Previews

Star Trek: Is it set to stun?

Digital Extremes brings out the big guns for the JJ Abrams' adaptation...

We honestly don't know what's more of a surprise: the shock announcement of Star Trek in the first place, or the fact that we've seen it in action for a beefy 20 minutes and it's actually pretty damn good.

With more time spent on its pre-production than most studios get to make an entire licensed game from scratch, this isn't just a simple cash-in.

Dark Sector dev Digital Extremes is the team in charge of the third person co-op shooter - a game that sees JJ Abrams' reimagined Kirk and Spock team up and tackle a brand new alien threat to the galaxy.

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In our demo the duo returns to the Enterprise from a recon mission to find the ship abandoned (save for a few dead redshirts, naturally). A spot of exploration later and some angry Brute-like enemies beam in for a fight.

Co-op play's asymmetrical. Kirk's captain's issue Federation phaser has unique abilities to kill and/or stun baddies with, while Spock's Vulcan particle beam can trap people in stasis bubbles.

At one point Spock throws down a protection gadget that creates a man-sized shield in the middle of the battlefield that's perfect for lock-to-cover. Brilliantly, this shield energy can later be absorbed by Kirk's phaser and fired out in one humungo-blast.

When Kirk collapses injured we see Spock quickly mind-meld an enemy, setting up a distraction that allows him to carry the captain to sickbay. While Kirk's busy fending off aliens running into the medical room, Spock's zapping the parasites attacking Kirk's insides with a medical tricorder.

It's a throwaway mini-game in which the size of the bug-squishing reticule differs depending on how much 'research' has been filed by scanning the level's many deceased red shirts.

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The demo's inventive, varied, polished and, best of all, fun. Forget about duff film tie-ins: we might just have something of a movie masterpiece on our hands here.

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