Thanks to the wonderful people over at HTC and Portal VR in Seattle. I have commanded my own starship through the cosmos and I have to say…I love it.
I was lucky enough to be invited to the HTC Vive Star Trek: Bridge Crew Unveil Party. If you don’t know already…the game is a VR simulation that lets up to four players take on key positions of a starship’s ‘bridge crew’ to carry out missions. Every Trek fan will finally be able to carry out their dream of commanding a Federation ship through the Alpha Quadrant. Well in Virtual Reality anyway.
While they stuffed me with free cocktails and food, (the Kobayashi Maru-itas were awesome) I was able to partake in several experiences in the game. Currently, there are four roles available to you…captain, helm, tactical and engineering. Personally, my favorite is helm. You literally pilot the ship through all kinds of things. Around asteroids, debris from destroyed ships…you can run into all of it and let me tell you…it can do some damage to your shields.
While there is a lot going on with Star Trek: Bridge Crew, I will say it is amazingly simple. It didn’t take long to get into the swing of piloting the ship. Nor did it take long to become a badass at tactical. Taking out Klingons almost seemed to become too easy. The role of captain, while fun…doesn’t really do anything. You pretty much just sit there and shout out suggestions to your crew. That’s basically what a captain does anyway, isn’t it?
As of right now, the AI crew can’t respond to voice commands. You have to use a text menu to give them orders. However, Ubisoft plans to experiment with IBM’s Watson technology to allow them to respond to conversational orders. Now that would be amazing.
As I said, this was an HTC Vive Unveil Party. So that is the system I played Star Trek: Bridge Crew with. The actual computers being used to run Vive…I didn’t ask. When it came to playing it with the HTC Vive, I have to say it was pretty sleek. Once I got my glasses and helmet correctly situated…the VR environment was gorgeous. Sadly, you are locked into a seated experience with the game…when all you want to do is walk around the bridge. The controls were very intuitive. Where I wanted to put my finger is where my finger went. The spot on accuracy of the Vive controllers made it very easy to learn how to use the controls the ship.
So what’s my final verdict? While the game is awesome…there are still some things missing. Right now all the missions are pretty much the same…defend, rescue, and research. They get stale after awhile. There is a whole universe of ‘things’ to be explored. Let’s delve into that more. I am sure future updates will add many more features…but until then. I am giving Star Trek: Bridge Crew 4 out 5 Bananas. It gets 4 cause I cannot justify 3 Bananas and I haven’t made half bananas yet.
Let’s hope future updates also makes it possible for us to play with other types of ships, like a Klingon Bird of Prey or perhaps a Vulcan Science ship.