Star Trek Preview: Set Phasers to “Bore”
With the the casualties beamed up to safety, Spock and Kirk pressed on to the exterior, eventually reaching a bridge with a large gap in the middle. Kirk, true to form, attempted to leap over, coming up just short. Spock scanned the environment and found the button to extend the bridge. Asymmetric co-op at its finest, ladies and gentlemen.
Moving back inside, the heroes were plunged into darkness and hit with that inescapable video game trope: “Our comms are suddenly cut off for no good reason!” To add insult to injury, the next sequence included the world’s least original co-op mechanic -– the “boost me up Scotty” approach to navigating environments. Boosted by Spock up to a hatch in the ceiling, Kirk at least revealed the demo’s one decent scare, opening the hatch to reveal an angry Gorn waiting on the other side.
The Gorn are Star Trek the game’s distinctive new enemy, anthropomporphic lizard men who come in a variety of sizes. The first one to appear was the bigger, badder variation, and Spock held his scanner up to reveal weaknesses that could be exploited by Kirk’s phaser.
Having succeeded in this approach, the Enterprise pair then had to contend with a shipload of the big Gorn’s smaller cousins, who make up for their lack of physical strength with a proficiency in futuristic firearms. Thankfully, the roof of the Gorn vessel was covered in convenient chest-high walls, and Kirk and Spock made quick work of them, even deploying that gamer favorite — the Quick Time Event.
Retreating back inside the building, the heroes were beset on all sides by waves of Gorn, who arrived at arbitrarily scripted moments with awkward animations and a fusillade of fire. Spock retrieved a Gorn rifle and gave them a taste of their own medicine, thanks to some cool-looking fire-based projectiles.
Eventually, the lizard onslaught proved too much, and Kirk and Spock were on the run again, through a monumental entrance hall that again recalled Mass Effect with its architecture and coloring. More enemies awaited on the launchpad outside, however, and an exasperated Simon Pegg as Scotty explained the plot contrivances that made beaming up impossible.
Thankfully, he had another solution: Kirk would paint the enemies with a targeting laser for the Enterprise’s photon torpedoes, triggering a massive (and massively “danger close”) airstrike that bought the pair on the ground some time to breathe. The Gorn weren’t deterred for long, arriving in vertically oriented Reaper-style ships that surrounded our heroes and brought an end to the demo.
Movie tie-ins have a deservedly bad reputation, and Namco Bandai and Digital Extremes aren’t threatening to disturb that trend. If the game’s story and voice acting manage to transcend the mediocre, derivative gameplay, they might find an audience outside of die-hard Star Trek fans. If not, press A to use your scanner and find this one in the bargain bin.