Star Trek: Resurgence Review – A Trekkie’s Dream

    Title: Star Trek: Resurgence
    Developer: Dramatic Labs
    Release Date: May 23, 2023
    Reviewed On: PC
    Publisher: Epic Games
    Genre: Narrative Adventure

The Star Trek franchise of video games has primarily been action and exploration based, but I’ve always felt like the series offers much more in the realm of character and world-building. I guess I’m not the only one since a group of ex-Telltale developers have come together to develop Star Trek: Resurgence. In an effort to focus on a genuine Star Trek adventure, this small team of storytellers have crafted an exceptionally memorable experience that takes players on a true sci-fi voyage.

Space, the final frontier. Growing up watching Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine engrained a love for sci-fi adventure within me that I couldn’t shake if I tried. However, I wouldn’t say the interactive media based on the series left the same impact. Within the first hour of Star Trek: Resurgence, I could tell this was unlike any Star Trek game I’ve played before. It felt like I was watching a brand-new series set aboard the USS Resolute and meeting its crew for the first time.

The story is told from two perspectives: newcomer First Officer Rydek and Engineering specialist Diaz. This was an interesting foundation for the story since you can view the crew from the perspective of a new, albeit high-ranking, crew member and from one who has been a part of the fleet for a while. Both characters have their own personality traits, but you can shape their approach to specific situations through dialogue choices.

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The story is the entire appeal of this experience, and without spoiling anything, I will say that it fits in wonderfully within the series. From the flow of dialogue and references to the overall lore, the developer shows they understand this universe. Still, they don’t overdo it in a way that makes it unapproachable to casual fans. There are drips of references to Enterprise and Next Generation episodes, but the cast does well at explaining everything the player needs to know in the most Star Trek of ways.

The game expects the player to be as immersed in this experience as possible with various ways to interact with the environment through quick-time events. Everything from touching buttons on a screen to calibrating waves will require some player input. It’s not overly demanding, and it’s par for the course coming from a game by this team, but expect to be ready for anything. I never actually failed an event, though. While some are timed, I always had enough time to respond or not. These moments of gameplay interaction help from an immersive standpoint. Being able to interact with some of the more unseen technology of a Starship was pretty fun.

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The more significant moments of gameplay have you speaking with other characters and responding through dialogue choices. There are typically three choices available that range from different reactions. While some choices are reacted to immediately, others are brought up later in the story. I would consider my first playthrough to be my True ending, but playing through again will likely reveal new sides of the narrative that you may have missed or even a different perspective of events.

A war is on the verge of being waged between two races over a rare resource. The Federation has been brought in to promote peace, but somehow they uncover a mystery that requires more than diplomatic round table discussions. Rydek and Diaz navigate these mysterious events independently, collecting information that progresses the narrative.

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As you interact with characters, you’ll gain knowledge of the state of the situation and respond as you see fit. Some responses will affect a character’s relationship with Rydek or Diaz, which is depicted after the scene at the top left of the screen. These will likely affect later moments of gameplay, but I enjoyed how not every situation is painted as black or white.

In typical narrative adventures, you have a good idea of the “correct” choice, and I often lean toward that. But here, the choices aren’t that simple and require a bit of consideration. Aside from dealing with an impending war, Rydek must walk on eggshells aboard this new ship after they suffered an enormous loss before she arrived. On the other hand, Diaz is forced to make some difficult choices surrounding the people closest to him, all while tending to the demands of his duties. It’s a petri dish for drama to flourish, and it fits in so well compared to other series’ adventures.

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Performance is where Star Trek: Resurgence is questionable. There were oddities found in several parts of my playthrough that will likely be patched over time. From out-of-focus dialog scenes to game crashes when trying to exit to the menu, you’ll likely experience some visual glitch. However, the performance of the voice actors is wonderful, with Krizia Bajos and Josh Keaton nailing their characters even across the various story branches. Also, Piotr Micheal as Spok was exceptional.

Given this indie approach at such a large franchise, I think the character animations are far beyond what anyone could have expected. Each character comes across as lively during interactions, with plenty of facial animations and body movements that mirror interactions I feel like I’ve seen in a Star Trek episode.

Sadly, the environments didn’t receive as much love. All textures come off as simple, and the several explorable environments don’t stand out. Regardless, the music is excellent. Star Trek: Resurgence has an amazing sound direction, with music matching each scene and all the recognizable sound effects you know and love from the series.

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Star Trek: Resurgence is likely going to be a sleeper hit. Releasing in the middle of some of the most high-budget titles of the year, it still managed to captivate me with a memorable and exciting space adventure. In addition, it does more with its characters than other narrative adventures, with a complex dialogue system and excellent scenario writing. With that said, your only goal now is to do right by your crew and go where no man has gone before.

A review copy of the title was provided by the publisher for review purposes

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Azario Lopez

Hanging out max, relaxing all cool.