Adventure Corner ~ Star Trek: Resurgence
Welcome to Adventure Corner, a column where members of the RPGamer staff can give their thoughts, impressions, and pseudo-reviews for various adventure titles that don’t come under our usual coverage. Adventure Corner is aimed at delivering opinions on a wide range of titles including visual novels, point-and-click adventures, investigative mysteries, and so forth.
In this edition of the column we take a look at Dramatic Labs’ narrative adventure Star Trek: Resurgence on PC.
Star Trek: Resurgence
The older Star Trek shows focused on the best humanity had to offer and then explored what that might look like as they encountered various alien races with vastly different ethical values. Developer Dramatic Labs harkens back to that story-telling style with Star Trek: Resurgence, a narrative adventure that feels like Telltale’s previous takes on the genre. While the action sequences feel shallow, the game tells a Star Trek story that will resonate with any fan of the older series.
The story of Star Trek: Resurgence focuses on two characters on board the Resolute, a Federation science vessel. Jara Rydeck is brought on as a new first officer, replacing one who died in an earlier accident. The crew views her primarily as untested, and she must prove herself to earn their respect. Carter Diaz is a petty officer working in engineering who has the intelligence to back up his humor and a good-natured personality. Both characters are likable, making it easy to care about what happens to them.
Players shift between both characters’ perspectives though they rarely interact with each other. Right from the beginning, tough decisions have to be made that impact the health and well-being of the crew, and these choices directly impact how the other crew members view the main characters as a result. At any time, players can go into a status screen and see how each major NPC feels about the two protagonists. It even explains the decisions made and how those decisions impacted and formed those opinions.
At the start of the game, the crew of the Resolute is sent on a very important mission to attempt to maintain peace between two species who are nearly at each others’ throats. Both characters have to make plenty of decisions impacting various aspects of the mission and relationships with others while considering their own career ambitions. The game does a great job of establishing high stakes early and keeping those stakes going up through the twelve-hour experience. Knowledge of Star Trek lore is not required to enjoy the story, with the set featuring an original case and taking place a bit after the time of The Next Generation movies.
The hefty story bits are broken up by various mini-games. One minute Carter may need to scan the environment for anomalies using the handy tricorder, and the next minute he may have to shoot at enemies using his phaser. Quick-time events are also sprinkled in. Failing these will occasionally result in a game over with a quick restart at the nearest checkpoint, which is never too far back. None of these mini-games prove particularly challenging, but most provide a little bit of extra interest. By the time they outstay their welcome, the game switches gears and keeps things moving along before they outstay their welcome.
The writing is great and feels like an entire season of a better Star Trek show. Characters grow, while relationships are built up and torn down before all is said and done, making the player truly feel for the fate of all involved. The writing is bolstered by excellent voice acting and graphics. The voice actors for the two protagonists and most supporting characters hit the mark. If one area feels a bit lacking, it is the background music. Often it felt muted, which is a shame given the excellent music in the Star Trek library.
However, the graphical presentation makes up for this, particularly in the second half of the game. Vibrant color schemes partnered with excellent graphic design help to make one feel they are in a distant galaxy on alien worlds and ships. Furthermore, incredible work was put into the facial animations during the many dialogue sequences. While they have a slightly cartoony look, they are animated extremely well, with great lip-syncing.
Overall, Resurgence does a fantastic job pulling the players into the role of a head officer and crew member of a Starfleet vessel. It captures the essence of the older shows while making players feel they have true agency over the events of the story being told. Indeed, several endings are available depending on the choices made. Decisions are difficult, oftentimes with no clear right or wrong answer, but almost always feel satisfying no matter what is chosen. There are plenty of references and callbacks to fans of Star Trek: The Next Generation, yet anyone can enjoy the story and positive messaging in the game. For fans of narrative games or the Star Trek universe, Star Trek: Resurgence promises a memorable journey into the great unknown.
Disclosure: This article is based on a free copy of the game provided by the publisher.