Star Trek: D-A-C Review
There are a lot of ways to use video games to cash in on a movie license. Depending on the kind of movie you're cribbing from, you might end up with a racing game, a shooter, or an action adventure game. When it comes to big franchises like Star Wars and Star Trek, you have even more material to work with. Want to make a bunch of flight sims? Why not? There are about a million spacecraft, land-based vehicles, and other odd methods of transportation in these two worlds. There are thousands of guns, hundreds of alien species, and more lore and canononical characters than you can shake a lightsaber (or phaser) at.
Sometimes though, a developer will work under a certain set of constraints. For instance, when making the new Star Trek movie tie-in game Star Trek DAC, developer Naked Sky Entertainment had to work within the constraints of the this new movie's alternate version of Star Trek canon. They produced a twitchy space shooter, similar to Geometry Wars, which tasks you with the stewardship of a lone spacecraft.
Star Trek DAC is an entirely arcade-like experience. You will spend all of your time blowing up little (and later, slightly less little) Romulan and Federation spaceships, using phasers, photon torpedoes, and a variety of powerups and abilities. The spaceships you will be piloting are mostly pretty drab. Of course, you can control the new, fancy Enterprise from the film, but aside from that you also have a whole host of disparate ships, none of which look that different from each other. This is a shame, because if there's one thing that Star Trek (including the new movie) has in spades, it's exciting ships. Instead, it looks as if Naked Sky took three ship parts (nacelles, body, and sometimes saucer) and plugged them into each other from different angles. There's nothing cool and different looking, like a Miranda, Nebula, Defiant, or Constellation Class ships.
You can pilot bombers, fighters, tanks, and other variations on the standard ship build. Each different ship has its strengths and weaknesses. My favorite, the fighter class, is fast and agile (but weak in the defense department, of course) and possesses powerful low grade phaser-based weapons. It has a bit of trouble against later, bigger enemies, but it lets you dart about the maps with impunity.