Star Trek Online

A game that I’ve been playing on and off for a few months is Star Trek Online. Because it is Star Trek, I signed on early, during the beta period, and even bought a lifetime subscription. Even back then, the space combat was quite good, though it is only partially 3-axis. Remember that these are big starships, not little fighters, so they turn slowly and it is really a game of “facing” (which weapons can be brought to bear on the target). The ships can’t roll over or flip upside down, which is different from many space games, but consistent with the Star Trek universe, where ships are always facing “up” unless they are drifting.

Because it is an MMO, some missions are played with other players, so together, you can split targets or gang up on one. Each player only has a single target at a time, so half the weapons may be idle because of facings (certain Bridge Officer powers allow multi-target firing). All in all, the space battles are fun and look good.

In the early days, ground combat was horrible. Since then, it has vastly improved, but is still much weaker than the starship battles. In ground combat, you and four of your computer-controlled Bridge Officers (BOs) go up against groups of enemies spread throughout a mission area. You fight Klingons, Jem Hadar, Cardassians, Romulans, Borg, and more, and each has their own characteristics that affect how much damage they do and how much damage your weapons do. The ground battles can get quite frantic and are sometimes fun, but are usually a chore. But they are somewhat Star Trek-ish, so it’s okay.

There are also a few large group battles both on ground and in space, and, as with other missions, the space ones are mostly fun, while the ground ones are a pain. The exception is a mission to defeat a Crystalline Entity (remember that from TNG?) – this is a terrible space mission that I have never succeeded in. Just stupidly hard, particularly when other players make mistakes that heal the damn thing.

Overall, I like Star Trek Online and think it is good fun. If you have any interest in Star Trek, check it out. The price on Steam and elsewhere has dropped to only $20, I think, then there’s a monthly fee after the first month.

You can look my characters up in the game. My captain page is here: http://www.startrekonline.com/character_profiles/user_characters/TallGuyCalif

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