The Visual Evolution Of Star Trek Video Games

A new Star Trek game hit the shelves this week and it won't be long until the premiere of the 12th movie. As the tone of the movies and the series has changed a lot, we decided to take a look how the games evolved over more than 30 years.

The variety in genre is wide — with both good and horrible examples — most of them being space simulators, shooters and graphical adventures. If 716 Star Trek episodes and all the movies were not enough, it's the perfect field to explore.

Star Trek (1971 — PC, Apple II Plus)

The first Star Trek game came early. It was text-only and featured the USS Enterprise (that's the "E" on the pic). The goal was to hunt down the invading Klingons.

Star Trek Strategic Operations Simulator (1983 — Atari 2600)

Sega's arcade game featured both a 2D and 3D display.

Star Trek: 25th Anniversary (1991 — NES)

Most of the time, we had to control the away team in Interplay's 1992 graphical Star Trek adventure game.

Star Trek: The Next Generation: Future's Past / Echoes from the Past (1992 — PC / 1993 — SNES, Sega Genesis)

The 1994 adventure game (with some strategy included) took Picard & Co. to the Romulan Neutral Zone.

Star Trek: The Next Generation: A Final Unity (1995 — PC)

With added in-game cinematics and amazing graphics for a 1995 point-and-click game, A Final Unity is among the classic Trek games.

Star Trek: Starfleet Command (1999 — PC)

Similar to a tabletop wargame, now in 3D we could control six races in Starfleet Command.

Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force (2000 — PC / PlayStation 2)

This one is a first-person shooter based on the Voyager series, so the game had more action than usual, and it was full of Borg.

Star Trek: Klingon Academy (2000 — PC)

A handful of full motion video sequences (those are always funny to watch), and the fact that we control Klingons made Klingon Academy a special title.

Star Trek: Bridge Commander (2002 — PC)

A space sim, made in 2002 with fully customisable quick battle scenarios.

Star Trek: Shattered Universe (2004 — PlayStation 2, Xbox)

The crew of the USS Excelsior swap places with another one from a mirror universe in Shattered Universe. The game is one of the forgettable Star Trek games and not because it's not focused on Picard and his crew.

Star Trek: Conquest (2007 — PlayStation 2, Nintendo Wii)

4J Studio's Star Trek game had turn-based and real-time strategy elements and featured the main races of the Deep Space Nine series.

Star Trek: D.A.C. (2009 — PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

Deathmatch Assault Conquest was based on the 2009 movie, and brought a huge variety of multiplayer modes to the Star Trek universe.

Star Trek Online (2010 — PC)

Everyone controls their own ship in the first massively multiplayer online RPG based on Star Trek.

Star Trek (2013 — PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

Kirk and Spock have to deal with the Gorn in the recently released third-person action game.

You should show us your favourite moments from these games or from the ones that are not on our list!

Sources: darkmercury77, CiphersSon, Flagostomos, Boomer2k6, Go Rin, StalwartUK, Nitros14, comedymovi, Memory Alpha


Comments

    Some other very good games were left off of the list but it is incredible to see how the games have evolved over the years. The voice acted Adventure games had to be my favorites though (Judgement Rites and 25th Anniversary were two left off of the list). I also love that the 25th Anniversary game on the NES used the Animated Series graphics for some parts such as the turbo lift rides. I have almost every Star Trek game made (even the duds) and all should be examined some day.

      Played the crap out of 25th Anniversary. It's a shame we'll likely never see its ilk again, if the latest ST game is anything to go by.

        You never know! With the success of several of the more recent adventure games, its always possible. The only major issue is getting the license as it is expensive to get and is currently in the hands of Activision I believe.

    Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force now that was a fun game!
    Great multi/bot play.

      Elite Force II was fantastic as well.

        Now I can't remember if I had 1 or 2 =(

          EF was pretty much a straight FPS, while EF II had much better graphics and lots of minigame puzzles that you solved with a tricorder. If you remember solving any puzzles then it must have been EF II.

            I remember not really playing much of the singleplayer. I remember being on the enterprise and I think aliens getting on board like straight away (havent played in years). I preferred the multi/botplay. Many a day spent owning bots. I remember it feeling like unreal tournament 1. I remember a pulse rifle thing that with left click had a long laser and right click a higher powered one which came out as a pulse ball. LOL ah nostalgia/memory they make the graphics look so good in my head. I'm sure they would be terrible if I was to go back.

      God yes I loved EF 1 & 2, and it was so good that they came with expansion packs too.

    You missed:
    Star Trek Generations PC Game
    and
    Star Trek Starfleet Academy
    and
    Star Trek Ship Creator
    and
    Star Trek Legacy.

    But to be honest there are so many games (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Trek_games) that it'd take a year to describe them. BUT, there are some additional ones that give examples of the changing graphics.

    I loved Generations but it was incredibly hard - mainly because there was no save-game state mid-level... if you died, you had to start a mission again.

    Legacy I wanted to be good, but it was terrible. Nice graphics.

    Starfleet Academy had awesome music, and I enjoyed the story. Also, live FMV!

    The ship creator game was shit.

    Last edited 28/04/13 11:04 am

    Hey, I was just discussing this topic with friend a few days back. I remember a game that looked like "Star Trek: The Next Generation: A Final Unity" above, but it was the original series cast. Anyone know what game that was?

      Most likely Star Trek: 25th Anniversary. It was a point-and-click adventure with some added action sequences where you controlled the ship.

      As others have said, it was a fantastic game (possibly the best ST-themed game so far).

    25th Anniversary for PC was amazing. So was the sequel: Judgement Rites.

    Bridge commander was great. Lots of other Star Trek games didn't cut the cheese.

    Also missed DS9: Harbinger which was pretty good for the time. Also DS9: The Fallen was pretty good too. And Armada I/II, the only RTS apart from C&C I could get in to. Oh and Away Team which was also pretty fun.

    Should have used screenshots from the PC version of 25th Anniversary though, it looked much better.

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