It has been a bit since I've posted a review and I apologize for that. I have been very engrossed in Star Trek Online, a Free to play game developed by Perfect World Entertainment, and released by Cryptic Studios. I want to start off by saying that as a Star Trek fan I was curious as to if the game was going to be near what I expected in a game that would start by having such a vast history and lore background.
Needless to say I am VERY impressed by their attention to detail. They have spared no expense to make sure that all of the main lore we remember is in the game. If you so desire you can travel to Starfleet Academy, or you could decide to dock at the Earth Space Station to upgrade your ship, check out your bank, or do whatever you want to do. There is of course also an Auction House built into the game known as the Exchange. Aside from that, there are memorable characters you might remember from Star Trek Voyager working on one of the space stations, Lieutenant Naomi Wildman, and Lieutenant Commander Icheb, there is even an encounter with Tom Paris' daughter as well.
Now, game play I was figuring was not going to be all that great, I mean come on… how can you make a mostly space game work well? I had played Star Wars the Old Republic (SWTOR) and was really let down on their space fighting. Well I was again quite pleasantly surprised, unlike SWTOR the entire space system is free flying, you can go where you want, when you want, and at whatever speed you want. When you get there you aren't set to just going in a specific course laid out by the game; while the objectives are set in stone, the route you use to get there is not. The combat system is space is very well thought out, and very well made. The game's creators have made sure that you are able to be in the middle of the fight blasting your phaser beams at will, or you could stand back and be a buffer, or healer. They also have many things you have to watch, for example your crew, your shields, your engine speeds, the power your setting to any one thing, be it engines, shields, weapons, or auxiliary systems. All in all the space system was very much so thought out.
Now you may be saying to yourself “Wait…it's a free to play game there must be huge amounts of restrictions on ships, guns, level cap all that stuff right?” Wrong, you have access to all of the ships, guns, level cap everything, there are obviously restrictions set in place in-game for free to play characters, for example you can only have a certain amount of starships available to you at one time, or your bridge officers are limited to a certain amount, or your bag space is limited to a smaller amount, or any other small thing. One thing to consider though is as you level up bank and inventory spots are added, bridge crew slots are added, you have full availability to ALL ships that are available to anyone, now just like any other free to play game there is a pay aspect, in the case of Star Trek Online the pay aspect is associated with a currency called Zen and you can use that to purchase a plethora of items, ships, races, critter pets, and many many more things. That being said there is also another great feature to this Free to play game that i think more free to play games need to incorporate into their game, and that's the ability to purchase a Lifetime subscription, it costs $300 when not on sale (which it is currently for $200 not sure how long it will last for), which gives you many different perks not the least is a 500 zen stipend each month just for being a lifetime member. That may not seem like much and really it isn't a huge amount, but if you start to really enjoy the game and think you'll be playing for multiple years then it is definitely worth it, eventually the lifetime membership will pay for itself in that regard.
There is a lot to the game and quite honestly i am unable to cover everything. What I can recommend is jump into the game see how you like it, if you’re interested in joining up you're more than welcome to. I will even help you along the way if you want, I am a part of a fairly large Fleet (guild) in-game and we are always looking for more people, if you join up and want to message me in game my character name is [email protected] hope to see you in a ship of your own!