5 GAMES THAT NEED TO BE MADE - Star Trek
(This new article series “Games that need to be made” is where I pitch 5 games that need to be made in a particular franchise, company, genre etc... If you enjoy and want more of these lists let me know in the comments on social media! Tell us which of these 5 was your favorite, and what franchise or theme you want to see next!)
Star Trek is one of my absolute favorite sci-fi universes, up there with Mass Effect and Star Wars. In fact, it was one of the my earliest introductions to sci-fi as a kid. I still remember the very first episode of Star Trek I ever saw as a little kid, a re-run of Next Generation, and the adventures of the Enterprise crew to this day is something I enjoy putting on in the background. Captain Picard is the reason I love drinking Tea since a little kid, and I have made countless Star Trek model ships when I was younger. It is my lifelong love for Star Trek that makes me really sad that it is so largely ignored by the gaming industry, at least in the last 10 years. Outside of some truly awful mobile and VR games, there hasn't been much for Star Trek in quite some time. I think that the world of Star Trek is ripe for a renaissance of gaming with some ideas I think go from potential GOTY contenders to things that are so painfully obvious I wonder why they don't exist yet. Here are my ideas for 5 Games that need to be made in the Star Trek universe!
5. Star Trek Lower Decks: the Game
Sometimes when I see a show, I am forced to wonder why it exists or how it got made. I will admit that I was very skeptical about Star Trek Lower Decks. I questioned if we needed it. Is it really necessary? Do we really need an star trek rick and morty adult animation parody?
The answer is yes. Yes we did. Star Trek Lower Decks blew me away. I had the lowest possible expectations; and I was so surprised at how much I liked it. I didn’t expect to be more excited for Lower Decks than I even am for Discovery. I stipulate that I think Lower Decks requires a fan to have a pretty open sense of humor. I also stipulate that I can see it as a love it or hate it kind of thing. If you hate Lower Decks, bare with me, and just move to #4.
If you're still with me, I think Lower Decks would be perfect for a game. My pitch is essentially a Star Trek version of the South Park games. They prove how 2D animation can be adapted to game form. The animation in Lower Decks is not that complicated and could be easily adapted for a fun 2D adventure. I think the cartoon art style and humor would be ripe for a hilarious adventure. However, the temptation to make this into a low budget cash-in game must be resisted, as this must be for a full fledge console quality experience.
4. Rein of Iconia
The gaming industry is a industry that is out to make money like any other, and games can take a lot of time to make. Games can be in development for the better half of a decade or longer at times. From a business standpoint, studios want to maximize profits with the lowest risk. Risk is something that AAA sometimes is just unwilling to make. However, on the rare instance a studio takes a big risk, makes a crazy out of the box creative choice, and it works in the end, it can mean an amazing game.
I understand that pitch #4 is a type of pitch that is one of my more out of left field pitches for this article series, and would be high risk high reward from a business standpoint. That all being said, Rein of Iconia is my favorite pitch on this list because it is just that awesome. A common theme in my 5 Games series is what I call as the "Old Republic Pitch" It is the pitch that examines the distant past of a universe. I had a similar pitch for my first article for Mass Effect and for Game of Thrones.
This is such a crazy pitch because it asks the question, What would a Star Trek game look like if there were no Starfleet, no Klingons, no Romulans, not even humans at all? This is why I love Rein of Iconia so much because it takes us to a crazy different part of the Star Trek timeline all together. The Iconian Empire fits the role of other ancient "Atlantean" civilizations in this sci-fi universe like the Protheans in Mass Effect, the Forerunners in Halo, or the Old Republic in Star Wars. They are the aliens that came before all the aliens we know now from Star Trek. The Iconians lived 200,000 years ago, and they were an hyper advanced ancienct civilization of beings who had interstellar portal technology (like Stargates) and could travel the galaxy in an instant. They were first mentioned in The Next Generation, and later mentioned again in DS9.
Rein of Iconia takes place during the distant past, at the height of their Empire. Players play as Iconians as their work to rule the galaxy. I take inspiration from Warfare, as it is a rare example of a sci-fi game that features an alien first setting. I admit that this would be a risk, featuring a game not only devoid of humans, but also devoid of most of the things that people relate to Star Trek. That being said, if it was pulled off it could be amazing. We could see just enough clues to this being the distant past of the Star Trek universe. I have some ideas on what that would look like. In one mission, players play as Iconians discover a new world, and we learn that it is none other than Q'onoS, a primitive planet filled and we get to meet proto-klingons. These Klingons are like primal Klingon cavemen. They are larger, primitive, and even more violent and make current Klingons look tame. They would make for terrifying enemies.
I have a second idea for how to make Rein of Iconia still feel like Star Trek, and that is through their Villain. I have always wanted an origin story for the Borg. I want to know where they came from, who made them, and everything. To this day, we don't have a in-universe canon explanation for the Borg's origin. The Borg are the one race advanced and specifically unique enough that they could plausibly been around that long ago. In my story, the hyper-advanced Icononians are the source of the Borg. They created an AI that was going to network their troops into a hive mind to make them more deadly. Only, the AI rebelled, and became the Borg. The Borg assimilated Iconians and other races alike and became the only race to threaten the galactic wide Iconian Empire. Eventually the Iconians fell, but the Borg remain to the present day. I make the case that this could make sense as the Borg were created by the Iconians, because the Iconians were capable of moving troops across the galaxy. The Borg would have had that technology, but they think bigger and have had 200,000 years to improve it. Their transwarp gates could easily be larger, more evolved versions of Iconian technology that can move fleets across the galaxy instead of just troops. It kind of just works out that the only two species we see with distant instantaneous portal technology are Borg and the Iconians.
3. Resistance is Futile:
Speaking of the Borg...
I understand Star Trek is not really about shooting bad guys with guns. It is a franchise about diplomacy, scientific curiosity, and experiencing the future utopia. This all is largely in contrast to most video games. The overwhelming majority of games revolve around a mechanic of shooting something at enemies NPC’s. This is why I was very hesitant to pitch games for Star Trek that are basically shooters. It is very hard to make any shooter “feel” like a Star Trek game. Rein of Iconia may be some type of action RPG's melee/shooter, but it is still from the perspective of militaristic imperialistic aliens. I think it would take a quality game to appeal to Star Trek fans as a shooter when taking place during current era Star Trek. While I think shooters and star trek are a potentially dangerous mix, I still have an idea that if done well, I think could be very fun.
Resistance is Futile is a third-person, multiplayer online, co-op, cover shooter set in the Star Trek universe. Players can play as a Starfleet, Klingon, or Romulan officer. Each have unique gameplay advantages like healing beacon, berserker mode, or cloaking abilities respectively.
As the name might suggest, like Rein of Iconia, the enemy is the BORG. In this game, players must fend off waves of Borg drones. In Star Trek, the Borg serve as cybernetic “space zombies” and would serve as a terrifying and perfect villian for a horde-mode shooter. In the “resistance is futile” mode, the waves are endless and ever increasing until you inevitably fail and become assimilated. While not the only endless hoard mode, I take most inspiration from the ending of Halo Reach. The game takes place on several maps, such as an abandoned cardassion space station, a derelict starfleet ship, the gates of stovokor, and of course a Borg Cube.
Gameplay includes diverse characters, unique abilities, and a need to keep a “modulator” up and running so that the Borg can’t adapt to your weapons. Players must work together to protect their base "modulator". If your modulator goes down, the Borg can adapt and overrun you. Klingons have melee weapons; Roman soldiers have personal cloaking devices; StarFleet engineer would have a tricorder scan ability; and the Starfleet medical officer would have healing abilities.
2. Star Trek Armada (Remake/Reboot)
Way back in the year 2000, One of my childhood favorites was playing Star Trek Armada. The armada genre of controlling fleets of ships is so painfully obvious for Star Trek, I couldn’t not talk about it in this Star Trek installment of the 5 Game series. I loved playing the original game and played through it’s campaign countless times. It makes me sad because this game isn’t available on steam so I can’t go back for nostalgia.
Nowadays, all we get from star trek are mobile ones, and while graphics may have improved over the years, the quality has not. While there are some options out there, I want a REAL Armada game. I want a AAA version. I want it on more than mobile.
This pitch could be for a remake of the original game, or could be an original story and setting. I just want a new full Armada level game set in Star Trek, and I want it better, like the old games.
1. Star Trek Odyssey
Star Trek Odyssey is a game that is so painfully obvious, such an guaranteed success, such a perfect premise for a game that it just absolutely kills me to live in the part of the multiverse where it doesn’t exist.
Star Trek Odyssey is essentially if Mass Effect and No Man Sky had a baby and it were set in the Star Trek universe. It is a single player, space RPG set in the world of Star Trek. You play as a captain of a starship, the USS Odyssey, you get to customize your captain from species, gender, experience, personality etc... You also get to craft your crew. You can pursue love interests. Even the ship can be customized with upgrades and cosmetic changes such as your own ready room. The game has a focus on exploration but combat will also be present as well. Your mission is to boldly go where no Federation ship has gone before.
I would love it if it was a procedurally generated game. Your ship travels in a vast procedurally generated distant unexplored part of a small nearby galaxy. You travel through a wormhole in the early part of the game to explore a new galaxy. You discover new planets, meet new aliens. You make first contact with new civilizations. However, if this would be impractical or too expensive to ensure quality, I would settle for a hand crafted "open universe" more in line with Mass Effect than No Man Sky with dozens of new and known worlds from Star Trek.
Just as much as you explore space, you have in-depth conversations with your crew. It takes the best parts of Mass Effect on the side of interacting with your crew and forming relationships, and married it with a vast exploration focused universe. In Odyssey, you get to see dozens or hundreds of beautiful worlds, aliens, and landscapes. You get to beam down to planets no other player has ever walked on before. You get to make first contact with Alien governments no human has talked to before. You have altercations with hostile alien ships and engage in ship to ship combat situations. Star Trek has the most obvious setting for an amazing Scifi RPG and we have yet to see it made yet.
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