Star Trek Online Review: Tier 1

I have finally made it to level 11 or Lt. Commander if you want to use the proper terminology and as I said I would write a review when I reached that level. So here it is!

Let’s just start this review by stating some facts to keep it nice and clear. I have played the game for a total of 16 hours in release and about 10 hours in open beta. This is not even close to enough time to do a full review of the game. I believe for a mmo that it requires at least 6 months to truly understand the game and to give it a real review. But I do think that 16 hours is enough time to tell if you like the game and it is enough time to write a first impressions kind of review which is what this will be. I only played one class and did not play a Kligion or any PVP.

Character Creation and Tutorial

I picked a human engineer as my first character. The character creator is fantastic just like all other Cryptic games. The tutorial is good the first time and is really bad the second time. It is way to linear and there should be a way to skip it the second time. I find this with most games that choose to instance the first few levels to let you get used to your character, for alts it sucks.

The game does a good job of teaching you the basic controls but does a terrible job of telling you what each skill does and how it affects your character.

Questing

The mission structure is again fun the first two or three times you do them. The patrol missions follow a very similar pattern and get very repetitive. You must go to 5 systems and then kill/scan/save/salvage 5 things around/on that planet. Each thing will be protected by 3 normal ships or 1 bigger ship. Rinse and Repeat.

The story missions are much better and are really fun to do but there are not enough of them to get you all the way up. They are like mini episodes of a show. They are very well done and I have even run into some characters from the series or offspring of the characters. It is really cool if you watched any of the Star Trek show. They are pretty long but if you get interrupted it will allow you to continue where you left off.

There are also these fleet actions also known as Public Quests. I only did one of these but I did it a few times and while it was fun the reward was terrible. I barely got any skill points and the loot was worthless. They need a lot of work to make them worth doing for me.

Combat

Space combat is very well done and feels very strategic. You have various systems to manage and choices to make when you are fighting; it is a very engaging and rewarding system. I have spent a lot of time fine tuning my tactics to kill as quickly as possible and it has been a lot of fun. There is so much that you can do and learn to make you more effective like picking your officers and training up your skills. It is one of those systems that is easy to learn but takes a life time to master. It is some of the best combat I have experienced in an MMO in a long time.

Ground combat is completely different than space combat and uses a different set of skill. Ground combat is more like your traditional MMO combat except you have 4 pets with you that you can train and level up. I find ground combat to be a lot of fun, sometimes it is a little long and gets frustrating but I believe that is because I put all of my training points into space combat so I am gimped on the ground. The ground combat does feel kind of added on and could use some polish.

Graphics

Well it is beautiful and runs very well on my mid range system.

Immersion

This is where the game falls apart. The game is very instanced and you have to zone 3 times just to go from a base to another system. It kills the massive feel of space and turns it into little areas to kill things in. There is no sense of exploration or of the vastness that is space.

Then we have sector space, probably the worse implementation of travel EVER. It is a big blue grid that is broken up into sector blocks (more zones) and it is supposed to represent warp travel. It looks nothing like space and just totally kills any immersions you may have had. It is just terrible.

Conclusion

The game is the best Star Trek game available and many will enjoy it a lot. But if you are a mmo tourist like me it is not a very long stop on your trip to find the perfect mmo. It is missing the depth to last very long for some one that is not seriously interested in the lore. Like most Cryptic games it does one or two things very well and totally fails at the other things.

I give it a totally random score of

90/118

Buy Star Trek Online

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