Sunday 20 May 2018

Bridge Crew VR game gets TNG expansion

Just about a year after the release of Ubisoft's virtual reality Star Trek video game, Bridge Crew, it looks like your crew can rest assured there is plenty of new life, and indeed new civilisations, to be found in the game, thanks to a newly announced expansion! Due for release in a couple of days time is package of TNG content, that includes the USS Enterprise-D as a playable ship in the game, and the accompanying bridge and character options that entails (including being able to make yourself into a Soong-type android).

The expansion will also see the Romulans and Borg added to the game, and two new mission types to play: Patrol, and Resistance, with the latter being a mixture of endurance and treasure hunting while seeking to survive and defeat a Borg Cube, as was described on the Playstation blog by game designer Hunter Janes:
The structure of “Resistance” was heavily inspired by classic rogue and roguelike games, which I think do a great job of driving tension, and challenges the player to travel across space to retrieve scattered anti-Borg prototypes to fight off a Borg Cube that’s happily assimilating and slaughtering everything in its path.

Along the way, crews are faced with randomly presented challenges that have to be completed with the knowledge that every second spent brings the Borg Cube ever closer. Warping to another solar system will buy you time, and each prototype successfully collected will provide you with a new tool for fighting the Borg…but each time you face the Cube, it’s adapted to your tactics and becomes ever more powerful. And the Cube gets very mean, very quickly.
Apparently the Planet Killer is also added to the game in this expansion. Guess that could come in useful if you wanted to take out some sort of massive troublesome other something hmm...

The way you play the game is also changed somewhat as the Enterprise-D bridge swaps out the engineering position used on the TOS TV-era USS Enterprise, or the Kelvin timeline original starship USS Aegis currently available in the game, for a new operations player role, which focuses on managing other members of the crew at work around the rest of the ship, as described on the Ubisoft blog:
On the one hand, it's your job to charge the warp coils and distribute power between the Enterprise's engines, phaser range, and shield level, which should feel familiar to experienced players. On the other, you'll need to allocate a handful of crew between 10 different stations: thruster control, main engineering, torpedoes, shield generator, transporter room, astrophysics lab, computer core, phaser control, scanners, and sickbay. That last one, by the way, is where you can assign injured crewmembers to keep them from dying; if they do, they'll stay dead for the duration of the mission.

Assigning crew bolsters the functions of each station with special perks; stick a tactical officer or three in phaser control, and you'll get precision firing, while assigning a science officer to scanners might activate improved cloaking detection. Assigning crew can also repair specific systems during combat, although this places them in greater danger. It also helps to remember that crew and stations are color-coded by function, so putting a red crewmember in a red station will be more beneficial than a blue or yellow one.

The new additions make Operations a more demanding and dynamic role than Engineering, and switching between the engineering and personnel panels pushes you to think on your feet to be successful

IGN have released a video preview of the expansion, looking at many of the new features:

The TNG expansion will be available from the 22nd of May on PlayStation VR and PS4, with versions of it for HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Windows Mixed Reality due the 21st of July.

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