Star Trek The Video Game - Science Museum Presentation

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Release Date: 01/03/2013

Star Trek The Video GAME on PlayStation 3, PC, and Xbox 360 at GAME

A few weeks ago, we were lucky to get an exclusive first-look at Star Trek The Video Game, the newest entry into the new Star Trek Universe that was launched with J.J. Abrams' reboot 2009 reboot. This week, we lost our bragging rights as the game was unveiled to the public and the press at a special event at the Science Museum in London, and we were lucky enough to be invited along.

Before we get into the game or the presentation itself, it must be said that the location could not have been better. Entering the museum and passing the real-life rockets, modules and craft that have actually been into space filled the whole event with a sense of wonder and scale that you simply wouldn't get in any other venue.

Once there was a suitable sense of hubbub and anticipation, the presentation began, led by Brian Miller, Senior Vice President of Paramount Pictures who had flown in from Hollywood to introduce the game to us, and which symbolised just how seriously Paramount are taking this game as a legitimate chapter of the Star Trek saga. He went into some depth about the attention to detail undertaken in the production of this game, and that the developers worked very closely with everyone involved in the Star Trek movies, from the set and costume design, to creature work and the returning cast members, to ensure that this was not just the typical movie tie-in. They didn't want to do the game without doing it right.

Star Trek The Video GAME on PlayStation 3, PC, and Xbox 360 at GAME

Bro-ldly Going Forward

Introductions over, we were guided through various gameplay levels, some of which even we hadn't seen before and highlighted features which were key to the game itself. The first of these really highlighted the importance of the co-op gameplay in the game. As we mentioned before, Kirk and Spock play these missions through together, with skills and styles that fit their contrasting personalities. Sometimes this means they're not always on the same page as the level progresses, but in one sequence where Kirk is injured, they really can only succeed when playing together.

Unable to walk but needing to get to sickbay, Kirk and Spock must move together. Spock does the typical buddy carry with Kirk responsible for shooting the enemies in their path. Once they reach sickbay, Spock can't possibly heal Kirk and fend off the foes, so again Kirk takes up the shooting role while Spock does the science bit. It's been a while since we've seen co-operation like this be so vital to the core gameplay of a game, and it's a great example of what makes Star Trek TVG more than just another third-person actioner.

We also got a much better introduction to the villains of the piece - the dastardly reptillian Gorn. Fans will undoubtedly remember this species from the original Star Trek episode Arena, where they were represented by a man in an unconvincing rubber suit squaring off against a shirtless Shatner in the desert. Fortunately, they now boast a much more credible design, and Miller's presentation made it quite clear why they were chosen as the best bad guys for the game. The alien nature, and the fact they don't have much history to mess with, meant the developers could have a bit more fun with them, coming up with multiple species and classes of Gorn to battle, from wiry and speedy scouts, to the more powerful enforcers and the more intelligent Gorn Commander.

Star Trek The Video GAME on PlayStation 3, PC, and Xbox 360 at GAME

Where No Man Has Gorn Before

Miller also let loose a juicy tidbit, saying it was pointless having the Gorn without getting the chance to recreate in some way their original appearance, so it seems we'll be seeing Kirk sans shirt in the desert once more. And this is just one of many Easter Eggs in the game to appease the Trekkers and Trekkies among you, with a further hint to the original series coming from the classic battle between Kirk and Spock from the episode Amok Time. Miller explained that, after playing co-op with a friend for several hours, the need to blow off steam with each other seemed a logical (pardon the pun) reason to include a fight against each other. When asked, he did concede it won't feature the classic music that accompanied the original battle - the only real disappointment of the evening!

Further tidbits we took away were a sequence where Spock mind-melded with a Gorn, leading to a level being played out in first-person from the Gorn's point of view - and revealing their history and origins. We were told there would be about two dozen Federation, Vulcan and Gorn weapons throughout the game, freeing up any fears that you'd have to make do with just a standard issue phaser. And Miller also conceded the obvious influences in making the game - the Batman: Arkham series for showing how a popular franchise can be handled well, and Mass Effect and Halo for showing that sci-fi can be done well too, as well as pointing out the Star Trek influences in the space-based epics we've been enjoying in recent years.

With the chance to get our own hands on these levels played out into the evening, this was a big and bold way to present what is clearly a very important project for Paramount - and for Namco. This is a game that wears its influences and its Star Trek uniform with pride, and from what we've seen so far, this could be the movie tie-in that goes where few have gone before.

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