Video game review: The communal ‘Star Trek: Bridge Crew’ beams you aboard

Todd Hailstone

Four stars

Star Trek: Bridge Crew Reviewed on PlayStation 4 (PSVR). Also available for Microsoft Windows (HTC Vive, Oculus).

The USS Aegis is doomed. Fire rages on the bridge as my engineer frantically tries to repair our shield emitter, the helm officer screeching at her to charge the warp coils and the tactician laughing like a madman.

This is my first mission as Captain of the newly christened starship and my ineptitude has gotten us all killed.

Star Trek: Bridge Crew is a Trekkie’s dream come true. Red Storm Entertainment’s new VR game let’s fans of the franchise boldly go where we could previously only imagine—the bridge of a Starfleet ship.

Bridge Crew can be played single player—with AI crew members manning the positions of Helm, Engineer and Tactician—it plays best with a full crew of humans. I found the community friendly and supportive (despite my general ineptitude) and the cross-platform functionality allows PSVR players to match with Windows players using the HTC Vive and Oculus. (Bonus: Customers who purchase an HTC Vive currently get the game for free.)

Missions in Bridge Crew range from recon and scientific investigations to desperate rescue missions and full-on warfare. The captain is privy to important intel on each mission and is responsible for doling out orders pertaining to specific objectives. The crew member at the helm steers the ship and warps it to other areas, tacticians scan and attack ships and engineers try desperately to reroute power to areas of the ship that need it most, while ordering repairs on sections that are damaged.

The missions can become extremely complicated at times, with friendly and hostile ships, asteroid fields and space anomalies surrounding us, so clear communication and a level head become paramount.

The tech behind the game is fantastic. The Aegis feels sleek and futuristic, while holding true to the Star Trek aesthetic fans expect. There’s even a mode where you fly on the original USS Enterprise, complete with ludicrous glowing button consoles and retro decor.

Crew members are customizable to an extent, but the most impressive part for me was the motion tracking of the headset and move controllers. Crew members turn and speak to you in real time, their mouths moving and hands waving as they react to the actual voice and gestures of the player on the other end.

I ran into relatively few bugs or glitches, and none ruined the experience for me. The game can become a bit repetitive, however, as there are only a handful of missions to complete.

On the whole Bridge Crew makes for a thoroughly satisfying experience. It’s a celebration for Trekkies, bringing together beautifully immersive 3D graphics, fun social interaction and engagingly difficult game play.

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