Four-player co-op with tactical, helm, engineering, or captain roles—the game is awesome. There’s nerding out, and then there’s playing Star Trek: Bridge Crew. But oh man is four-player VR co-op fun. When you’ve spent the best part of your day playing collectible card games with a man cosplaying as Geralt from The Witcher, it takes a special something to make you feel like maybe, just maybe, you’re a bit too nerdy. That special something is Ubisoft’s Star Trek: Bridge Crew, a four-player VR co-op game for the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR that lets you live the dream of captaining a Federation starship through deep space. Even the most hardened of Star Trek haters are going to love this.
Star Trek: Bridge Crew puts you in one of four roles: Captain, Helm, Tactical, or Engineering. If you’re playing on your own, AI fills in for the other roles, but ideally you want to find a group of well-heeled friends with enough disposable income to buy both a great gaming PC and a VR headset (at least until PS VR comes out). From there, invite everyone over to your place and have one big nerdy Star Trek: Bridge Crew LAN party. That, not so coincidentally, is the exact setup on show at E3 2016.
Armed with four PCs, four Oculus Rift headsets, and four sets of Oculus Touch controllers, I (along with what has the be the most enthusiastic developer team of all time) began our mission with individual video briefings for each of the four roles. In engineering, for example, you’re given a panel with sliders for shields, phasers, and engines, along with an overall amount of power that you can send to each one. At the helm, the role I chose, you’re given a confusing array of maps, throttle and heading controls, and an impressively large chrome lever to shoot the ship into warp—once engineering has the engines sufficiently powered up at least.
In the captain’s chair, you can tap on panels in the armrest to issues orders to the rest of the crew as you keep an eye on the overall state of the ship and any enemy ships that might be around. Whoever sits in the captain’s chair had better be adept at handing out those orders verbally, though. As we found out after answering a distress call from a distant star system, in the heat of the moment there’s no time for pleasantries. Read More…