Star Trek Online

Genre: Free to play MMO RPG
Platform: Windows and Mac
Developer: Cryptic Studio

Based in the Star Trek universe this free to play massively multiplayer online role-playing game gives players the chance to captain their own customisable ship and join either the Klingon Empire of the Federation. Flying through space, board friendly and hostile ships and been down to planets and explore the alien terrain, as well is taking advantage of the powerful Forge system where players are able to create their own content and quests.

The game is set within the “prime” reality (parallel universes have been created through the films) as seen in the TV series and first 10 films, where the events of these films and shows are cannon for the storyline of Star Trek Online.

The game breaks down to 2 main formats, character play or spaceship play. In the first players can beam down newly discovered planet’s and interact with the friendlies and hostile is that they meet, in the latter players can explore the depths of space in various in-depth missions take them across the stars.

Combat can differ depending on which style of play you are engaged in, character combat is typically third person action shooter style combat whereas ship to ship combat is considerably more strategic and tactical requiring good use of positioning, managing your energy resources and exploiting your enemies’ weaknesses.

A ship in Star Trek Online takes on the same characteristics as being its own character, they can be fully customised and improved on with new gear upgrades increasing both the cosmetics and function of the ship itself, changing anything from colour to structure and more and equipping it with all manner of engines, Shields and modifications.

New ships are unlocked as players progress through the game gaining rank and increasing their skills, gearing them towards types of ship they would like to captain, once reaching Lt Commander rank players can choose one of the three specialisations for their ship: Escort vessels, Science and Cruisers:

Escort - well armed warships that excel in defensive capabilities and sheer firepower, these ships are fast and fleet in battle. Their weakness lies in the lack of science and engineering available to them as well as being able to maintain the health of their crew.

Science - an exceptional support ship science vessels excel in keeping other ships repaired in battle was losing out to having a lower firepower compared to other ships. However, they make up for this with a number of tactical options unavailable to other classes, such as using advanced deflectors and superior senses to find enemy weak points.

Cruiser - the biggest it ships in the fleet they have the largest crew complement as well as a huge power supply that can be used to support their allies as well as keeping their damaged systems online. Its size and construction make it one of the hardest ships to take down in a fight.

Ships are divided into five different tiers, the higher your ships tier the wider the options available to you, opening up more slots for weaponry and seats of the Bridge officers. The gap between tiers diminishes as you increase your tier; a well-equipped level four tier ship can easily be a match for a badly equipped level five.

Bridge Officers
Bridge officers are vital in the performance of a ship, signing officers to various stations around the ship, the stations themselves actually level up and gain rank as with Bridge officers; the higher the rank of the station the more skills that can be used from it. With full customisation over the bridge players can really gear their ship towards their preferred style of gameplay.

Business Model
The game is completely free to play with its core features, however players are able to purchase additional content and services to customise the game and focus on areas they prefer to play. Using Cryptic Points in the C-Store, which can be found in game, players can buy different items that can benefit and enhance gameplay without creating imbalance.

System Requirements
Operating System: Windows XP with SP2 / Vista / 7 (64 or 32 bit)
Processor: AMD Athlon X2 3800+ or Intel Core 2 Duo 1.8
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics / ATI Radeon X1800 / NVIDIA GeForce 7950
DirectX: 9.0c or Higher
Hard Drive Space: 10GB