The Klingon Warbird decloaks before me and the heroic crew of USS Aegis. They don’t look friendly. I give the order to scan.
“They’re arming torpedoes!” Helmsman Jase yells.
“Should I raise shields, Captain?” Asks Tactician Adam.
“Give ‘em both barrels, boys! Fair up the clack!” I growl, all manly and tough-sounding.
The torpedoes shoot from the ship, streaking towards the Warbird. Direct hit! But the Warbird’s still moving, and two more have decloaked either side of us.
“Well… shit.” I mutter as enemy torpedoes blast towards us.
”Raise shields, chuck a doughie and get us the fark out of here!” I shout, hoping against hope we’ll be able to warp to safety in time.
Today may indeed be a good day to die… because, after all, we can just try the mission again.
Welcome to Star Trek: Bridge Crew VR – the new Ubisoft VR game that may be the killer app the PSVR needs. The premise is simple: you’re part of the bridge crew of either the USS Aegis or The Original Series’ version of the Enterprise. With three other friends you can occupy the engineering, helm, tactical or the captain’s chair.
Your enjoyment of Bridge Crew is dependent on two major factors. The first: mates. You’re going to need them, preferably three (to fill all four seats), although you can manage with a three-person crew. The second: Star Trek. How do you feel about it? While you by no means need to be a superfan (I’m certainly not), having some familiarity with the show will definitely add to the enjoyment of the game.
The five main story missions are of a decent size, and offer a mounting challenge, with mission 4 in particular being a white-knuckle ride. There’s also a mode that randomises events so you can keep playing long after the story is done. You can also access a set-accurate version of ToS’ bridge but it’s an absolute confusing nightmare, and for hardcore trekkies only.
The graphics are solid, if occasionally a tad clunky, the sound design is excellent and the mechanics of the game are smart and strategic in ways that give the proceedings a lot of depth. But ultimately, it’s the social interaction with you and your mates that gives Star Trek: Bridge Crew its feeling of joyous escapism. You’re taking fire from some enemies, so do your raise shields or run? You’re hidden in an anomaly, do you leave it to rescue the federation vessel or continue hiding to stay safe? You’re beaming survivors aboard but an attack begins – do you stop beaming to save yourself or take the damage heroically? All of these hard questions and more will be answered – often very swearily – in real time by you and your crewmates.
Star Trek: Bridge Crew VR is a hoot with friends, although not much fun by yourself. The clever interaction of crew roles is such a fresh take on familiar material and offers hours of genuinely exciting, thoughtful exploration and tense battles. The one negative here is: what about The Next Generation-era Trek or even Voyager? Battling Borg with your buds would be a hoot and we can only hope for future DLC.
In the meantime, however, if you have sci-fi savvy mates and either PC or PSVR – you need Star Trek: Bridge Crew VR in your life. Make it so.