More Reviews
REVIEWS The Walking Dead: Season Two Review
At this point, you’re not coming back for the zombies. Let’s get down to business.

Five Nights at Freddy's Review
So damn scary, I had to break every ten minutes just writing this review.
More Previews
PREVIEWS Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Preview
Sid Meier's Civilization is boldly going where... it has gone once before in Alpha Centauri. But that was more than 15 years ago. We should know more about the future now, right?
Release Dates
NEW RELEASES Madden NFL 15
Release date: Out Now

Destiny
Release date: 09/09/14

Ar Nosurge: Ode to an Unborn Star
Release date: 09/23/14

FIFA 15
Release date: 09/23/14


LATEST FEATURES inFamous: First Light Battle Arena Hints, Strategies, Tips [Stream Over]
Watch as I build out our feature of useful tactics for players in Sucker Punch's wave-based and arcade-awesome arena mode.

The Updating List of PAX Indies
We're heading to PAX Prime! Are you looking to check out a few unique indie games while you're there? UPDATED: Dragon Fin Soup, Dungeon of the Endless,

LEADERBOARD
Read More Member Blogs
FEATURED VOXPOP samsmith614 Since game design is a business, I decided to see what's really selling well for the PS4. I did this search a week ago, and at the time, out of the top 20 bestsellers on Amazon 10 had not even been released yet. By now some have been released. But others still have not. And yet others...

Star Trek: Encounters Review

Greg_Damiano By:
Greg_Damiano
11/07/06
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Action 
PLAYERS 1- 2 
PUBLISHER Bethesda 
DEVELOPER 4J Studios 
RELEASE DATE  
E10+ Contains Mild Blood, Mild Fantasy Violence

What do these ratings mean?

Close encounters of the nerd kind.

There are probably plenty of reasons why Star Trek has gone so low-key lately - maybe it’s parked on the other side of a moon, hidden in the satellite’s gravity wells! Maybe it’s hidden under a sex-pile of randy Tribbles! Maybe it’s because the last movie was god-awful and the shows have been weak since 1995! Supernerds, assemble and discuss!

Whatever the excuse, Star Trek has gone stiff like rigor mortis, stalking around for another breakout product. Take the latest launch - CBS started polishing the original series with CG art and re-releasing them on weekends. It sounds like a pretty cool project, but where is the advertising? Who knew, who’s watching and who cares?
 
click to enlargeYou could say the same about Star Trek: Encounters, the first of three games announced under the new Bethseda license. It’s a fair spaceship game, but it’s very dry and will probably slip by unnoticed like most of Star Trek today.
 
Encounters is the least likely marriage of arcade-style shooters and the deliberate Star Trek action, but it works. It’s nice to play a Star Trek game with such direct control over the ship, with a bit of stealth and strategy to color the missions. There’s a good chance that shooter fans will find Encounters boring and Trekkies will miss the strategy game flavor, but I felt the piloting and tactics were streamlined extremely well for a game that only costs twenty dollars.
 
The game goes beyond point-and-shoot as you weave around evasively, cycling through your weapons and trying to keep your aim directed over enemy ships. Mines, tractor beams, and transporters add some variety to your arsenal, and you can prioritize systems like shields with one touch on the d-pad. It’s a handful at times but pretty engaging.
 
There are a few oddities: ships bounce off of planets and each other like bumper boats, and there’s some funky flying between three separate ‘planes’ or ‘heights’ in space. The ships mostly handle the same, but you’ll notice differences when you fly Klingon ships and other alien craft in the occasional level.
 
click to enlargeTwenty objective-based levels follow six major ships from the shows and books through the entire Star Trek chronology. Each stage lasts at least twenty minutes (even the tutorial), ending with a performance rating based on number of kills, deaths and the like. Stat bonuses, multiplayer unlocks and collectible ship models offer reasons for perfecting each level, aside from just flying around in cool star ships.
 
The game is stingier than a Ferengi, though, when it comes to letting you play with those ships. Imagine you go to a car salesman to test drive a hot sports car. The salesman says sure, but first you have to spend up to nine hours driving every other car on the lot. Encounters forces you to play through each series in order until you can access the newer ships, and even those campaigns are too short. (Only two missions with the hot little warship? What?)
 
I hate to make it sound like a chore. The gameplay is certainly here, butthe game itself does nothing to draw you in. William Shatner delivers surprisingly muted, anonymous introductions to each episode before a series of anonymous text boxes explain your objectives. A little radio chatter would punctuate the action, but the game is deadly silent. Encounters throws a few hooks out there, like a planet-killer boss, but it doesn’t follow through. If I saw that planet-killer kill a planet, I would be interested in stopping it... but it doesn’t, so meh! Who stays with a game that can’t follow through like that?
 
click to enlargeThe single player campaign is accompanied by three multiplayer modes: a straight-up face-off, a survival contest and a showdown between two teams of ships. It’s a little thin, but it’s well-connected to the single player game through unlockable content. The most modern ships you’ll see in multiplayer are those you’re currently seeing in the campaigns, and this game needs every reason it can muster to get  you through those stale episodes.
 
Encounters looks alright, dropping a few pretty nebulas and stars in your flight path. The ship models are detailed enough to inspect in the extra gallery feature; the HUD is clear and minimal, but the colors can get a little too dull at times. The camera is a hyperactive, egotistical puppy - when it isn’t launching in the direction of your right analog stick, it’s zooming in for beauty shots of your ship. It makes for a pretty snapshot, but damned if you can see what’s happening around you.
 
Star Trek: Encounters can be fun but feels strained for a full title. I’d definitely love to see this again with voice acting and big multiplayer matches, because it’s fun to play. It would be even more fun, though, if I had more ships at my disposal earlier, in a campaign that weren’t so linear, or so dull. Still, for twenty bucks, this is a game worth probing.
B- Revolution report card
  • Simple and smooth
  • Decent graphics
  • Plenty of unlockables
  • Only twenty bucks!
  • Frustratingly linear
  • Camera can’t sit still
  • About as dull as Star Trek gets
    Reviews by other members
    No member reviews for the game.


More from the Game Revolution Network




comments powered by Disqus

 


More information about Star Trek: Encounters


More On GameRevolution