I’ll admit I’m not exactly a fan of Star Trek. Infact I can’t stand the series, but then this is the guy who hates Star Wars as well. Bodes me well for writing a review on a game based around Star Trek doesn’t it?
Well as it turns out, I could love Star Trek, but it wouldn’t change the fact that Star Trek D-A-C for the XBLA is a pretty sub-standard affair. Games based on films tend to be poor, no matter what the franchise is; the developers never have understood that it doesn’t quite work to replicate a popular series.
As far as Star Trek goes, this game barely scratches the surface. You are able to pick two sides, the Starfleet and the Romulan Empire, which if my Wikipedia skills are up to scratch, are both from Star Trek.
Once you’ve picked a side, you get the option to pick three ships, again only two of these are from the series; the USS Enterprise and the Romulan mining ship. Sadly for fans, that is about the limitations of the Star Trek franchising.
There is no storyline narrative or even any dialogue during the games which instantly gives it no substance. The bulk of the game is a fast-paced shooter which consists of up to 12 players of which can be AI or team mates online.
Prior to the beginning of a game you can choose a ship, from the Flagship; a bulky but powerful ship which has a decent set of weapons, the Fighter which is lightweight and very fast and the Bomber which lays bombs from the rear of the ship. The latter is particularly useless in the close combat quarters that the game offers as most people will attack it from the front and before you know it’ll you be dead.
The maps are small and vary depending on the mode you choose to play. This can allow for frantic action especially with the maximum amount of players but this also allows for its biggest downfall. The same procedure will occur time and time again; you’ll fly about and shoot, eventually you’ll die and after evacuating the craft with the possibility to drop a bomb as you die, you’ll be back to square one.
Variation is not the strong point of this title despite the three modes on offer. Team Deatchmatch is self explanatory, Assault will see you capturing a base and controlling them (reminds me of Halo 3, but on a crap factor) and Conquest which is similar to Assault but on an attack or defend basis. And that is it.
If you can muster up enough friends to shell out for the game, you might get an element of fun for all of half hour, but if you are against the lifeless bots, it will get boring quickly. It doesn’t help that the movement of the ships is equally as poor as the games lack of storyline; they slip and slide about like you are moving them on ice. This adds frustration because whilst you are shooting one side and sliding about trying to keep a decent aim, someone will come up behind you, pop a few bullets into the craft and you’ll be dead, awaiting the next respawn.
If anything the addition of power-ups doesn’t do much to wet the palate of players, they can be activated by pressing one of the shoulder buttons and can include vulnerability, wingman’s and rockets. You can also upgrade your weapon by collecting the various level-ups littered around the maps. It doesn’t enhance things much, but it makes things a little less dull.
The audio is fairly bland and the graphics aren’t much to shout about. The ability to zoom out on a map and get a general view of the arena to see where the enemy is located is a nice touch however. Online there are people to team up with, but I can’t see it having a long-last effect on the community.
At 800 MS Points, it is bordering on expensive. There is no last ability factor, the game is dull and lifeless and you’ll spend more time dying and respawning than enjoying the game. That said it isn’t the worst arcade release and the die-hard Trekkie fans will perhaps like to indulge to see what the fuss is about but I would recommend something like Geometry Wars 2 instead.