Video Game reviews and articles for console, PC games, and MMO's

Star Trek Online Review


U.S.S. Churchill over Earth


  When I was part of the beta test for Star Trek Online I was a little concerned, could cryptic develop and release an MMO (massively multiplayer online game) in only two years? The answer to that question was yes, but unfortunately it would be full of bugs and feel unfinished.


  The initial game launch of Star Trek Online was a disaster. Cryptic combined the login for both of their games Champions Online and Star Trek Online on the same server which led to massive issues trying to get into the game. When you did finally manage to login the game client would randomly crash especially in the middle of a mission forcing you to begin the mission all over again.


  The game launched with two factions Starfleet and the Klingons. The Starfleet side was well developed but the Klingon side felt more like PvMP from Lotro (Lord of the Rings Online) then it did its own fully fleshed out faction.


We come in peace, shoot to kill...


Admiral with phaser rifle


  A lot of the problems people have with the game is that it is very combat oriented, this is more like the way the Trek universe was during the run of the TV show Star Trek Enterprise then in say Star Trek The Original Series, in fact before you leave the starter area you will murder two Borg drones by beaming them into a hull breach... because you know the assimilation process is not reversible just ask Captain Picard or Seven of Nine.. oh wait a minute.


  The final nail in the coffin for the launch was that some preorder items were not available. Yes things happen but if the preorder items had been available for beta testing this would not have been an issue and might have led to more people to preorder the game to get some of the cool in game items.


  These were not shining examples of how to entice a subscriber base to stay with your game past the first free month.


  As you can imagine this was a publicity nightmare so they would not do anything else that might hurt their image like say releasing preorder items for individual purchase on the C-store or selling items that would give an in game advantage right... oops! Yes many of the preorder items became available for purchase on the C-Store but I think the biggest mistake was the Galaxy X debacle.


  To help increase the subscriber base Cryptic turned to the stalwart people who stuck with them during those dark early days to create a referral program that would reward people who got five friends to purchase and subscribe to the game. One of these rewards was a Galaxy X class ship (from the ST:TNG (Star Trek The Next Generation) episode All good things) that had a built in cloaking device. This was an advantage that was not available to other Starfleet players. A few weeks after the hard working recruiters received their cloaking Galaxy X ships Cryptic made them available on the C-Store to the general public.


To boldly go...


Away Team U.S.S. Churchill


  All of these missteps and PR nightmares aside Cryptic has continued to support and improve the game releasing content updates and squashing bugs. The game no longer crashes as often as it did and when it does, you do not have to start a multi part mission over from scratch.


Q and Borg


 The one thing Cryptic has consistently gotten right is the story, when you're on one of the story missions you will want to move on to the next part to find out what happens and how it will intertwine with events that will happen later in the game.


With a little help from my friends...


Crew of the U.S.S. Churchill STO


  Another shining example is the bridge officer system, you can really become attached to your bridge officers and most people in game will write complex back stories for these sub characters. I even wrote a back story to lessen my guilt about murdering the Borg Drones from the starter area by having Section 31 recover the drones and liberating them, then when my captain found out I had one of the Liberated Borg assigned to my crew as an engineering officer.


  With the release of Season 2.0 the game saw some very nice improvements. The tedious collection of crafting materials was made a little more fun by the introduction of a mini game. A new diplomatic corps with non combat missions was introduced and the rewards that they give for ranking up will save you time in the long run. The Klingons even got some love by getting their own PvE (player versus environment) missions. Ships also now have interiors that you can walk around in, but only your captain and bridge officers will be wearing your customized uniforms, hopefully this is something Cryptic will fix in the future.


  Everyone is going to have different feelings about this game, I say if you can get the box on sale somewhere cheap then give it a try for a month. If you already bought the game but no longer subscribe then keep an eye on the Star Trek Online home page for a free welcome back weekend trial.


  Upon release we would have given this game a 4/10, improvements made in the last few months have revised our view of this game.


  Will contiue to keep an eye on cryptic.


  Final score for Star Trek Online 6/10





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