Star Trek Online Preview

If you've been following Cryptic's Star Trek Online since its announcement, then this new two-page preview on Eurogamer will probably interest you.
Equipment, rather than stats, dictates the flow of the game on planets. You can equip two weapons - we see a phaser and a plasma rifle, and the Klingons on the planet surface are all packing bat'leths (that tremendously impractical-looking two-handed slashing weapon famous from The Next Generation). There are three careers that determine your skills - science, engineering or tactical - but there's a lot of flexibility within those disciplines. You could follow a warrior or stealth archetype within any of them.

The planet we see is a jungle with Romulan-style buildings. "We have hundreds and hundreds of maps in the game right now," claims Zinkievich. "We have invested a lot of time and engineering resources in what we call the genesis system, which allows the game to algorithmically generate new planets, new systems and new alien races to meet." While story content will probably have been designed by the game's artists, other exploration will be generated automatically.

The studio seems full of ideas for the story, perhaps unsurprisingly given the richness of their source material. It's set in 2309, 30 years after Nemesis and 22 years after the supernova that destroyed the Romulan homeworld. It wouldn't be Star Trek without time travel, mirror universes and the Borg, all of which make preposterously unlikely meetings with long-dead characters from the series a possibility.