When Star Trek Resurgence was announced a couple of years ago, I immediately built up my anticipation level for the game. I mean, games based in the Star Trek universe have run the gamut from adventure, to action, to weird real time strategy. But none of them had ever gone the route of the tried and true Telltale formula of story telling. Sure, it is not a new approach, but it seems like an obvious choice for a universe where decisions and choice are the foundation of the franchise. Now if the rest of the parts of the game reached those heights, this might be a game that would push for one of the best of the year so far.
You get to play through the story of Star Trek Resurgence from two points of view. One is our second in command, Jara Rydek, a character that is known for a rough past, but has worked their way up the ranks to be tested as a future captain. This gives us a view of the game from the main executive level of officers. Then you have Carter Diaz. Carter is the common folk of the USS Resolute, one of the grunts that make everything run properly. He is one of the trusted staff in Engineering.
The story of Star Trek Resurgence plays out like several episodes of the show tied together into one narrative. It goes so far to give titles to each section of the game to give it that episodic feel. Again, not a new approach, but it fits the feel of Star Trek in general. The game also goes really deep and hardcore into series lore, using the Tkon as the main enemy force in the game. And if you just went to another tab to look up who the Tkon are, welcome to the club. They only show up once in Star Trek canon, and that was in the first season of The Next Generation. But it allows us to built upon that first appearance to flesh out the characters and who they were in the universe. I loved the deep dive into Star Trek lore, but even if you have a casual passing enjoyment of Star Trek, you get enough explanation to follow along.
While the characters in the game are fixed and created, you do get a ton of control over how they interact with the story and other characters. While my Carter was a caring and empathetic soul, my Jara was ambitious, brash and sometimes, overbearing. I love a game that lets you take a character and build them through choice as to how you feel they should react. The character choices give you so much nuance, down to creating your own executive code (can’t tell you mine, you might try to blow up my ship!), down to how you call for warp (I went with the assertive, “Do It!”). And yes, you will have a story reason to take over the ship and it is pretty dang good to have responsibility for the entire crew of the Resolute.
There are other subplots that take place, including two new races that are created for the game and the Star Trek universe as a whole, but they all serve as a side plot to the Tkon overarching narrative. Add in a few twists, and yes, a romance options for Carter to negotiate, there is so much narrative for players to experience in Star Trek Resurgence.
The biggest problems in Star Trek Resurgence come up when it decides to add action and interactive sequences. The Quick Time Events are easy enough and make sense in the game, but it is when they try to add puzzle, or action elements to things like the Tri-Corder, or when you have to perform scans on a segment of data. These end up being more confusing, and convoluted, then fun or interesting. I get wanting to add other elements to a game based around decision making, but you need to make those things so they are not frustrating. The controls are iffy at times, and sometimes, they don’t seem to fit with the actions you would be doing in real life.
Even with the setbacks in the action and puzzles sequences, Star Trek Resurgence is a fantastic Star Trek experience. Hell, it is a great game experience. Each decision adds tension and drama to the over arching story. It lives and breaths its source material. But most of all, it is a fun experience that makes you feel like you are part of the crew on the USS Resolute.