Star Trek Online Previews

The weekend has carried in a couple more hands-on previews of Cryptic Studios' ambitious sci-fi MMORPG, Star Trek Online.

First in line is GameSpot:
We beamed aboard the station itself in an away team consisting of ourselves, a Cryptic staffer, and three computer-controlled officers, and like with our last session, our characters set to be a much higher character level than our foes (to make sure we didn't keep dying). Star Trek Online's hand-to-hand combat remains a pretty dynamic experience that, as we've explained in our previous coverage, gives you access to two different weapon loadouts, each with three different combat skills that recharge fairly quickly. Our character was equipped with a hand phaser with one loadout and a phaser sniper rifle with another, and by using the powerful sniper shot ability on our rifle, we were able to take down those dirty Klingons at a distance while our teammates rushed in and used melee attacks. This particular mission was fairly straightforward and required us to simply clear out a few Klingon details guarding the control room, then to take the control room and guard it from a few waves of Klingon invaders looking to take back the station, though they didn't last long against our powered-up party of the Federation's finest.

And following close behind is G4:
The game takes place 40 or so years after Star Trek: Nemesis, when the treaty between the Federation and the Klingons has broken down. You choose a side (OK, let's just be honest here and call them factions) and try to make your mark. Space combat is a tactical affair. You must keep your ship moving to spread damage taken over different parts of your shield, and you must position your ship so that weapons firing from the front or back will hit their intended target. You also have to monitor the amount of power available to each shield and boost it in an emergency. Your bridge crew, which you expand as you level, will also grant your ship special abilities, such as the ability to fire three photon torpedoes at once. The PvE battles I saw ranged from the simple takedown of two Klingon Birds of Prey to a pitched battle between my Galaxy class ship and a large battleship supported by a number of smaller vessels. I would have failed miserably if the developer hadn't jumped in to help me, as these space battles will take some skill and practice to get right. Especially since you are frantically trying to keep any one shield from taking too much damage.

A batch of new images are up at Voodoo Extreme, too.