Star Trek: Infinite Space Preview (PC)

While there is already an MMO based on the Star Trek license - appropriately named Star Trek Online - many fans have been somewhat disappointed with it. The game tends to be too straightfoward and combat oriented; there aren't enough non-combat missions that rely on, for example, diplomacy or research. Gameforge is promising a Star Trek licensed MMO that not only stresses the social aspects of the series, but is free-to-play as well.

Players can stroll around virtual bars and lounges.
Star Trek: Infinite Space places you as the captain of your own ship, and you can choose initially to be a part of Starfleet or the Klingon Empire. The game takes place during the period of Deep Space Nine, so there is some antagonism between the two factions, but there's also co-operation as well.

As captain, you can outfit your ship in a myriad of ways, and there are tons of modules that can be purchased (and will be visually reflected on your ship). You can purchase anything from extra ship's phaser power to buying a cloaking device. Each station in the game varies in the wares it sells. For example, purchasing from a Federation shop will get you the standard stuff, but of very high quality, while you'll find lesser quality items from the Ferengi, but they'll also be selling hard-to-find black market items, too. Being a free-to-play MMO, you can buy items with real money microtransactions.

The space combat works much like Star Trek Online and Starship Command: you have to plan your attacks on a 2D plane, be mindful of your shields and energy consumption, and find a way to take down your enemies as efficiently as possible. The quick bar makes the job easier, of course. The developers have also mentioned that there will be player vs. player ship combat for gamers who feel the need to show off their rides, or player clans who want to have some old-fashioned Federation/Klingon dogfights.

One Orion pirate down!
Players will also get to engage in non-combat missions. It wasn't clear how these missions would be run, but the Gameforge reps were insistant that having non-combat missions were absolutely essential to the Star Trek experience. The game's time period will also allow players to speak to such noted figures as Jean-Luc Picard, and, in one mission that was demoed for me, Benjamin Sisko.

Speaking of which, players can generate their own avatars from scratch, even - in the case of the Federation - being a non-human character like a Vulcan. Klingons are more hemogenous, of course. Players will be able to visit all sorts of social areas, such as a Starfleet base's Ten Forward lounge or a Ferengi bar. There are dozens of types of social areas where players can chat, group up on missions, and so forth.

Finally, the game is completely browser-based, so there's no installation required. Despite this, the game's graphics, using the Unity 2.0 engine, are stunning. You can examine and rotate 3D ships and the load screens are attractive images of the player's ship coursing through space, and going to warp when the level has loaded. The player modeling is detailed, though the avatars we saw were very basic and pre-alpha.

That's just a placeholder for Picard.
The game has just gone into beta on the official site, and as a free-to-play Star Trek game which takes up no disk space at all, there's no reason for any Star Trek fan to not at least check it out. The game is due to be out of beta and released sometime later this year.

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By bosnian_dragon (SI Core) on Jun 18, 2011
Considering it's a browser game, I guess it is good. I will give it a try, that's for sure ;)
By nocutius (SI Elite) on Jun 18, 2011
Will definitely try it, i have applied for the beta but i'm not in yet.
By paelleon (SI Veteran Member) on Jun 21, 2011
Damn good to be a browser game! I would have chosen the Cardassians, but Klingons are good too.