the original design. IDW did it:


I’m a pretty big gammer and a huge Trek fan and this has been exciting me for a long time. It looks sharp and the intro cinematic looks great (love the tie-in as they did in the film to the TOS pilot of starting outside the ship and bringing the camera into the bridge). Like I said before, I’m hoping that this game is the Arkham Assylum or Spiderman 2 for the Trek gamming franchise.

#2 it’s honestly, mostly, the same reason the Gorn looked more raptor-like in the Enterprise episode. A bigger budget and different time allows you to make the Gorn a more menacing character. It’s the same reason the Lizard in The Amazing Spiderman movie looks a lot different than the original depiction in the comics as well as the evolution of Killer Croc in the Batman comics. Even Gene radically changed the Klingons between TOS and TNG and we didnt get an explanation for that until Enterprise and that was all in the prime universe. I dont think many of the aliens would looks so human if the money was there from the get go. And I dont think it’s the new team slighting the original design of the Gorn and I wouldnt be shocked if you see an homage of sorts in the game referencing the iconic Kirk-v-Gorn fight in TOS.

This actually looks pretty decent. Star Trek games are usually mediocre to bad, so I’ll try to keep my expectations low.

and I like the fact that there are different sub-species of Gorn. There are different races, ethnicities, etc when it comes to humans and so you would expect that not all Gorn (Kligons, Vulcans, Romulans, etc) would look the same. This really opens the gates for an ‘expanded universe’ type deal for Star Trek which I’ve been dying to see. IDW started doing that by giving us alien spotlight issues and mirror universe books but this definitely gives a great launching point for the JJ universe. This fan is thoroughly excited!

The most interesting part of the entire trailer is when “new Vulcan” is mentioned…I suspect that reference is canon and may be a plot point for the upcoming film.

Interesting. No doubt the gameplay will be fun (GoW is a rock solid foundation), but this game will go down into history as a great Star Trek game on the story. If it manages to suck us in and make us care about our buddy (Kirk or Spock) than it could be very succesfull.

What I haven’t been able to figure out is how singleplayer works? AI bot?

There’s been a fear that the videogame will be too much run and gun. I think a lot of action is fine. It’s a videogame. I’ve bemoaned the fact that there’s been little promotion of Star Trek between movies by the way of toys, models, etc. Hopefully this videogame will fill the gap. You can tell a smart story in this genre. I keep bringing up Mass Effect. If you play Mass Effect 3, you get all kinds of ideas. Is synthetic life sentient? Moral choices. Questions to think about regarding physics.

Star Trek, the videogame could be as great as Mass Effect. And gamers are getting older. Still, videogames are huge part of the entertainment industry. I hope it comes out in early 2013 or earlier. That way it could serve as the big publicity push for the new movie.

I hope the Gorn are as complex as the Geth are in Mass Effect as far as adversaires. Arena is one of my favorite Star Trek episodes. Raising issues about the righteousness of one’s government and civilized behavior. Anyway the game looks great. And the Gorn denting the door to come in , reminds me of Forbidden Planet. Exciting stuff.

#24 yeah if you’re not playing with a buddy it’s AI controlled (from the way i understand it)

@Anthony Pascale: there seems to be a coherent effort to make the new Trek comic “canon” in relation to the new movie. Given the participation of Orci et al. is this game considered “canon” also?

WOW … sound exciting … hear the music, the voices of Pine/Kirk and Spock/Quinto … I loved it … ;-) :-)

………….and about Star Trek sequel … “more of the Enterprise, different ships”… said Simon Pegg…

here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oa1LNm2Wd2c

Anthony thanks for this great update, really look forward to this! A great modern Trek title should help expand the fan base. Hope they dovetail this with an Animated Series soon to really get kids paying attention to Trek again.

This looks cool. But I won’t get overly excited yet. It’s still a year away from release. And a lot of games do get cancelled.

Those creatures look more like something out of Jurassic Park than the Gorn.

Hey Anthony, what did you think of 1313? I was watching G4 hoping they’d talk about Trek and the game looks incredibly beautiful.

Anybody remember the Voyager FPS that game was actually pretty awesome!

I am excited!!!!

@ 34 – Yes, yes it was. Elite Force and Elite Force 2. I spent a lot of time playing those games. I also spent a lot of time playing Bridge Commander, Star Trek Armada, Starfleet Academy Starship Bridge Simulator, and, Star Trek Online.

But that was a long time ago.

Sometimes I think the only reason I hang on to my PS3 is for this game.

Feels quite a bit like Halo, from the footage here.

…not that there’s anything wrong with that. :D

“Away team”??? That’s from TNG.


This game lookes awesome, I will be buying it. It looks way better than star wars 1313 since we have already seen great star wars games before over and over and over, it will be a good and refreshing change to have a great star trek game.

I gather that ‘New Vulcan’ was established on the previously named Cestus III. It would make sense. Similar environment. Federation settles the Vulcans there not knowing about the Gorn claim to the world. Be interested to see if Im right on this one. Good tie in if true.

I dunno about it being better than 1313 (which looks stunning, by the by. I’m flabbergasted that it actually runs on Unreal 3). But it does look very good for a Trek title, which since Bethesda took over the license back in the mid 2000s, have consistently been as good as butt paste. Awaiting with cautious optimism…

The arrival of the Narada and the changing of the timeline must have had much more impact than wie tought. Races changing their appearances, Starships growing… interesting what can be changed by altering the timeline…

Oh man… that looks hot!

Does anyone know if the MP part is Online Only or Splitscreen?

@ 39 TrekTech: Exactly my thought!!

Um, ST:ENT changed the Gorn long before this. The ST:O tie-in novel (which is remarkably worth reading) explained there were different castes in Gorn society to make up for the disparities. The Federation denizens of Cestus III invited the Gorn to a baseball game expecting Kirk’s Gorn; they got nine of Archer’s Lost World types…

Why can’t they release it now? I’m sure it’s finished.

since the nintendo wii u will be arriving near the end of 2012, i wonder if there are plans for a nintendo version?

This is actually exactly what updated Gorn should look like. Think back to the original episode. A human colony is destroyed by alien invaders. Kirk believes that this is a prelude to a larger invasion and chases the attackers down. He and the audience expects to find horrific cold-blooded space monsters, which is exactly what we do find. Only later does he realize that these “scary aliens” have a deeper motivation for their actions and that we might be the ones in the wrong.

If that story is going to be updated, then the Gorn are going to have to look like something that will frighten and repulse modern audiences. They have to look like mindless monsters and then (I’m assuming) be revealed to have more going on with them. The Velociraptor-ness and the hallucinatory venom are cool additions that can give a more horror movie feel and be “scary monsters” for modern audiences.

Even Kirk in “Arena” said that he has an instinctive revulsion to reptiles and has to fight to remember that his Gorn is an intelligent species, a starship commander like himself. It makes sense for modern Gorn to look more animalistic then.

47. Good points, but what happened to their clothes? The Gorn in “Arena” had a tunic and some wrist-band-thingies.

Their clothes are now gorn. Heh. I just went to a bar in Key West that was clothing-optional. The women there didn’t look much better than the gorn, though.

So, is the entire movie cast returning? That would be really cool, and it reminds me of how the TOS cast was in the animated series from the 70s. Big props to them and whoever got them to do it!

This games looks nifty, but I hope they break the monotony of run & gun with some vehicle usage, like a shuttlecraft or even of the Enterprise. I know there’s a lot of bridge sims out there, but would be nice to have a little of that in this one as well.

So JJ Abrams and Levar Burton Are speaking at Apple’s WWDC conference next week. Interesting having two Trek veterans from different schools at the same event, especially with JJ having created the iBridge!

Apple on Friday announced that three “Lunchtime Sessions” at WWDC will feature talks by Hollywood heavyweights J.J. Abrams, LeVar Burton and William Joyce.

The hour-long sessions will all take place in Presidio and feature the three speakers’ views on how technology is helping to facilitate the changes seen in modern storytelling and how each use cutting-edge tools to bring their visions to life.

TV and movie star Burton (Star Trek, Reading Rainbow) is said to be outlining the “powerful impact that his mentors, technology, storytelling and science fiction have had on his life” and will demonstrate how he uses today’s technology to educate in the upcoming Reading Rainbow App. Burton is set to speak on Wednesday from 12:45 p.m.

William Joyce, Creative Director and Partner at Moonbot Studios, is set to speak about how his company is “changing the content world as fast as it can.” Joyce will start his talk on Thursday at 12:45 p.m.

Science fiction filmmaker J.J. Abrams (Lost, Super 8) will speak about his love of mixing analog tools with modern moviemaking technology and “how he wrestles with what he sees as both the freedoms and challenges presented by today’s prosumer gadgetry.” Abrams’ will wrap the week up on Friday, speaking at 12:45 p.m.