A boyhood fantasy of any Star Trek fan since 1966 has always been to captain the Starship Enterprise. Not Scott Bakula’s Enterprise (RIP), but the original set, and design that made the nerds of yore froth from the mouth with desire. Taking the helm initially provides both a feeling of joy, and stress as you slowly realize the total immersion will envelope you. Having to command a Starship can be a supreme undertaking, but with a level head, and a cool attitude, you can triumph over the Klingons, and subsequent evil that unfolds throughout the short, but exciting story mode.
During the offline campaign you’ll find yourself immersed in many tense situations from the iconic Kobiyashi Maru mission, to other less exciting exploration adventures. These fill the offline void that can be troublesome if online gaming isn’t within your realm of enjoyment. The offline components of this title are incredibly enjoyable, but don’t ever reach the true potential of Star Trek: Bridge Crew. The true high point of Bridge Crew is found once you leave the safety of offline, and enter the online component.
Online gameplay in any title can be a fickle beast. The uncertainty of the players that you’ll be thrust into battle with is part of the charm of the online play in Star Trek: Bridge Crew. Within the first seconds of connecting to a lobby it was immediately apparent that the hilarity of having 1:1 detection of hand gestures, and movement is going to entertain for hours. Each player takes control of one of four stations on the Bridge of the Aegis. Those four spots are the captain, tactical officer, engineer, and helm officer. Each position offers a fair amount of differences that keep every game new, and fresh.
In terms of the visuals, and general aesthetic of Bridge Crew, Red Storm has absolutely nailed the true to life feeling of being a bridge officer on a starship. It’s rather unfortunate that other timelines, and styles of ships don’t make appearances (minus the original 1960’s Enterprise). It would have been nice to have seen other iterations of ships, but that of course is a minor complaint that is easily looked past. Otherwise the look, and feel is present everywhere you look. During attacks the bridge begins to throw sparks, and the screen shakes giving the player the feeling of impending doom unless the engineer does their part in repairing the ship.
Audio is also a crucial aspect that has been given tons of love in Bridge Crew. Part of making a good VR game is not only giving the player of feeling they are in the scenario visually, but also aurally. The minor beeps, creeps, and sweeps are all there in their lovingly crafted 1960’s glory. Even aboard the more modern Aegis it’s apparent that Red Storm was very careful in choosing the sound effects carefully. All of this combined with the gorgeous visuals (Even for the Playstation VR headset) brings forth the true feeling of being a starship captain.
Star Trek: Bridge Crew is by no means a perfect game. However, it is without a doubt the most engrossing, lovingly crafted, and fun experience that i’ve had in VR to date. To say that I would love to see more starship styles make an appearance is an understatement. The developer has now given players the ability to play in VR, and outside of VR. Although that is a delightful addition, this game is meant to be experienced in VR. I say experienced because if you’re a fan of Star Trek, then this game is an absolute must play.