Fourth Worst Game of 2013: Star Trek


#4: Star Trek

Another year, another terrible movie tie-in game. Whereas 2012 was bequeathed with Men in Black: Alien Crisis and Battleship, 2013 received the most heinous Star Trek the video game.  Like many licensed games, Star Trek had potential that would soon be squandered to create one of the most miserable experiences of the year.

Astronauts Vs. Space Raptors

The game begins with Captain Kirk and Spock, played by the actors from the films, responding to a distress signal from a Vulcan space station which contains a powerful device used to siphon energy from stars.  Like always, somebody forgot to read the instruction manual on this thing and accidentally opened up a portal to the world of Jurassic Park 2130 which is home to a race of laser-wielding raptors hell-bent on ruling the universe.

The Gorn, or laser raptors, steal the device and decide to use it as a weapon somehow.  Isn’t that always the case with sci-fi stories in which almost every device in the world can be used as some sort of weapon.  In Star Trek a device used for clean energy can be turned into a doomsday device much like how an electric nose hair clipper in the same world can be used to decapitate a grown man.  To be fair though, the story isn’t bad; it’s safe and somewhat generic but it’s not bad thanks to some decent dialogue that’s enhanced by the original cast.  With that being said, that’s the only positive thing I can say about this game.

In Space, Nobody Can Hear You Scream

Gameplay isn’t necessary set on one type of style like most games so I guess I’ll start from the top with the standard cover-based shooting.  Same theories apply here, hold a button to ready the gun, press another button to shoot, and press another button to enter cover.  Unfortunately, pressing the cover button only works about forty percent of the time because the same button also initiates a rolling dodge.  Most of the time I pressed the button, Spock would roll and grind the corner of the wall like an amateur stripper figuring out how the pole works and when the mechanics finally worked, Spock would duck down and allow the magnets in his buttocks to pull him over to the wall.

Cover doesn’t really matter too much since moving around the area at the pace of a speed walk will give the enemies hell as they desperately try and hit you with their slow sci-fi weapons.  This is the problem with sci-fi laser weapons, there’s absolutely no kick, no power and the Star Trek weapons are some of the worst ever to be created.  The weapons are weak, inaccurate, and are boring to use so most of the game will be spent using the cheap combo attack of stunning an enemy and then running up for a quick K.O.

This tactic was made easier by the game’s stupid enemies who can’t shoot straight because of their tiny arms and small brains.  It is kind of adorable to see the big monsters try to take cover like normal enemies though.  The funny thing is, they’re just too big and most of the time one of them manages to get into cover, on one side his head will be sticking out and his butt on the other.  Well maybe they’re not that dumb because hitting any exposed lizard booty is like trying to hit somebody with a rubber band from across a football field.

The second part of the gameplay is the one that probably takes up most of the game: hacking.  Everything in this game has to be hacked; need a door to open, hack it, need get some info from a computer, hack it, need to change the time for daylight saving time on your microwave, hack it.  Doing the mandatory hack requires the player to perform one of three mundane mini-games.

The first one is a matching puzzle, the other requires the player to push the control stick to a set point for a few seconds, and the last one is a futuristic game of Snake.  Considering how often I had to play these abhorrent mini-games, the developers are basically selling a sixty dollar game whose primary game mechanic can be found on a late 90’s Nokia cell phone.

The rest of the gameplay falls more into the miscellaneous; that means stealth, jumping, and more mini-games.  Since stealth requires moving from cover to cover in order to get through perfectly, don’t expect to ever have a perfect stealth run.  One would figure there would be some urgency to get to the next bit of cover in order to not got caught or shot, but no, the pointy-eared moron merrily skips at a top speed of two miles per hour as an old man in an electric shopping cart blazes past him.


When players are not hacking, shooting, or pretending to be sneaky, they’ll probably be wrestling with the controls as their selected character clumsily navigates his surroundings.  Platforming in Star Trek is fairly difficult because what you can jump onto is very selective and the controls somehow manage to be both stiff and slippery at the same time.  It’s like playing an Uncharted game where Nathan Drake is diagnosed with polio.

Sometimes Spock would jump from platform to platform without a hitch but most of the time Spock would run, jump, and then slam his chest on the ledge with “humph” and then plummet to his death.

One section requires the players to navigate through a series of caverns which have somehow been flooded with brown gravy.  Once again, the controls will fight the player the entire way as either the character’s oxygen runs out or is blown up by a series of mines.  It’ll probably be the oxygen since neither of the characters have the mental capacity to swim vertically at more than forty-five degrees.

The worst of the platforming, or some other type of miscellaneous gameplay, are the gliding sections where the characters fly through space or various other places while avoiding hazards.  Of course this is only difficult because it’s impossible to tell if you’re going to hit anything.  There were many a times where there would be some sort of hazard to the left, I would go right, and Spock would still slam into it face first instantly turning him into the world’s first pug alien.

The developers do try to shake things up with different gameplay styles and events, but put no effort into them whatsoever.  The part where players take control of the Enterprise in particular is a missed opportunity.

At first it appears I would get to control the ship in an epic space battle, but no, it’s an on-rails shoot out against a bunch of tiny, hard-to-see enemies firing lasers from every direction.  The whole experience is like being on the It’s a Small World ride except you’re carrying a laser pointer and all of the various cultures are chucking billiard balls at your face.


Illogical Design Leads to a Cliché Allusion

So yeah, Star Trek the video game is bad, really bad.  Dumb A.I., controls, gameplay, an overabundance of stupid mini-games, bad weapons, glitches, etc.  Considering how terrible this game is, the developers still managed to plug a few holes in this lazer-riddled septic tank of game making it the fourth crappiest game of the year.

Fifth Worst Game of 2013: Dead Island Riptide

Third Worst Game of 2013: Aliens Colonial Marines

Second Worst Game of 2013: Dark

Worst Game of 2013: Ride to Hell: Retribution