Developer / Publisher – Red Storm Entertainment / Ubisoft Entertainment
Price – US $14.99 / EU €14.99 / UK £11.99 / AU $19.95
Release Date – May 22, 2018
Control Method – DS4, 2 x Move Controllers
Play Type – Sitting
Pro Patch – Yes
Digital Only – Yes
Reviewed on – PS4 Pro
Star Trek Bridge Crew released last year (review here) to overwhelmingly positive response and in that time has seen a few updates including voice recognition so you announce your commands to your AI crew mates and the ability to play this in or out of VR. Bridge Crew contained 2 different bridges, the classic enterprise from the 60’s and a bridge from the more recent movie series and many, myself included, felt a little slighted at not being able to play on the Enterprise we grew up with from The Next Generation television series. The latest DLC remedies that situation by including not just a new bridge skin, but some additional game content as well.
For those that aren’t aware, you man 1 of 4 stations and operate the console at that station. I urge you to read my original review linked above for a more in-depth analysis of each position. This DLC changes up the engineering station into Operations which I will cover below. Now the Captain has a tablet that displays all the pertinent ship and mission information while tactical handles the scanning and combat options and Helm drives the ship. Each station has its own quirks and the new appearance requires a quick playthrough to get used to the new layouts. You can use the DS4 or Move controllers with the DS4 mapping your hand to preset locations on the display and the Moves letting you navigate each touchpad a lot faster. DS4 works, but in tough situations it can be a little to slow for the rest of your crewmates and will more than likely increase the difficulty.
Many players complained about the Engineering position in the base game as being to simplistic and dull. Red Storm Entertainment seems to have taken that feedback and decided to now make it the most important position in the bridge. The original power placement options are still intact, but now there is crew management to contend with which gives bonuses to any available ship function. With up to 5 crew members (I think) you can place them on scanners to detect cloaked ships or put them on transporters to beam up targets even faster. Placing them in phasers increases the range of those weapons while putting them in shields allows for faster recharge. There are 10 different areas you can assign your crew to with 3 slots at each station and the more crew members you assign to that station, the better perks you get. It’s incredibly complicated and will take more than a few playthroughs before you begin to master the nuances of this station.
The Next Generation Skin looks great and maybe it’s just my imagination, but I’m pretty sure it looks better than the other 2 skins available in the base game with view screen reflections and crisper looking consoles making the game just feel a little more visually polished. It’s worth noting that the consoles are larger now which presented me with some tracking issues as I extended myself to far to the right or left, forcing some real-world position changes. Picard’s Enterprise is here in all it’s glory, complete with a few additional non-interactive crew members to help immerse you in the game. Outside of the ship the action and view remain largely the same, minus one new addition, the Borg Cube, which is honestly one the more impressive visuals I have seen in the game. When they show up and fill up your view screen, you know you are about to be in a world of hurt.
On the audio side, the attention to detail from the base game has been carried over here wonderfully with console and weapon effects sounding exactly like they did in the Next Generation series. The voice acting announcing each mission is performed by the same actor from the original game making the entire experience feel somewhat disjointed given that each ship takes place in different Star Trek era’s but that really isn’t a complaint, just a something of note.
Ongoing missions are available for the new ship and play out the same with you responding to distress call, scanning anomalies and getting into the occasional dust-up. What is new is the ‘Resistance’ mode which has you in a one-on-one fight against a Borg cube. The goal here is cruise around the galaxy picking up parts for a protype weapon that should be able to take out the Borg cube. You can only temporarily disable the Borg cube, giving you time to get away, repair any systems and collect the parts to the weapon. Each play mixes up the action with new scenarios but typically, every part you need to collect will involve a fight of some type, all while the encroaching Borg ship gets ever closer to finding you, made apparent by a countdown timer in the captain’s tablet.
Teamwork is absolutely essential if you want to complete the missions, especially the resistance mode. The AI options are still available, but if you want to succeed, it’s best to play with some human buddies who can take orders and dish ‘em out as well. Some sections may seem dull to outside viewers, but even the most mundane of tasks in Bridge Crew is made better by a hearty crew. The Borg mission is by far the most intense and difficult mission in the game but also insanely fun. The amount of tasks operations must perform definitely feels a little on the excessive side which I think is largely due to the tasks performed by that position in the TV series. It seems like each mission’s success relies solely on that stations competence so if you are going to tackle that position, maybe play a few ongoing missions before you tackle the Borg.
If you liked what Bridge Crew delivered last year, the new tweaks make the game better overall. Many of us grew up on the Next Generation TV series and now you can experience that Bridge as well as face the most deadly enemy ever faced in the Star Trek universe. The only reason not to buy this add-on would be if you don’t like social based games or just hated the original. If you don’t fall into either of those 2 groups than pick this up!
What would I pay? The $15 for this is right on point. The DLC adds a fun new mode, ship skin and modifies the station duties and layouts enough to breathe new life into this now classic VR title!