Star-Trek : Bridge Crew, First Impressions

Do you want to experience being on the of the Enterprise? Do you have some form of VR device?

Then you’re in luck because you too can do James T Kirk impersonations in front of three strangers while saying things like “Full Power to Engines, Aye!” without a trace of irony.

This is the kind of thing that’s the killer app for VR.Bridge Crew 1

I got Bridge Crew yesterday after seeing people rave about it on Reddit.  I had a UBISoft 20% off voucher so that made the decision easy.  Pandering to my inner nerd is always an easy out for any game, anyway.

Installation was easy,  though you need an Ubisoft account as well as whatever else you use.  That allows the game to support cross-platform VR play between Vive (Steam), Oculus (StoreFront) and PSVR.

From the start of the game, I had a big grin on my face.  The “main menu” is on the controls of a shuttle as you fly to your new ship.  Rounding the space-station and seeing the ship come into view as the music swelled was awesome.

I played through the tutorials and a few single-player missions (you can play them all single-player with the AI standing in for missing crew members) star-trek-bridge-crew-03and the sense of being on a starship was spot on.  I spent most of my time looking around the bridge and fiddling with all the controls.  Engineering ended disabling the “Red Alert” button to stop me fiddling with it.  All the controls are rendered on the bridge;  to steer the ship you drag a control on the console, to move to warp you push the enormous throttle, allocating power is done via engineering switches, etc.

The missions were classic Star Trek and all the classic bits of the series and films are there.  I had a great time on my own but the gameplay is pretty simple;  giving orders to AI or moving dials around yourself.

 

It takes other people to make it more complicated….:)

Quick match took me to the Officer’s Quarters where I was chatting to three strangers from different parts of the world.  They hadn’t found the controls to customise their avatars so it was bit disconcerting talking to a set of identical Chris Pine triplets but we soon agreed on roles and jumped into the ship.  Setup was nice and quick.

star-trek-bridge-crew-02

Having other people playing the other posts made all the difference;  Helm asking for more power to engines to catch a ship, Engineering charging the warp coils while under fire and target selection as the captain all made the experience a brilliant.

Obviously it’ll depend on who you’re matched with but having people willing to get into character even a little made the entire experience so much better.  For example, even though you might know what would be the best thing to do waiting for the order just feels better.  There were some interesting choices too;  when I was on Helm I asked the Captain whether I should pursue our adversary or move closer to the pods we were rescuing.  And when should you retreat and how much should you trust Engineering to keep the ship together?

We had a ball doing missions together and I can imagine it would be amazing playing with friends;  if you’ve got a few friends with VR it’s a must-buy experience.  As it is, it’s an experience you just can’t get without VR which is exactly what I wanted it for.

Bridge Crew

 

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