Star Trek Online Review (PC)

I got this game a couple months back just before they released it to try out the game, at first, I was impressed… But as I progressed, I got more bored with the game, especially when theres is not much to do.

First of all, graphic wise, the game is pretty stunning in that retrospect. I enjoyed the detail that has been added to the game, which first drew me in. Another benefit is that you can combat on ground or in space! Not many MMO’s, if any, have this idea added into the game. I really enjoyed the little details added, but details can only go a certain length before you start realizing that the game was rushed to be released, and that the playerbase has dropped to 1/6th of what it used to be in 2 months, due to not addressing the main issues.

First, let us talk about space combat. I would have to say space combat is what keeps this game afloat. Personally, this is one system I do enjoy. The greatness of this mainly lies in being able to rotate shields and move the ship left/right in order to take damage on one side, rather then in most MMO’s where it doesn’t matter what ‘side’ you get hit on. You have 4 shields areas, front/rear/left/right, and you can divert more power to one side of the shields. Overall it starts becoming pretty strategy based when you have several ships battling one another. There are also some special instances (Like fighting the crystalline entity.)

(Screenshot by Holy Anomaly!:

There are also high level instances with the Borg, which can be also fun. But the issue I feel with the Borg is that there too similar to other ships, and a ‘cube’ really blows up super quick! You can even take one or two for yourself with no issues. I do understand we are ‘in the future’ of star trek, but I really think this should be a ‘large instance’ where you have 10-15 ships battling one Borg cube, just like in the movies! That would be alot more fun, personally. There are also some appearances with Q, which bring a interest back into missions. But — for the most case, the missions involve doing the same thing for 85% of the missions, which is a shame and boring overall. The space combat system is self explanatory and there’s some main types, lasers, cannons, mines, and torpedoes at this time. I mainly stick with lasers with my ship, just because I prefer a wider arc fire, as cannons require you to be ‘facing the enemy’ frontwards. There are also skills and other functions your ‘crew’ can have.There are several skills to choose from depending on what type of officer it is. My ship I mainly got skills that kept my ship healthy while battling several enemies at once; For example, EMERGENCY POWER TO SHIELDS, which gave shields a extra boost when used. There are some very interesting and fun skills however, specially for science officers, which can mess with enemy sensors, tractor onto other enemies, or even create rifts in space that draw in enemies.  There is also crafting ‘items’, but this is basic, and I would rather not get into the discussion for it.

(Screenshot by Eleven-Four:

Ground combat reminds me of a generic futuristic MMO, which is highly boring until higher levels when you have several skills. Overall, I found out that having several engineer officers for your away team is 100%+ more powerful because you can fabricate tons of turrets and shield/medical fabrications to keep yourself from ever taking a large amount of damage. Basically, like having several ‘tanks’ in one spot, very hard to kill! The missions however, were super basic. The mainly involves these three types:
A. Kill everything.
B. Access 4 computers.
C. Scan 5 objects.

Which pretty much got boring very very fast, unfortunately. I always dreaded these types of ground missions. Ground type combat (Not the skills, but normal combat) involves mainly two types of attacks that ‘guns’ are set on, EXPLOIT and EXPOSE. EXPOSE type makes a opening for a EXPLOIT type gun to deal massive damage. Pretty simple, but unique.

Main missions however, are very long, in the 40-60 minute range, and normally involve fighting in space, dropping down on a planet, then coming back up on your ship for a final battle. However, this was the case for 90% of missions, and it was hardly any different, which again, got boring quick.

I was also shamed by how much end game content there was, virtually nothing. Before I left STO, the only game content they had was ONE MISSION that took about 15 minutes to do, in order to get some tokens for some items I did not even care about. This was the huge flaw and what lead to most of the playerbase leaving. It continues still at this time, most people complaining about this, and I can understand why! There should be SEVERAL things to do, and yet, there is absolutely nothing interesting after you hit END GAME!

End game takes about 60-70 hours to complete in total, which is NOT alot for a MMO. Alot of people complain that it’s ment for the casual gamer, which is just plain stupid. Any MMO should be based apon gamers who do sit 2-4 hours a day, and not 30-45 minutes. I know with most games I play, I tend to play for several hours a day, its how I am, and I’m sure its how most people are. 60 hours is nothing overall, and after you are done, it makes you wonder whats left to do. Create another character and start over again would be a choice, if the missions weren’t so bland!

There is a good amount of ships, and a good amount of items to pick from to equip your ships. You can customize your ship looks too to be your own, which is awesome! However, one thing that is lacking is being able to enter your ship and explore. Currently, you can only view your bridge of your ship, which in the end, is quite boring, and feels like a rushed add. The original owner of STO had planned to roam around the whole ship and customizing everything in your own ship. Unfortunately, that is not the case in the release, and makes me wonder why they even added the ‘bridge’ addition in the first place. It’s simply generic and has no purpose.

I must say though, character creation, is one of the best I’ve seen out there. You can adjust almost everything! (Including bust size on a girl, eh eh?)  But STO has a awesome character creation and I have not seen much out there that match this. Equipping your character is similar to most games, but you can equip either melee or gun type weapons, which overall, there is a bunch to pick from!

There is not much to do out of missions. Maybe some space battles, and roaming freely is not very entertaining. Most players are huddled up at the Earth Spacedock Port, because there is simply nothing to do at END GAME. There are some places you will remember, such as DEEP SPACE NINE, and even Quark’s, but otherwise, it’s not much too look at anyways.

Fleet battles are fun, but are rare. (Such as the crystalline entity battle.) There is also PvP, but as of now, it is super unbalanced depending on what ships are actually battling. The Klingon Carrier deals massive damage, and is farmost the most annoying ship I’ve seen to combat compared to others, when using science type skills that block itself from radar, then launching several ships to simply rock you. Another problem is you are placed in a queue that takes up to a hour to actually get in, because no one wants to play other factions but Federations, and once you CAN get in, if you don’t click fast enough, enemy ships can be on you at spawn point, because there is no ‘WAIT/BEGIN TIMER’, once you are in, you can start, which gives an advantage to players who click/have fast loading screen times. Ugh!

Overall, this game feels like it was rushed, and is lacking storyline and actual game content to make the game less boring. It needs alot more things to do to keep players staying (Specially end game), because at this rate there is speculations that the game will actually go down the gutter in one or two years. I do hope that in a year or two there will be some interesting additions, but I am not holding my breathe yet. As so far, it has been pretty bland and the only thing saving this game is space combat. This game has been rated very badly by many game reviewers, and that will be tough to overcome if they don’t pick up on there game problems. I had high hopes for this game, and it was very overrated/hyped up, unfortunately. My recommendation is to WAIT before you try this. At this time, it is not a game to keep you after a couple months, I would suggest waiting until improvements are made.

Rating: ★★¾☆☆ 



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About the Author

I mainly focus on Javascript/PHP/C++/.NET applications for everyday and work. I also am working on a remake of Stellar Frontier, an old 2D top down space battle game with a few fellow programmers.