A Brief History Of Star Trek PC Games

2002: Star Trek: Starfleet Command III

In 2002, the game developers behind Starfleet Command switched publishers, from Interplay to Activision. Starfleet Command III in many ways resembles its predecessors in terms of gameplay, but the overall experience has been polished from years of development. To keep the game play fresh, the game developers mixed in some RPG-like aspects. Six key individuals are identified on each ship, and each crew member is responsible for controlling a key ship system. Over time, these crew members can be leveled up, which in turn improves the ship system they are affiliated with.

2002: Star Trek: Bridge Commander

Star Trek: Bridge Commander is fairly similar to the Starfleet Command series in terms of game play, but it was created by a completely different developer, and the two are not directly related.

The game involves two primary modes of game play: bridge mode and combat mode. While on the bridge, players interact with crew members to perform essentially any non-combat-related task. This includes scanning, warping to new locations and contacting alien races. The game switches to combat mode only during combat scenarios, and the player then flies the ship directly and fights the enemy.

2003: Star Trek: Elite Force II

Star Trek: Elite Force II marks the return of Ensign Munro and Voyager's special hazard team. The team doesn't remain on Voyager long, however, as the story picks up at the end of Star Trek: Voyager's final season. The hazard team is called upon to board a Borg ship and help Voyager escape to the alpha quadrant. Afterwards, the team is disbanded.

Captain Picard, however, hears of the hazard team's exploits and transfers Ensign Munro to his ship. The rest of the game is spent rebuilding the hazard team and fighting enemies with a variety of weapons. Like its predecessor, Star Trek: Elite Force II is a FPS.

2006: Star Trek: Legacy

Star Trek: Legacy was created to commemorate Star Trek's 40th Anniversary. It is probably the most extensive Star Trek game ever created, as the story runs through all of the Star Trek TV series and movies, including the then-new Star Trek: Enterprise.

Game play is focused on ship-to-ship combat, with the player controlling 1-4 spaceships. The battles take place in real time, and the ships cannot be controlled simultaneously. As a result, players must switch frequently from one ship to another. Although the game primarily focuses on the Federation, players can also control ships that belong to various other races including the Klingons, Romulans and Borg.

2009: Star Trek: DAC

Star Trek: DAC diverges from other Star Trek games in that there is no story of any kind in the game. DAC actually stands for "Deathmatch, Assault and Conquest," which defines the three types of battle scenarios in the game. The game focuses on online multiplayer ship-to-ship combat. As the game progresses, players complete missions in order to win upgrades for their ship, which gives them an advantage against other players.

2010: Star Trek: Online

Star Trek: Online takes place several years after the last Star Trek movie. Players take command of a star ship belonging to the Federation, Klingon Empire or Romulan Empire. Most of the game is spent controlling the ship to battle NPCs and other players. At times, however, the character can also transport to other ships or planets. When this happens, players will control just a single character armed with a variety of equipment to complete objectives.

2013: Star Trek

This game is based on the Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek: Into Darkness movies. Player take control of either Captain Kirk or Spock to complete a series of missions. Although the missions are the same for both characters, Kirk and Spock separate for most of missions, and each character takes a separate path. This helps to increase replay value. The game also features a co-op mode that allows two players to play the same level together, with each player assuming the role of either Kirk or Spock.

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Michael Justin Allen Sexton is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers hardware component news, specializing in CPUs and motherboards.
  • ern88
    I wish they would do another Bridge Commander style game.
  • Reynar
    Uhhh...Birth of the Federation was turn-based. And glorious despite the game breaking memory leak and other bugs.
  • adgjlsfhk
    No star trek armada III? technically its a mod, but it still is amazing.
  • Mopar63
    Birth of the Federation was an amazing game that needs to be remade. Sadly it was never properly supported. The Star Fleet Command series will always hold a special place in my heart. I worked with Taldren as a part of the "Inner Circle" a select group of play testers that worked directly with the devs. I was also the creator and Editor and Chief of Hailing Frequencies, an SFC Fanzine. Of all the Star Fleet Commands my least favorite was SFC III, I just never felt it captured the essence of SFC.

    I works on the New Worlds beta, all I can say is I am sorry. :-( I played a lot of Star Trek Online but Perfect World has pretty much ruined what started as a great Star Trek game.
  • dimar
    I would love Star Trek game series, Mass Effect style. Rich story line and lots of action. But no prequels. I hate prequels!
  • enewmen
    Some where exceptionally good, but only similar to Star Trek - having warp, shield, photons, etc. The Cosmic Balance by SSI (1982) for example added strategy by limiting the space available by hull size. So you can have a ton of weapons, but no shields. Or Super fast but no weapons. Or good weapons & shields but no living space. Balanced, Or any combination. The paper game "Star Fleet Battles" (1979) was also excellent, but there was never a good computer game version of that.

    Edit: Most licenced "Star Trek" games where made for suckers and totally SUCKED! "Starship Creator" (1998) for example was exceptionally bad (wait 2 hours to cross the map and nothing happens).
    Edit again: I have no love for Star Trek online - no good reason and I can't die. Just don't like it.
  • jaguarskx
    Playing Star Trek Online while doing a bit of moderation...LOL.
  • jaguarskx
    Star Trek Bridge Crew

  • cletus_slackjawd
    Armada and bridge commander where my favorite
  • wifiburger
    did not play a single startrek game, even tough the movies / tv series are decent,
    FPS MMO would be nice I'll play that :-) 20% no man sky and 80% destiny yeah that would be awesome