Have you ever wanted to sit in the captain’s chair of a Federation starship? Do you dream of exploring space as a member of the Starfleet to boldly go where no one has gone before?
Star Trek: Bridge Crew and The Next Generation Expansion, the virtual reality game from Ubisoft, is available now on Oculus Quest, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR. The game is also available for non-VR players on PlayStation 4 and PC.
Developed by Red Storm Entertainment, a Ubisoft studio, under license by CBS Consumer Products, Star Trek: Bridge Crew immerses fans into the Star Trek universe as they assume the role of a Starfleet officer and complete missions that will determine the fate of their ship and crew. David Votypka, Senior Creative Director at Red Storm, speaks more about how they were able to bring this unique Star Trek experience to life.
StarTrek.com: Tell us about Star Trek: Bridge Crew. How did this project come about?
David Voytpka: The original game was released in 2017 on all major VR HMDs and platforms at the time. It was inspired by the idea of being able to be on a Federation bridge, with the immersion of VR, and doing it together as a crew with others. Social VR is a very compelling aspect of the VR medium, and Star Trek is the perfect brand to experience it with.
Who can users play as in Star Trek: Bridge Crew?
DV: Up to four players take on the roles of Federation officers on the bridge, and the game can also be played with fewer players — including solo play. AI will fill in positions and take commands from the human player in the Captain role.
There are also three different Star Trek settings in the game, each with the appropriate ship and bridge. The story campaign takes place in the Kelvin timeline where players play a new ship called the U.S.S. Aegis. Additional modes can then be played on the original U.S.S. Enterprise, as well as the Enterprise NCC-1701-D which is part of the Next Generation DLC that’s included with Oculus Quest version.
What are the different roles in the game?
DV: There are four roles on the bridge. Helm flies the ship and handles impulse and warp travel. Tactical operates systems such as weapons, scanners, and shields. Engineering allocates and re-routes power, coordinates repairs, and often handles systems like the Transporter. And of course there is the Captain who receives and conveys objectives, gathers information about any given situation, and then coordinates the crew to determine the best course of action.
What is the storyline in the campaign? What was the inspiration behind some of the mission designs?
DV: The story centers on a new ship, the U.S.S. Aegis, which was specifically built to operate covertly in sensitive areas; for example, behind enemy lines. Its maiden voyage is to find a new home for the Vulcan race in a distant region of space called The Trench. However, as the crew investigates the area which was thought to be largely abandoned, they find that the Klingons are also active in the region. As players discover what the Klingons are doing it changes the mission parameters, and sparks a whole new conflict between the Federation and the Klingon Empire.
The inspiration for both the story and the specific missions really comes from wanting to create the sense of being in a series of Star Trek episodes, and empowering players to play the role of the crew. There are however some direct references to the shows that Star Trek fans will immediately recognize!
What’s your favorite mission?
DV: Probably the fourth mission of the game which is also perhaps the most challenging one. In it the Aegis is damaged and being hunted which requires the crew to really work together and to utilize all the systems of the ship to hide, evade, and attack if necessary in order to escape and survive; it can be very intense! Similarly, the Borg mode in the Next Generation DLC pack also has some similar elements and excitement to it.
The game just launched on Oculus Quest this week, how will the Quest version enhance the player’s experience?
DV: The wireless nature of the Quest device, along with the ease of setup, will surely be a welcome option for Star Trek fans that want to step onto a Federation bridge in VR. Also, due to the Quest’s popularity it should bring a new infusion of players into the community, thereby creating more opportunities for friends, and for new and existing players to group up and embark on missions together.
This is helped along by the game featuring both cross-play and cross-buy. Cross-play allows players to use either the Quest, PC VR, or PSVR and still play together. Cross-buy means that existing owners of the game can also download it at no cost if they want to play it on the Quest.