I feel I must preface this by letting you the reader know I am a Perfect World/Cryptic fanboy. I enthusiastically play Neverwinter, Star Trek Online, and, though it has been a while, Champions Online.
Except for a few missteps here or there, I find their Free To Play model to be one of the best and most fair in gaming. I truly appreciate the amount of Free Content that goes into their titles and respect the fact that one can actually grind the game to purchase the premium items.
I say all of this because Perfect World is primed to present this same Free To Play experience to a whole new audience. Though the fantasy game Neverwinter Online has been enthusiastically received on XBox One, it is about to be joined by its interstellar counterpart Star Trek Online. Furthermore, both games are planned to also be released on PS4.
This is a whole lot of MMO goodness for console players to get excited for. While Neverwinter seems tailor made for the consoles and we have had a chance to see it in action for some time now, I was excited to try my hands at the console controls for Star Trek Online during E3 2016.
STO is not a simple game. I wouldn’t say it is overly complicated, but there is a learning curve and there are a lot of controls and actions that can be performed, so I was somewhat skeptical that it could be paired down to a handful of buttons on a controller.
Flying my Starship feels a bit more arcadey than I was used too, though to be fair the demo had me flying a Defiant class vessel which is a bit more starfighter than most STO ships. Targeting is handled beautifully with the option to simply aim your weapons or take advantage of the lock on controls.
The use of your Bridge Officer Abilities, of which there are many by the time you hit the higher levels, is handled through a radial menu that is designed for quick fire. Everything seemed to work from switching power levels to redistributing shields.
Beaming down to the planet the controller really shines. The ground combat has been somewhat contentious in STO since the beginning but here with the controller in hand, the game simply felt like a solid third-person action game.
Console fans looking to get their space on should be thrilled at the prospect of STO hitting their machines. The game plays great and STO has an amazing wealth of fantastic Star Trek content for new players to explore.
During my time with Perfect World at E3, I was also given a chance to once again go hands on with Livelock, a cooperative top-down twin-stick shooter set in a futuristic world, developed by Tuque Games. This time, I took the controls as Catalyst the healer of the three-man group of Capitol Intellects, human consciousness put into machine bodies, that the player’s control.
Previously I had tried Hex the DPS of the group. He felt solid and was certainly exciting to play. At PAX East earlier this year I had a chance to see Vanguard, the tank of the group in action. Catalyst, however, is where the game has really come alive for me.
I do not normally play healers in games. I prefer tanking or DPS from time to time. Catalyst has a style of play that is both engaging and thoughtful. Not only can you heal your friends or blast your enemies with her basic weapons but you can also drop drones to both aid and hurt.
This is where the excitement for me came from. You almost feel like not only the third person in the group but also the fourth. Finding the right spot to drop your turrets while supporting your allies made for an amazing gameplay experience.
The E3 demo also included the addition of the first hands-on boss battle. Through this, you can really see how the cooperative gameplay comes together. Everyone needs to fulfill their roles in order for victory to be won.
Since my visit with Perfect World, the folks at Tuque Games have announced a release date and it looks like we won’t have to wait long to do some co-op robot smashing. The game will launch simultaneously on Xbox One PS4 and PC on August 2nd for $19.99, a three pack will also be available on ARC for $44.99.
With Neverwinter hitting the PS4, Star Trek online coming to consoles, and Livelock releasing on all three platforms we all have something to get excited for from Perfect World no matter your entertainment box of choice.