Star Trek Online for PS4 is pretty good!

Star Trek Online for PS4 is Star Trek Online. Sure, the controls are different from the PC version, and it’s a little dumbed down, but the basics of the game is still there and it is still fun. It also looks pretty good, so they’re taking good advantage of the PS4’s graphics capabilities. There were a few bugs that I ran into, but none game-breaking, and I can’t link my Arc account for some reason (perhaps because I have a lifetime subscription on the PC version), but the game was entirely playable. If I didn’t have so many hours invested (is that the right word for a game?) in the PC version, I’d play it more in a heartbeat.

The control scheme is the biggest change from the PC version. In space, it uses the gamepad sticks very intuitively for ship control and camera control. Since the gamepad only has a few buttons, we only get a few powers that we can use, but the L1 button (left bumper for you Xbox folks) can be held down to bring up a radial menu of powers, it tends to work out. R2 (right trigger) fires phasers, while R1 fires torpedoes if they’re bearing on your target. Switching energy profiles is easy with the D-Pad, as is speed control. The ground controls are similar, but it uses “shooter” mode rather than RPG mode (options in the PC version). L2 is Aim Down Sight. Overall the control scheme is simple and works well.

I’ve been using a gamepad with STO on PC from the beginning, and I have lots of powers mapped by using triggers and bumpers as modifiers for the ABXY buttons on my Xbox 360 controller. On the PC version we’d be at a severe disadvantage if we could only access a few powers, so we’ll have to see how the console version compensates for that.

The early missions are a bit of a mash-up of the original Borg invasion missions from the early days and the more current Star Fleet Academy stuff, but fairly well done and a nice introduction to the controls and to the game. Loot drops are auto-looted if you get close, which is a nice improvement. I’ve never spent much time in shooter mode on ground missions on the PC, but I see that works pretty well on the PS4.

It looks like the Temporal Agent start isn’t available on the PS4 version, which is a bit of a shame, given the tie in with the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, but perhaps it will come later.

I did pick up the free (yesterday) 23rd century costume pack as well as a nifty Andorian Escort ship that was also free. That ship rocks – it’s almost unfair how quickly it stomps enemy ships to the curb. I don’t know if it was a mistake or not, but I’m happy I got it.

My biggest disappointment is that I can’t link my Arc account to the PS4 version. I get to the Link Accounts screen, press the button, then the screen just reloads each time I press it. I’d sure like to be able to link my lifetime account and thousands of Zen to the PS4 version. I don’t actually want to play my PC characters on the PS4, but I’d sure like the unlocks I’ve earned over the years. If I can’t do that, my play time with the PS4 version may be at an end or at least very minimal, since my best experience with STO is going to be on the PC.

If you’re an existing STO player, there probably isn’t a compelling reason to play on the console version, but the console version is probably much better for people that are new to Star Trek Online.

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