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Star Trek Online: Star Trek Online Review

MikeBMikeB Community ManagerAdministrator RarePosts: 6,540

MMORPG.com Managing Editor Jon Wood puts Star Trek Online through its paces in this latest review.

Taking on the task of reviewing Cryptic’s Star Trek Online is by no means an easy one. First, you’ve got the fact that the game’s IP is one of the most beloved in the history of science fiction and what exactly it means to be “Star Trek” is something that even fans of the IP will happily disagree with each other about ‘till the cows come home. Then there’s the fact that it’s a game made on Cryptic’s engine, a platform that received a good deal of attention with the launch of their previous title, Champions Online and relies heavily on instancing to create its world. Let’s not forget too that the game makes use of two distinctly different play modes in the form of space and ground. Oh and then there’s that pesky C-Store to talk about. Yes, there is a lot to consider when looking at Star Trek Online, but I’ll do my best to break it down for you.

Read the Star Trek Online Review.

Michael "MikeB" Bitton
Community Manager
Twitter: @eMikeB

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Comments

  • KhalathwyrKhalathwyr Member Posts: 3,138

    I pretty much agree with your view Jon. I've given the game a solid 6.0 overall. There is alot more finish that could be put into the game, most assuredly. Tons of quest dialogue bugs are evident. I did a mission last night, escorting the daughter of Gul Dukat back to bajor. At the end of the mission I had only 1 of my bridge officers left because the other three had ran off the edge of cliffs into the lava fields and went unconscious. I had to use the officers controls to walk the remaining one along the metal walkways in between land areas and had to instruct it to fight when it was getting attacked. This is an admiral level mission so needless to say I know how to play the game by then and their misfortunes weren't due to my incompetence.

    The severe lack of PvE episodic content is unfortunate. It's something we (testers) had been decrying all through beta. THe crafting system, which it sounds like I have experienced moreso than you, is most certainly an afterthought and in no way is truly meaningful to gameplay.

    Space combat by far is the most fun thing to do.

    I only plan to stay in this game for a month or two more. Hopefully we'll see something about World of Darkness Online soon and I'll make a definitive break from STO. I only continue to play because I have 4 friends playing.

    "Many nights, my friend... Many nights I've put a blade to your throat while you were sleeping. Glad I never killed you, Steve. You're alright..."

    Kickstarter 2 / Naysayers 0

  • docminusdocminus Member Posts: 717

    Nicely summarized.

    I like the score break-down into "hardcore/casual/reviewer". Fair enough score. Unortunately.

    Myself, I think I could accept almost everything of this game, if it weren't so repetitive to the extent it is, and if there were more worlds to explore. You know, just beam down, have a look around, find stuff, kill stuff, whatever (more than just the 2 places which I haven't found yet).

    Something else I miss are more enemies of the non-mission type. Say, it's a mission with Klingon enemies, well, then you will only find Klingons. There is no other life on a planet. No wild-life animals that attack you, or bandits, or upset locals.

    It's like the NPCs in general - they are a bit lifeless. With a few exceptions they just stand in the same place on the space stations. Gives me the feeling of SWG cities & stations, after the majority of pleayers quite. Huge, nice, but dead.

     

    Let's see what the future brings and if the score can go up a notch or two at least.

     

    Edit: A fun side-thing implement, are the tribbles. One can breed them with the right type of food, and get pets (in your item slot) that can heal or boost stats. Intersting that this feature is rarely mentioned.

    imageimage

  • NesrieNesrie Member Posts: 648

    A 6.4 implies that this game did more things right than poorly, but the problem is, the good things is just Champions with a Star Trek skin slapped on it. I am not willing to give them credit just for recycling their engine. This game clearly lacks depths of any kind, and while a good character creator (barely good since half of it is  a meh, that half being the part that isn't just visuals) and a ship combat that was entertaining but lacking in some basic controls hardly warrants the benefit of the doubt I think this review gave it. A 6.0 would have been generous.

    parrotpholk-Because we all know the miracle patch fairy shows up the night before release and sprinkles magic dust on the server to make it allllll better.

  • WhiteLanternWhiteLantern Member RarePosts: 3,109

    Great job with a fair and balanced review. I enjoyed the 3-part scoring at the end, nice touch.

    Even thought I thoroughly enjoy this game, I actually scored it a 6 on my Cryptic survey. One simply can't look past the idea that the game was rushed and unfinished. What is in the game, is quite enjoyable for me and has almost caused the same addiction that WoW did. The customizing of ships and crew really gets me going and I find myself sweating when I get a new BO, hoping he/she has a new skill that I need. But, I'm about a week or less from max level and we'll see what happens from there.

    As a side note: you questioned why they didn't just use an open skill based system rather than levels. My opinion here is that they needed the casual group to have something to reference to. It gives a sense of accomplishment to see what level you are rather than just knowing how many points you have accumulated. And fleet "dings" will always be welcome.

    I want a mmorpg where people have gone through misery, have gone through school stuff and actually have had sex even. -sagil

  • Death1942Death1942 Member UncommonPosts: 2,587

    great review.

     

    As for the score, i think it speaks a lot for this game when you give it under 7 and yet you still having fun.  That does not bode well for it's future.

     

    That being said i hope they can turn it around and release far more content and really bring the game to life because atm it feels like flying around in an artificial world doing the same stuff over and over again with little to no variation.

    MMO wish list:

    -Changeable worlds
    -Solid non level based game
    -Sharks with lasers attached to their heads

  • DrakynnDrakynn Member Posts: 2,030

    Yup seems a good summation of the current state of the game and a fair score IMO.

  • Paragus1Paragus1 Member UncommonPosts: 1,741

    Well written and the multiple scoring at the end was a great idea from one writer to another.

  • MoretrinketsMoretrinkets Member Posts: 730

    Yet another mediocre MMO. This was very well know in beta.  I think it's a fair review.

  • phluuxphluux Member Posts: 211

    Jon, why didn't you comment on anything about ships other than combat? How about customization?

    I don't play STO and don't intend to, but its something I would've liked to know more about.

  • double-pointdouble-point Member Posts: 1

    Good honest review. The game is a bit of a mixed bag with several things to offer. Be it PVP or PVE, space combat or ground combat. Personally I think Cryptic can make something good out of this (meaning, it isn't perfect as of yet). That said, I think there are some nice features in the game. For instance that your officers during ground combat are your henchmen and during space combat they function as some sort of equipment.

    The two things a like most in this game are the space PVP and the story line. All the rest, well, they need to tinker around on that. For a new starting MMO I reckon they did a fair job. Now if they can keep up the love for the IP and have enough dedication, this could actually be a nice game and will appeal to a variety of people.

    As for now, I think I will play this game for say 2 months. Depending on how solving bugs goes (there are several ones) and adding content, I might play this game for a while longer.

  • AirwrenAirwren Member UncommonPosts: 648

    Thanks for the review Jon.  You have given probably one of the most in depth reviews of the game that I've seen yet and you include both positives and negatives.  While I personally don't like the game and am very disappointed with how it turned out I do have to admit that it does do some good things.  I really liked the 3 tier rating system at the end.  That was 5 * imo.  I think the scores were fair across the board which is something I haven't said about a review on this site for quite some time.  Again, A+ job imo.

  • Darth_OsorDarth_Osor Member Posts: 1,089

    A bit confused because before I read the review, I saw the author's "6.4-mediocre", but reading the reviews it sounds like he thought a little more highly of the game than the score says.

  • TookyGTookyG Warhammer Online CorrespondentMember UncommonPosts: 1,115

    Putting casual players and trek fans in the same category is probably a bad idea.  From a casual player standpoint, yes, it's probably somewhere near your score of 7.5 (actually it's probably closer to the 6.8 you give it for yourself) but as a Trek game...no, this is horrible.  I don't hate STO for being a bad MMORPG.  I hate it for being an absolutely awful Trek MMORPG.  There is nothing Star Trek about the game save for a few sound effects.

    Also, DS9 was never consumed with the Dominion...not even when they were at war with them the last couple of seasons.  There were a lot of episodes in the later years of DS9 that didn't focus on the Dominion and didn't have space battles every scene.  So saying that the show had a "very gritty portrayal of the Federation at war" is a bit of a stretch particularly when only a few of the handful of Dominion-War-centric shows showed anything remotely relating to the horrors of war.  Frankly, those episodes only showed the inconveniences, rather than horrors, of war.

    Until you cancel your subscription, you are only helping to continue the cycle of mediocrity.

  • MisscreantMisscreant Member Posts: 16

    Yup, 6.4 seems about right. 

     

    I don't think this game deserved being recycled on the Champions game engine.  Instancing doesn't really lend itself to this MMO at all.  But that's just one of the flaws already pointed out.

  • Aetius73Aetius73 Member Posts: 1,257
    Originally posted by parrotpholk


     Love the review and how you scored it at the end. 5.0 is where I would have put it and falls in line. The reviews to this point have all been under 7 though and all echo the same thing so thats not a good thing for the games well being.

    I agree as someone that loved UO, SWG PRE-NGE, Eve, and Darkfall I found Star Trek Online to be mind numbingly boring. It is too easy and lacks depth.

  • YamotaYamota Member UncommonPosts: 6,593

    Trek fans would score this game as 7.5?

    I am a Trek fan and I am insulted by that. Star Trek is so much more than combat, which this game is almost only about. So to say that Trek fans would score this game 7.5 is ridicilous. Star Trek is full of depth, exploration, diplomacy, technology for which this game has almost none.

    Also you failed to mention the zero death penalty. A Galaxy class starship, with thousands of crew, being destroyed and respawned in 10 seconds with no consequences, at all, alone would make most Star Trek fans puke.

  • holdenhamletholdenhamlet Member EpicPosts: 3,766

    Way too lenient, especially this late in after release when it's abundently clear how shallow the game is.  I suppose I can't fault it too much considering STO is advertised on this site, so consdering that, not bad.  It's not "above average" though.  Besides Champions Online, another Cryptic game, STO is the worst new MMORPG I've played.

  • wgc01wgc01 Member UncommonPosts: 241

    Yep good write ups, I gave the game a 7 myself, I think the game has a good base, as with all new mmo releases it will have its growing pains, lots of new stuff coming... I have played much worse and some of those games are still around.. :)

  • ZorgoZorgo Member UncommonPosts: 2,254
    Originally posted by Yamota


    Trek fans would score this game as 7.5?
    I am a Trek fan and I am insulted by that. Star Trek is so much more than combat, which this game is almost only about. So to say that Trek fans would score this game 7.5 is ridicilous. Star Trek is full of depth, exploration, diplomacy, technology for which this game has almost none.
    Also you failed to mention the zero death penalty. A Galaxy class starship, with thousands of crew, being destroyed and respawned in 10 seconds with no consequences, at all, alone would make most Star Trek fans puke.

     

    Just out of curiosity, I'm wondering how you liked the latest Star Trek movie?

    The Star Trek IP allowed for a re-invention of the Star Trek universe based on a grittier, more action packed traditional adventure sci-fi series. In fact, this was a requirement for the new movie.

    It only stands to reason, imo, that STO had to get the stamp from these same folks who allowed JJ Abrams to make the movie he made. If that's the case, the amount of combat/action in the game may have been a requirement of the actual Star Trek IP.

    If that's true, should you be mad at the game, or mad at the holders of the IP?

    Incidently, I'm a life long fan of Star Trek and I don't find the 7.5 insulting at all. One of my favorite things is to see different interpretations of the universe as I have for almost 40 years now.

    Kinda bursts your bubble to know all Trekkies aren't in lock step with each other, eh? There are millions of us, don't speak for us all ).

  • erictlewiserictlewis Member UncommonPosts: 3,021

    Ok don't go sticking Star Trek fans rate this game high.

    let me preface. I have made video's and dvd's when Star Trek expericnace was up and running.  I got to blow Khan out of the sky in one, the other I got to kill some nasty klingons.  I even have my own uniform.  I have all the DVD's except enterprise as it was a farce. 

    I rated the game as a 1.0.   

    (1) Mostly Combat this is not UFP of Star Fleet

    (2) Space combat, ripoff of pirates of the carabien ship movement system

    (3) Does not fill like Star Trek.

    So not all us old time Trekies love it

    It is a shame another so so Star Trek game one of many that is not worth the IP name or investment.  

     

  • DarkholmeDarkholme Member UncommonPosts: 1,212

    I completely agree with this review, although I probably would have marked it down a little more for the way too heavy instancing, the shallow random mission system and all of those things that the reviewer mentions in the "The Star Trek Factor" portion about things he would change or add. With that I could not possibly agree more.

    When I was playing in the beta I immediately was struck by the lack of immersion caused by the very things mentioned in this review. The Sector Space should have taken place on your ships bridge. Communications should have been done through the bridge viewscreen and communicators somehow, where applicable. Plus the fact that most of the time "diplomacy" was done at the business end of a phaser just flies in the face of what Star Trek is all about.

    I really wanted to like this MMOG, but it's far too casual for this IP in my opinion...

    -------------------------
    "Searchers after horror haunt strange, far places..." ~ H.P.Lovecraft, "From Beyond"

    Member Since March 2004

  • erictlewiserictlewis Member UncommonPosts: 3,021
    Originally posted by Zorgo

    Originally posted by Yamota


    Trek fans would score this game as 7.5?
    I am a Trek fan and I am insulted by that. Star Trek is so much more than combat, which this game is almost only about. So to say that Trek fans would score this game 7.5 is ridicilous. Star Trek is full of depth, exploration, diplomacy, technology for which this game has almost none.
    Also you failed to mention the zero death penalty. A Galaxy class starship, with thousands of crew, being destroyed and respawned in 10 seconds with no consequences, at all, alone would make most Star Trek fans puke.

     

    Just out of curiosity, I'm wondering how you liked the latest Star Trek movie?

    The Star Trek IP allowed for a re-invention of the Star Trek universe based on a grittier, more action packed traditional adventure sci-fi series. In fact, this was a requirement for the new movie.

    It only stands to reason, imo, that STO had to get the stamp from these same folks who allowed JJ Abrams to make the movie he made. If that's the case, the amount of combat/action in the game may have been a requirement of the actual Star Trek IP.

    If that's true, should you be mad at the game, or mad at the holders of the IP?

    Incidently, I'm a life long fan of Star Trek and I don't find the 7.5 insulting at all. One of my favorite things is to see different interpretations of the universe as I have for almost 40 years now.

    Kinda bursts your bubble to know all Trekkies aren't in lock step with each other, eh? There are millions of us, don't speak for us all ).



     

    Well for some of us entrerpise was a farce, then we got the JJ Abrams versio of star trek, and now this game.  I feel totaly let down by the total bs we have been handed.  I guess gone is the day of TNG or DSN when acting actually counted, and when you had great plot lines.

  • nate1980nate1980 Member UncommonPosts: 1,951

    Well, I'm now near completing the 4th week of playing STO. I've been playing since head start, and I suppose I probably now average about 5 hours a day playing time. I really enjoy the game, but I know it's a short-term game, because it lacks the features and depth the classics had.

    With that said, I found your review to be fair, and the scores fair. I, myself, would rate the game around a 7. I also agree with most of your points.

    I have a couple points I want to reinforce for the readers:

    1. The game is tailored for the casual player.

    2. The game is easy in the beginning, and doesn't really become challenging until your late teens (mid to late LTCMDR levels).

     

    Something else worth mentioning:

    1. Cryptic released a survey for its customers to fill out, which hit on every important thing most of us have issues with. This shows that they are reading the forums, and are listening.

    2. They have a solid plan for releasing new content. This won't satisfy the hardcore, but it will satisfy those in the target audience who are casually advancing through the game.

  • DarkholmeDarkholme Member UncommonPosts: 1,212

    Yes the vast majority of the worlds population is filled with mouth-breathing nimrods who are mindlessly overjoyed simply with pretty lights, explosions and boobies... How clever of some people to point that out. Yes that is where the most money is to be made, so that is the demographic most dumbed down entertainment is made for. Just because something is widely accepted (by the nimrod majority) doesn't make it the best or the only right answer. Fill that sector of demand, it will make you more money, but it's not the only way to do it... 

    -------------------------
    "Searchers after horror haunt strange, far places..." ~ H.P.Lovecraft, "From Beyond"

    Member Since March 2004

  • UgottawantitUgottawantit Member Posts: 146

    I too think this was a fair review, even though I love the game. As the reviewer pointed out, people seem to either love or hate this one.  I'm not a trekkie or a hard core gamer. It's been pointed out many times, that this game was tailored for casual players. Well, I guess that's me :)

    This game is perfect for people like me who only play a few hours a week. I've got a life. STO is now part of it, but only a very small part. I'm truely glad that someone finally made an online game that I can enjoy and not feel like the slowest leveler of all time, but most of all, just has everyone has pointed out. The game is fun to play, that's what is important.

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