Star Trek: D.A.C. Results

7
Star Trek: D.A.C.
  • Good, solid multiplayer fun
  • Simple to pick up
  • Team Deathmatch
  • Offers nothing new
  • Only three game types
  • Boring single player mode

Star Trek: D.A.C.

September 21, 2009 by Jeff Barker  
Filed under Reviews, Xbox Live Arcade

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Overview

Title: Star Trek: D.A.C.

Release Date: 13th May 2009

Developer/Publisher: Naked Sky Entertainment/Paramount Digital Entertainment

Genre: Shooter

Platform[s]: Xbox Live Arcade

Star Trek. You either love it or you hate it. You’re either one of a legion of millions of Trekkies around the world who go to conventions regularly dressed as Sulu, Data, Uhura or Bob from Engineering, or you’re one of the millions of people who cannot stand it or the one billion spin off’s the franchise has spawned since the original series premièred back in the sixties (even though Deanna Troi made The Next Generation very watchable). I fall into the latter category, and despite my generally dismissive attitude towards the Star Trek universe as a whole, the fact that J. J. Abrams has got his very talented paws in on the action (and not forgetting that I’m also a sucker for a big Spring Blockbuster at the Cinema) sparked my interest enough for me to volunteer to review Star Trek: D.A.C., which is available for download now on XBLA.

Disappointingly enough, the game is only based very loosely on J. J.’s film or the universe as a whole. It features none of the original cast, none of the new cast and almost certainly Bob from Engineering will NOT be making a cameo appearance – but instead, Star Trek: D.A.C. (Deathmatch-Assault-Conquest) does exactly what it says on the tin and avoids following the usual tried and tested third person action/adventure movie spin off angle by crafting a rather nifty little top-down online Team shooter.

Gameplay

First of all – DO NOT play this on your own. The computer controlled AI is rubbish, and you’ll find yourself swearing at it in anything except Team Deathmatch. Star Trek: D.A.C. is designed as an online multiplayer, and should be treated as such. Right…there are three different (but very standard) types of timed game on offer – the first being Team Deathmatch (self explanatory), followed by Assault (a two-round game, with the first round consisting of you trying to take down your opponent’s four bases while they try to defend, while the second round reverses the roles) and then Conquest (a Capture the Flag style game, where each team has two bases each and must defend their own whilst taking over their opponents bases).

The idea is again a very standard one, pick a side (Starfleet or Romulan), pick a craft and get stuck in. You die, you respawn elsewhere on the map. Each side has three different types of Craft on offer, although they are the same in everything but aesthetics, regardless of which side you pick.The slow but powerful Flagship (which looks like the Enterprise, if you play on the Starfleet side) takes a lot of damage and uses a targeting system with the reticule controlled with the right stick, but requires a modicum of pre-emption as it will only fire in the direction of your reticule and does not lock on. The Bomber is fairly nippy and prone to damage more easily, and is held back by the fact that you can only drop bombs behind you, requiring a slightly more tactical approach (laying covering bombs around the outside of an enemy base while your teammates capture it inside, for instance), while the Fighter is a very nippy little bastard packing the only “traditional” laser style weapon in the game, only let down by exploding too easily.

Each craft uses RT to fire, LT for a short-lived speed boost and the left and right bumpers to use your power-ups. These appear as yellow glowing orbs around the maps which, once collected, give you different powers such as a cloaking device, smart bombs or a doppelganger that mirrors your movements.There are also health packs you can collect, indicated as white glowing orbs. Pressing Y brings up a realtime overview map of the action as it happens.

It’s very much Online Team Shooter business as usual, but it’s execution is very smooth and even though it takes a while to get used to the strengths and weaknesses of each of the different Craft on offer you will find yourself assessing the situation at each spawn point and attempt to pick the right Craft, before giving up and just opting for the Flagship instead as it takes more damage.

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Graphics

There’s not much to say about the graphics apart from they are simple but effective. You’d be best off playing this game on a large HD telly, as the minuscule fighters can be hard to pick out against some of the backdrops at times. Each map has a theme, however they all really just look the same but with different colour schemes and obstacles in the way – although they do look nice and get the job done well enough. Some of the explosion graphics are quite satisfying (unless it’s you being exploded), and each of the power-ups have their own distinctive thing going on.

Audio

Again, not much to speak of – the usual “epic” score (presumably lifted from the film) and laser/explosion sound bites, but you will have to rely on your Live Friends impersonating Scotty badly (I cannae do it, Cap’n – I just doont have the poo-er!) to give it that authentic Trekkie vibe.

Overall Score & Replayability

So there you have it, nothing groundbreaking and (potentially) a waste of a good licence but at least Naked Sky decided to do something a bit different with it instead. Priced at 800 points it may be seen to be a tad on the expensive side, especially when it offers nothing new – but if you’re bored of GoW2 or Halo and fancy something different in a multiplayer stylee it may be worth a look, although I would suggest grabbing the demo for a taster first.

Now, where’s my Bob from Engineering costume…

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Comments

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