It’s the beginning of the 25th Century. The Federation and the Klingons are at war, the True Way are trying to restore Cardassia to its former glory, the Borg are determined to achieve universal conquest, the Dominion’s gathering its forces and the Undine (Species 8472) have a deadly agenda. Fight as a Starfleet captain or a KDF (Klingon Defense Force) general and do whatever you must for your faction.
The plot summarizes itself in one sentence; everyone’s trying to kill you. I’m serious; the Federation gained so many enemies that I’m surprised they’re still alive. All you do throughout the game is play fetch for the higher ups. You can ask them questions about their pasts, but that’s about all you get when it comes to plot and character development. There are also a few shout outs to the Star Trek series such as Miral Paris, Admiral Janeway, Section 31, and on Bajor there’s a note from one Anjohl Tennan (if you’ve seen Deep Space 9, you know what I’m talking about). There are even missions where you go back in time and meet characters from Star Trek the Original Series. Speaking of the Original Series, did I mention that Leonard Nimoy himself narrates the game as Spock?
The process of the game is very simple. You choose a race, gender and a career for your character. Your choices for specialties are science, engineering and tactical. As for race, the Federation has so many different ones to choose from that listing them all will take up the whole page. I will tell you this; each one has their own different traits. You don’t get to unlock a KDF character until your Federation character reaches level 25, and your choice of species isn’t limited to Klingon. You also have a wide selection of uniforms that your character can wear.
When you’re playing the game, it’s like interacting through your very own Star Trek series. Sometimes the Federation and Klingon missions coincide, but the writers show them through a different perspective. One example being the celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Next Generation by having a Worf hologram appear on the holodeck. When you talk to him as a Federation character, he says that it was an honor serving with Starfleet. When you talk to him as a member of the KDF, he says that he was a disgrace to the Klingon Empire.
There are also events that take place during a set time. Some involve the Borg invading a part of space. Others are about collecting items for yourself, like the dilithium mining event. One event is my absolute favorite, the Path to 2409, where you go to either Starfleet or Klingon Academy and receive two data chips with information that fills the gap between the shows and the game. Then you take a test based on the information you got.
As this is a MMORPG, there is a co-op mode in this game. You can make friends and form teams. You can also form your own fleet or join an existing one. There are actions that you can participate in, but you have to participate with others as well.
The game is free-to-play but you have to pay to add some extra items to use. You can even get a subscription to add more benefits to your gaming experience. My advice, unless you’re filthy rich, don’t bother paying for anything. Paying to get more virtual stuff is the digital equivalent of drawing money from the ATM at a casino, if you do it you’re a loser. Yes, I put down myself when I say this because I have shelled out money to pay for extra stuff, something I promised that I’d never do again. Still, as I said earlier, if you’re filthy rich go for it.
One part of the game that I absolutely love is the foundry missions. In this part, you can create and play missions created by other players. What Star Trek Online usually lacks in story and character development, these missions usually make up for in spades. Many of them don’t even have any combat and are more like interactive visual novels. In fact, if done well, these stories feel more like episodes of Star Trek and make you feel more like a captain than the actual game does. I’m actually thinking about reviewing foundry missions individually. Not all of them, that would take forever, just the ones I play because I feel like it, the ones that make the foundry spotlight on the Star Trek Online website, and if anyone wants to request a review of a foundry mission feel free to do so.
This game is amazing. I give it 9 out of 10; any trekkie will love this game.