I'm sure I could be corny and start with where no TOV'er has gone before but, that would probably make Roddenberry roll in his grave. Star Trek online is an MMO that has had much history before its launch on Feb. 2, 2010, this game started being developed by Perpetual till they when out of business, Cryptic took over and has had a mad rush to launch it. This game is based around the 25th century and you are the Capt. of a starship going on different mission engaging different species in combat and advancing the skills of you and your crew.
To begin your exploration of the galaxy you have to pick they type of officer you want to be, it will put you in a tank, DPS, or healing role. First, is the Engineering Officer (Tank) who can create personal shield and is the character to take most damage; also has the ability to control the path of enemies with shields and damage fields. Second is the Science Officer (Healer) that has the ability to weaken enemy groups, you also heal away teams with H.O.T. and offer support (Buffs). Tactical Officer (Dps) - you are the damage dealer in a large variety of ways, near or far (Melee/D.O.T.).
Now that you have your career chosen, you have to pick what you're going to look like. Now as simple as that sounds, you have to make the right choice because each species has special traits some are better tanks others have innate healing, some are fast and accurate enough to deliver damage. They have done a great job in giving you enough information to give you a good idea of what each race would be good for. If you're into RP there is a brief back story with all the Species.
Human – Andorian – Bajoran – Benzite – Betazoid – Bolian – Ferengi – Joined Trill – Klingon – Liberated Borg Human – Saurain – Trill – Vulcan – Alien
Everyone gets to pick two more abilities to make their build unique with the exception of Andorian, Bolian, and Trill they only have one species ability allowing you to grab 3 more abilities. Now, if none of these species are to your liking you can make your own from the ground up by choosing Alien; this also allows you to pick 4 abilities. Now with all this written, your first instinct might be just to give your toon all tank, healing, or DPS traits, which is fine but remember you have to operate a space ship and there is a lot fighting out there, So, don't skip over the space specific traits right away.
The Game play:
You start out in a Ten Forward like area where you are surrounded by other new players, the Captain Calls you to the bridge and you are off. Your quest begins in the ship and then as you advance it takes you to far off to new and dangerous locations. The Quest chains are called episodes, rightly so, since they come from stories that happened in all of the different series. As you start climbing through the ranks from ensign you and your crew gain more skills, making your ship operation more efficient. The quest don't vary much - its either retrieve something, destroy something, interrupt something, eh something in the same fashion. You do get to visit different worlds and encounter different races. If you fail you just re-spawn and continue. Your ship battles are fairly simple once you get the hang of them; you pretty much learn very quickly to operate the ship.
The Bang: I like that they are obvious about the traits and careers. You know from the go who is a good tank, healer or DPS. The loading screens have awesome trivia for you. You can explore space freely and it looks very interesting with the nebulas and clusters out there. It's a fun game the spaceship fighting is enjoyable. When you have to do fleet missions with other ships it's exciting and looks amazing.
The Slack: I wanted to be part of the Romulan Empire. When I first started the game I thought I would be part of any faction of my choosing. I can only be a Federation Vulcan and that's as close as I'm gong to get. It's feels like a single player game, with no death penalty, so no matter how many times I fail I keep going till I get it right. I visit different worlds but they all feel the same, I visit docking or repair stations and they're just big rooms, I feel so constricted with the environment. I really enjoyed the concept of the games multiple races, many worlds, a variety of space battles. You can team up to make a fleet to go against a large opponents, It does have features that are enjoyable, on the other hand, the actual character development in the begin looks great but it doesn't really play a role as you advance in the game.
The Ugly: Honestly, this game feels rushed even with this last patch. I feel like it still needs some work. They have a gold mine here, if they can fix the issues by the next game launch, I guarantee you will have a larger trekkie following of all ages. If you could bring more factions to the game that would make fans and players want to be more; you'll be catering to both the RP and the average gamer alike. I would like to see The Borg, The Romulans, and the Cardassians.
The End: Star Trek Online is a one player game, playing with other people in one player mode. I'm not going to completely dog it since I see great potential in it. I do have to add that this game should have been called Star Trek Federation Online, since it doesn't really encompass all the other factions, which is Star Trek. Cryptic I have enjoyed playing Champions online but I think there is much work left to be done on this one. I give this a TOV 2.5 out of 5; the saving grace is that there is going to be a console version of this game. I think it's very cool if PC Gamers and Console gamers are on the same server.