After six years, ‘Star Trek Online’ finally invades consoles, bearing gifts

PC gamers have known Star Trek Online and the turbulence it overcame prior to its eventual 2010 launch for a long time. The Trek-themed MMORPG originally went into development way back in 2004 under Perpetual Entertainment’s roof and suddenly landed into the hands of Cryptic Studios in 2008. The game officially launched two years after that, and now it’s finally landed on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles six years after its initial debut. It’s about time, eh Star Trek fans?

If you’re not familiar with Star Trek Online, the story takes place 30 years after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis. The Federation and the Klingon Empire are once again at each other’s throats, and the Romulan Star Empire is picking up the pieces after the Hobus supernova destroyed Romulus back in 2387. Meanwhile, the Borg has emerged as a major threat again while The Dominion gears up for another onslaught. That all said, players are thrust into the era beyond The Next Generation in what’s called the “Prime” timeline, which is separate from the timeline seen in the three recent Star Trek movies.

That said, Star Trek fans can generate their own captain and take charge of their very own starship. The game mixes first-person with space simulator, providing up-close-and-personal experiences along with third-person starship exploration and battles. There are over 125 “episodes” moving through multiple story arcs spanning outer space and on the ground. The game is free-to-play to some extent, allowing fans to level up their character to level 60. These “silver” members can purchase services, items, and content using real-world money.

Of course, if you’re willing to pay a monthly subscription, Star Trek Online offers a “gold” plan, too. This provides an additional character slot, 30 bonus inventory slots, 60 bonus bank slots, two additional bridge officer slots, and 20 bonus account shared bank slots. But that’s not all, as each month subscribers get benefits like priority login, 500 bonus Zen each month (the in-game currency), one Captain Retrain Token per rank, access to gaining Veteran Rewards, and loads more. The whole list of goodies can be found here.

Steve Ricossa, executive producer of Star Trek Online, said on Tuesday that Xbox One and PlayStation 4 gamers now have more than six years of content available at launch. However, the game was “overhauled” to work on consoles, namely getting everything to work optimally on a controller. Star Trek Online already supports a controller on the PC, so we’re interested in seeing how the experience will be different on the two consoles.

“The lighting engine was heavily upgraded to ensure everything looks as amazing as you would expect on the current generation of hardware,” Ricossa said. “Finally, all of the UI was completely redone from scratch to ensure we have an experience that is purpose-built for consoles.”

Console-exclusive content was actually revealed last month. Xbox One owners will receive a free Tier 1 Blockade Runner Escort Steamrunner-class Starship while PlayStation 4 gamers will receive a free Tier 1 Andorian Light Escort. These items will be made available for only four weeks after the game’s initial launch. Additionally, PlayStation Plus subscribers will get a bonus free Wrath of Kahn Starfleet Uniform.

Finally, console gamers can purchase three exclusive content packs for each of the available factions: Federation, Klingon, and Romulan. The details of all three packs can be found here.