14 Jun

It feels like only yesterday that Star Trek: Online was reviewed here at Elder-Geek.  The question you may ask yourself is…why is another Star Trek MMO coming out?  Is it because the last one was a critical flop?  Do “they” really think they’re going to squeeze more money out of all the Trek fans out there?  Well it turns out that’s not really going to be much of a problem.  In fact many of you out there may be quite surprised at what this second Star Trek MMO offering presents.

Enter Star Trek: Infinite Space, a free to play MMO from Gameforge set during the Deep Space Nine timeline.  That’s right folks, this game is F-R-E-E.  Given the rapid growth in F2P MMO’s that’s not the only kicker; as sweet as it is.  If you liked the F2P news, get ready for this.  Infinite Space is a browser based game.  No installing required, no high-end PC specs needed.  “Eww, browser game! This is going to look so bad!” That’s a common perception that’s quickly being eradicated.  Over the last two years especially, browser based games have started to make immense strides in both the graphical and content department.  Infinite Space is a continuation of this trend.

Browser games are looking this good

Built with the increasingly popular Unity engine, players will have the option of captaining their very own starship into combat from a top-down perspective or chilling with other players in a variety of bars meant for social networking.  The combat system appears to be very straight forward based on what we’ve seen.  Phasers are good for diminishing shields while photon torpedoes are most effective against a target once you’ve eliminated their shielding.  There’s even an area of effect stun, which is quite effective if you’re getting overwhelmed.  We were not privy to all of the combat abilities that will be in the game as the demo we partook in was fairly quick and to the point.

What we experienced was a few skirmishes with Romulan vessels, followed by assisting the famed Captain Sisko and his vessel, the USS Defiant, against further assault.  When all was said and done we were presented with an eye-opening sight.  Branching dialogue trees.  Story is going to be an asset that’s taken very seriously in this game.  So much so that Gameforge has hired on a veteran writer from the Star Trek: The Next Generation series to take helm.  The missions in large appear to be very much up to the player in how they will resolve.  Will you use brute force, or tact?  The producer even brought up Mass Effect as an example of what they were going for.  No, there won’t be paragon and renegade stats, nor will there be quick time events on which moral action to perform.  That could change from now to then, but as it stands that’s not the rout they’re taking Infinite Space.  Did I mention that missions are repayable?  The thought of that might break immersion for some, but hey, Star Trek has time travel right?  Oh, for you Klingon fans, they’ll have a campaign…and yes, you can fully expect PvP.

You wish you were me!

On the whole, this is a promising game and one I hope can actually take hold of the narrative.  You can look forward to Star Trek: Infinite Space sometime this year.