Give the folks at Digital Extreme credit. My media appointment for the upcoming Star Trek game was billed as the "Star Trek 3-D Theater Experience", and opened up with our "crew" boarding a mockup circular chamber aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise. It felt like nothing so much as an attraction at Disneyland, but I'm often wary of such trappings; perhaps they thought the game wasn't enough to sparkle on its own? Licensed properties generally aren't well regarded in the world of gaming, after all.
The presentation was interesting: a split-screen, 3-D vista showing both Kirk and Spock's playable views. The final product will not be split-screen, of course, but they wanted to show both characters in tandem; two players will proceed through the game in a cooperative fashion. Star Trek takes place between J.J. Abrams' 2009 reboot and J.J. Abrams' 2013 reboot sequel, supposedly serving to bridge the narrative gap.
While Kirk and Spock are the only playable characters, both will be played by the original actors, Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto (though it seemed like neither's voice was yet included in the E3 build). Simon Pegg's "Scotty" was also seen, though it is unclear whether or not Pegg will reprise his role.
The game is a third-person cover-based shooter, though the setting is hopefully novel enough to infuse some flavor into the tried-and-true. The buzzword at E3 2012 seemed to be "asymmetric", and Star Trek follows suit. For instance, Kirk and Spock do not play identically. Though both were involved in firefights, Kirk generally took the lead, and Spock used his scanner to identify weak points and tactical advantages in the environment.
The two rushed through environments on New Vulcan, where the new Vulcan settlement had mysteriously ceased contact due to the outbreak of a form of neural parasite. A fairly generic premise in the world of video games, perhaps, but the dynamic between Kirk and Spock was strong (i.e. clever quips abound). Digital Extremes revealed the primary antagonist in the game to be the Gorn, the classic lizard-like creatures from the original series.
Visually, the game was mediocre, but often gameplay demos from early builds are. We'll wait until the final version to pass final judgment. Despite the fairly standard mechanics, the game might be worth it for the draw of the two principal characters' relationship, which looks to be as strong as ever. Look for the game in 2013.