Wednesday 27 January 2010

Experiencing A Significant Gravitas Shortfall

I tried Star Trek Online back before Christmas in closed beta and wasn’t too impressed; the space combat was quite fun, but the ground-based missions were really clunky. It was reminiscent of Auto Assault, where bombing around in be-weaponed cars was excellent but running around towns felt tacked-on and superfluous. When STO hit open beta and there was a certain amount of raving I thought I should take another look, so with broadband finally restored and two week’s bandwidth allowance going spare I grabbed the latest client.

I’m not sure if a strange inverse-nostalgia lowered my expectations to the point that not being physically poked in the eye was a plus, but the open beta seemed far better. Character creation was varied enough before, sticking mostly to the Star Trek “human with a bit of prosthetic work” alien option, and had been lightly buffed to a sheen with further options and a nice array of uniform elements. The only problem is it entirely ignores Star Trek canon and only allows your character to have two ears, and we all know that starship captains actually have three: a left ear, a right ear and a final front ear (sorry!) You get to enter a ship name along with a character name, though I’m not sure the more devoted Trekkie/er/ists would appreciate my Culture-inspired Lack of Gravitas.

The introductory mission was exactly the same tussle with the Borg as back in closed beta, bit of running around inside a starship, flying around shooting stuff, beaming down to a planet, but somehow left me wanting to keep playing instead of logging out after hitting the planet’s surface. Even though I’m not much of a Star Trek fan I could be tempted if there wasn’t much else on the go, but the SSV Normandy from Mass Effect 2 decloaking off the starboard bow I think I’m going to be a bit busy for a while…

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