GT Impressions of Star Trek D-A-C

startrekdac_posterYesterday, Eva told you that Star Trek D-A-C was headed to XBox Live Arcade. As a self-admitted Star Trek junkie, I got so excited that I spent a few hours last night playing through it. So, now I ask myself the question: Would I recommend it to you, gentle readers?

At its core, Star Trek D-A-C is a top-down, space combat game set in the timeline of the new Star Trek movie. It’s a game that is primarily focused on multiplayer, so if you don’t have a Live Gold account, you may not get your money’s worth out of this title.

As a Trek fan, it’s kind of neat to be able to fly around in a Constitution-class flagship and attempt to take on the evil Romulan Empire. D-A-C fulfills this need with three game modes: Assault, Conquest, and Team Deathmatch.

Assault is basically attack & defend. Each team attempts to capture four points within a time limit, while the other teams defends. The winner is the team that captures the most points and has the best time. Conquest is a Battlefield-style, take-and-hold game where teams must capture two points to unlock their opponent’s base for capture. Team Deathmatch is, well, if you don’t know what TDM is by now, you probably aren’t actually reading this.

So far, so good, right? Now for the big questions: is there cooperative play, and just which starships do I get my grubby paws on?

As to cooperative play, it is there. However, it’s online coop only. Unfortunately. there will be no sitting the couch with your buddy and decimating the Romulan fleet. There’s also a Versus mode, as well as a solo mode with AI Players taking the place of your online opponents. The challenge level seems to ramp up markedly once you go online, as is the case for most multiplayer games.

star-trek-dacPlayers will find themselves choosing between three starships: the agile Fighter, the nimble Bomber, or the cumbersome Flagship. Obviously, each has its up and downs, but each also has a lot in common. All ships can have their weapons upgraded through pickups found on the battlefield, and getting your ship destroyed doesn’t mean that you have to lose all of those upgrades.

If you are about to be blown to space dust, you’ll get an eject warning. If you successfully eject, you must pilot your escape pod away from the fray, and avoid taking damage for five full seconds. Successfully doing so will result in a faster respawn time, and will also allow you to keep most of your upgraded weapon strength.

In addition to weapon strength pickups, there are also a number of special weapon pickups on the field, including some that repel enemies, some that spawn an AI wingman to help cover your back, and some that make you invisible or even invulnerable.

star_trek_dac_2Overall, I enjoyed Star Trek D-A-C. It’s not a game that is a technological marvel, but then again, Live Arcade games rarely fill that bill. What it is a fun little multiplayer space shooter that lets you pretend to be pulling the strings on an actual Federation (or Romulan) warship. It’s fairly basic right now, with only 4 maps offered for Team Deathmatch, two maps for Conquest, and one map for Assault. Still, it’s only packing a price of 800 Microsoft Points ($10.00), meaning that the content is commensurate with the price.

I’m hoping that we’ll see some DLC for this title. After all, more maps and more ships wouldn’t looked at askance by anyone. I’d also like to see a local co-op option added as well. It would add value for people who do not choose to own a Gold account.

If you’re a XBox Live Gold member, and especially if you’re a Star Trek fan, D-A-C is definitely worth a purchase. If you’re not a Gold member, I have to recommend that unless you enjoy playing multiplayer games with bots, you give this one a pass.

As always, you can grab more screens, trailers, and other files over at FileFront’s D-A-C- page.

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