While there have been plenty of Star Trek films, novels, and games over its many decades and generations, the television series have been the entry points for many of its millions of fans. Star Trek: Resurgence, an upcoming adventure game from a studio of former Telltale developers, is perhaps the first Trek videogame that manages to recapture the sounds, the feel, and the looks of ’90s-era Star Trek.
In a hands-on demo at GDC, I jump into the shoes of Jara Rydek, a newly-minted executive officer reporting for duty aboard the Starfleet ship Resolute. The captain, a weathered, fatherly man named Solano, explains that I’m coming aboard at a crucial time: the Resolute is undergoing repairs thanks to a disastrous – and embarrassing – experiment gone wrong about six months ago. “We need a win,” he explains, making a fist and lightly tapping his desk for emphasis.
I’m given choices to direct Jara’s interjections during the conversation, opting to play the part of an eager hard-charger who’s ready to take on any challenges but also follow orders. What’s most striking about it all is how Resurgence already feels so aligned with Star Trek: The Next Generation and Voyager. The shot composition, the set designs (look at all that carpet!), and the dialogue all make it feel like I’m settling in to watch a new episode of a classic Trek series.
Here’s the trailer, revealed back in December:
The stakes are set in a way that feels very much like a TV episode, too. The Resolute has been called in to broker talks between two races embroiled in a dilithium mining dispute between two alien races: one that provides the technology and runs the mines, and one that actually does the mining. Jara’s first mission as XO is to go planetside and keep her ears open for ‘helpful information’ that won’t be discussed openly in the official peace negotiations.
Developer Dramatic Labs says Resurgence will include some action sequences, but like most Trek episodes, it’s focused primarily on advancing the plot through exploration and conversation.
Early in the demo, I’m treated to an appearance from none other than Ambassador Spock, whose voice actor does an almost unsettlingly convincing recreation of Leonard Nimoy’s unmistakable timbre. In a staff briefing before heading down to the planet, characters raise concerns and ask questions, and I have the chance to chime in and – hopefully – establish my credibility to the Starfleet legend.
The demo ends as we head off on the mission, and I’m hooked in – it’s like I’ve just seen the opening segment of a new episode, up to the first cut to commercial. I’m left with the feeling of wanting to run to the kitchen to grab refreshments before hustling back to the sofa to settle in for the rest of the adventure.
Star Trek: Resurgence will be coming later this year to the Epic Games Store, as well as Xbox and PlayStation consoles. While it feels like an episode of Trek, the game will launch as a single, long story that you’ll be able to play through in full on release day. The developers promise it will not contain any microtransactions, DLC, NFTs, or “other additional monetisation models” whatsoever.