previews\ Dec 26, 2009 at 7:00 pm

Star Trek: Online - PC - Preview

Radiant swirls of light surround the body and the scene shifts as the teleport fades one scene to black and then brings an entirely different vista into view.

Inasmuch as Star Trek put so many concepts into the mainstream of pop culture (you can almost hears ‘Bones’ McCoy saying: “"I came aboard to practice medicine, not to have my atoms scattered across space"), Cryptic is taking the familiar and trademark elements of Star Trek lore and advancing it in a new direction.

The adventure begins with the character creation phase. Those who delighted in Cryptic’s deep super-hero options in City of Heroes and City of Villains likely know how much the bar was raised with that massively multiplayer online game. The attention that Cryptic gave to costumes has been given over to STO, but rather than focus on clothing, this is more about face and body types.

Now remember, this game is in beta, so many things are subject to change before the game releases on February 2, 2010.

So let’s get into the nuances of character creation, as it stands now.

It begins with the selection of the career. Three are available – engineering officer (can create personal shields and a support class with turrets and drones for support fire), science officer (can heal damage, versatile in combat, can create energy fields) and tactical officer (specializes in combat damage, stealth recon and squad tactics). From there it is on to species selection – there are six prebuilt species with racial traits, or you can hit the unknown button and start to create your own race (either male or female). Twenty-three traits are available at the outset and these affect your overall character attributes. For example, you could take on the passive soldier trait, which increases critical hit damage and ranged weapon damage, or go with Warp Theorist, which will increase starship warp core training by +10.

Then the fun really begins. The head customization area has 15 drop-down menus that control everything from organic attachments to the overall head type. There are 32 additional sliders to control elements such as cranium slope, eye size, nose bridge height and so on.

Then it is on the body customization, which is not quite a deep. Three presets and then you select a stance. Or go into the advanced menu, which though not as robust as the head options, still presents 19 sliders to adjust body parts such as hip size, or hands size, and so on. Uniforms are simpler yet with five areas to adjust style and colors on. While lacking the rich and intense primary colors, the color palettes do offer a variety of muted pastels and color variations that should suit the game well.

Lastly, there is the personal character information. This includes the character name, the name of your ship and personal biographical data – the latter of which can be changed later in the game.

Once you have all that, it’s time to enter the tutorial elements of the game.

Ready to play? Well, then ...


This is the first in a series of previews focusing on different game elements that will run in the days and weeks leading up to the February 2nd release of the game.

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