Average User Score: 6.2Jul 20, 2013I joined this game only after it's transition to the Free-to-play model and am basing my review off of that experience.
For a free-to-playI joined this game only after it's transition to the Free-to-play model and am basing my review off of that experience.
For a free-to-play MMO, this game is well above average. The production values, music, and what little voice acting there is, is excellent quality. The game feels quite polished, and for a starship junkie like me, the ships all look fantastic. The main quest chain is gripping and enjoyable, and makes leveling a breeze; a good balance of investment and reward as you level a character.
The lifetime subscription to this game is quite a bargain at $200 USD, which equates to about 13 months of game time of a typical $15/month MMO, and will unlock everything that f2p players cannot access without microtransaction.
In contrast to other free-to-play MMOs, the microtransactions in this game are kept to a minimum; all purchases made from the Cash shop are entirely cosmetic, having little to no impact on actual gameplay, and are not necessary in any situation to progress your character. In addition, an in-game currency called Dilithium can be converted in large amounts to cash shop credit, offering a cheaper alternative for those who don't wish to spend cash, but spend a lot of time playing.
The space combat in this game is excellent. You have direct control over your ship and it's stations, with everything being laid out in front of you, and basic starship command is very intuitive. The controls are tight and concise, and is easily my favorite part about my STO experience.
Ground combat is another story, however. On the ground, your skills are wildly different from that in space (of course), and your efficiency on the ground will be defined entirely by your away team (your group of starship officers that follow you to the ground). Ground combat is wildly more difficult than space combat, with much more focus on movement, equipment, environmental hazards, and multiple groups of powerful enemies. Coupled with the rather basic shoot-em-up feel of mashing your weapon attack, ground missions will wear out their welcome to most.
The game's loose storyline and setting stays very true to old canon, commonly alluding to the stories and experiences of James Kirk, Jean Luc Picard, and even Kathryn Janeway in their respective series as you explore the galaxy.
Exploration itself, however, is somewhat lacking. For a world as open as this one, the experiences you'll have among sectors and it's planets is mostly predictable and simple. Almost all missions consist of no more than destroying some ships, or scanning some structures. While an over-arcing story helps break the monotony or tie things together, most open-world encounters have no larger plot or worthwhile reward for time invested, making them more akin to little mini-episodes and slightly less gripping as a result.
If you're one for playing solo, you will quickly discover that upon reaching level cap and completing the official episodes, you will have very little to do. In comparison to other MMOs, the amount of group content is scant at best, and repeating the same few group events dozens of times may quickly wear thin. I personally suggest you play this game with friends, or join a role-playing fleet (guild) to keep entertained and break the monotony of grinding the same few events all day every day.
All MMOs have some grind in them; STO's problem is that there is no variety on what you can grind. If you want to be a Borg-slayer and join that NPC faction, you'll be running 5 of the same events for months. If you want to assist the Romulans, you'll have a lifetime of ground missions (primarily babysitting and kill-quests) to run around doing.
However I can't be too harsh. For a free-to-play, this game is definitely better than most. It's enjoyable moreso with friends well polished, and a great game for Star Trek fans who've always wanted to run around inside their ships, or sit at the helm and fight among the stars.
I find the game very high quality, personally, but the community is among the ugliest I've seen in any MMO to date. Every online game has it's elitists, it's dev-haters, and stop-having-fun crowd, but STO's community seems to house of the most intense of all of these. You can bet any "problems" with the game will be loudly vocalized, and when the servers are brought down to repair said problem, you can expect to see an equal amount of hatred directed towards the developers for the unstable servers.
Community can be filtered out, however, and basing my score solely off what I get from the game, I can rest with an 8.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.9Jul 5, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This game, as a space-based sandbox, is nearly perfect. An open world from the start, with nearly every ship being pilotable, and a generally acceptable learning curve (Read: Easier than EvE Online Just run the training mission to get the basics), it's easy to pick up this game and lose hours on it just by looking around and taking a few jumpgates to see what's behind them. The universe is smooth and beautiful, the races diverse and unique, and the ships all having themes relevant to their manufacturers or places of origin.
You can literally do anything you want. Start the game, blast civilians, start life as a pirate. Or pick up some wheat from a nearby station and be a trader, taking it to a food factory. Or throttle up and start wandering aimlessly, either shooting pirates or finding hidden, claimable Easter egg ships behind asteroids. You can do all these things from the start, within the first 60 seconds of hopping into your new game. Play long enough, and you'll eventually own a fleet to let you do all these things at once.
You'll be writing your own stories in this game, and no two playthroughs will be the same.
The only flaw with this game and it is a minor one, comparatively is the official campaign. The story is loose and linear, and incredibly boring. Most bugs in the game are found in the story, with some things being untriggerable or will take several minutes to take place, or will ask absurd things of you. I found myself not understanding how certain parts of the story were related, and simply performing the tasks asked of me so I could finish it faster and get access to the truly open world without the storyline dogging me.
Also and this deserves it's own paragraph the storyline voice acting is GOD AWFUL. No offense intended to the actors, but there is literally 0 talent in your voice acting. In some missions, the dialogue from the NPCs was absolutely groan-worthy as I try to figure out what on earth was written in your script that made you use that inflection, and then I say it aloud a few times with much more believable tone and mood. The Aldrin mission where the isolated Terrans finally come in contact with a lost colony of human explorers and the Terran captain says "Who are YOU?!" In a mood not unlike a clown at a birthday party made me roll my eyes and spend the rest of the dialogue replaying that particular line in my head, confused as to why you would let that pass muster for voice acting.
A few spurts of silly voice acting however does not break this game or it's gameplay. It's an amazing sandbox, and starship captains of all walks of life will find something to sink plenty of hours into in this amazing expanse.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.6Jul 5, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I am completely new to the Animal Crossing series. Up until this game, I had no prior knowledge of this series or what to expect when getting New Leaf. All I knew was that it was a life simulator with cute animal people in it.
I ended up getting far more than I could have ever imagined. Your town and your people are ALIVE, make no mistake. This game is packed with little details and small charms all over the place that will make anyone new to the series say "Wow, really? I wonder what else will happen..."
Your villagers are intelligent, they know what goes on around them and will comment on it. Your town grows over time, day by day, very slowly. Relationships develop, buildings rise, seasons change and villagers move in and out. There are over 300 possible citizens for your village, and you can only have 10 at a time. This is a painful kind of potential where you want to see as much as you can, but you'll only get there with time.
It's much more than a slice-of-life simulator. It's literally another life, all to yourself, where you're in charge and these little animal people look up to you to make their town the best in the world. After a week, you may find yourself getting a deep-seated feeling for your little town and it's people, smiling at some of the things they say and hopefully getting a little chuckle out of it sometimes too.
Daily routines are common, but somehow not repetitive or boring. There's plenty of options for things to do if something doesn't suit your mood that day, or you can just do nothing at all! This game has literally no obligations tied to it, and it makes for a very therapeutic sort of relaxation game. Go fishing. Plant some trees, water some flowers. Or just gaze at the stars.
The possibilities are endless, and no two people will ever have the exact same town.
I don't think I could have picked a better time to dive into the Animal Crossing series. $40 well spent; I'll be playing this game for years to come.… Expand