Star Trek Online Previews

Cryptic's Star Trek Online is due out in February, so it comes as no surprise that we're starting to see a number of hands-on previews. starts us off with the first half of a two-part preview:
Once that first step is complete, you usually have to beam down somewhere. Sometimes this means to a planet, other times it's a ship or space station. These are inevitably dungeons. Again, like space, they did a good job of not just making it about "kill five guys." There is usually some goal, such as shutting down consoles, and the combat is more something you have to do to reach the end.

The structure here is very "dungeon" based, usually. You fight your way through a series of corridors and reach some kind of "end boss" or goal. Usually there is a twist at the end, such as the need to defend a console that's downloading data for a set period of time from an onslaught of Klingons, or to incapacitate an enemy and tag him to be beamed back to your brig.

Then IncGamers shares their impressions in a two-page article:
Away missions, quests that take place on the surface of a planet, are usually a lot of fun. Some require your character and his or her BOs to fight Klingons, Borg or other enemy races, other missions may need you to speak to the inhabitants to negotiate deals or act as a mediator. On combat missions, as you take out your enemies, be sure to pick up anything they may have dropped. You should redistribute new weapons and gadgets as you find them amongst the team to ensure the best performance from your NPC officers. If one of them is overwhelmed during a fight, they will be revived once the combat stops by another officer - this applies to your character too. If you are all defeated, you re-appear back at the last spawn point. These points are automatically saved as you progress through the mission.

Space battles usually go something like this: you arrive at the desired system and are informed via comms that there are enemy vessels lurking among some nearby asteroids. You must locate and destroy them. Sometimes they'll be cloaked, appearing when you approach, other times you can see them from a distance and have time to prepare. You may have to deal with one tough ship or three smaller ones, sometimes several very easy fighters at once. In the early missions, you have three weapons to use against ships in these situations; front phasers, aft phasers and photon torpedoes. Each of these have a firing arc, so you must be facing the right way to be able to open fire.

And GameZone wraps things up:
It begins with the selection of the career. Three are available engineering officer (can create personal shields and a support class with turrets and drones for support fire), science officer (can heal damage, versatile in combat, can create energy fields) and tactical officer (specializes in combat damage, stealth recon and squad tactics). From there it is on to species selection there are six prebuilt species with racial traits, or you can hit the unknown button and start to create your own race (either male or female). Twenty-three traits are available at the outset and these affect your overall character attributes. For example, you could take on the passive soldier trait, which increases critical hit damage and ranged weapon damage, or go with Warp Theorist, which will increase starship warp core training by +10.

Then the fun really begins. The head customization area has 15 drop-down menus that control everything from organic attachments to the overall head type. There are 32 additional sliders to control elements such as cranium slope, eye size, nose bridge height and so on.