Ubisoft to let players join Star Trek crew on the bridge in virtual reality

Fans can take a seat on the command deck of the USS Aegis for missions in Star Trek: Bridge Crew, a virtual reality game that was built from scratch

PUBLISHED : Friday, 17 June, 2016, 5:01pm
UPDATED : Friday, 17 June, 2016, 5:00pm

French video game giant Ubisoft is poised to satisfy a long-time geek fantasy by letting fans virtually join the crew of a Star Trek ship exploring the cosmos.

Star Trek: Bridge Crew was built from the ground up as a virtual reality game. Players take posts on the command deck of a Starfleet ship and tackle adventures similar to those faced by characters in the television shows and films that have won a devoted following over the decades.

“For the first time, Star Trek fans will be able to be on the bridge as a crew member,” says David Votypka, senior creative director at Red Storm, the Ubisoft studio making the game.

People playing the game solo will be cast as captain of a star ship, assessing situations and giving orders to a computer-generated crew.

However, as many as four people can play in a single game, taking roles as captain; a chief engineer handling power and repairs; a navigator who also tends to sensors; and tactical officer in charge of weapons and shields.

As well as talking to each other, hand-tracking capabilities allow players to gesture to one another. Captains in games are given more information about situations than other bridge crew.

“You really feel like you are in there with people,” Votypka says. “Ultimately, we want to allow players to live the Star Trek fantasy.”

The virtual ship is named the USS Aegis, fashioned after the spacecraft in recent blockbuster Star Trek films by J.J. Abrams to tune the game to a modern audience.

The mission of the game is to explore a largely uncharted sector of space known as The Trench, facing enemy Klingons while hunting for a new home world for a decimated Vulcan populace.

The target launch date for the game is late this year.

As part of last week’s press presentation, Ubisoft showed a video of LeVar Burton and other actors from Star Trek shows playing the virtual reality game.

“It is pretty cool,” says Burton, who played lieutenant commander Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation. “We really had to work together to accomplish the mission. What is more Star Trek than that?”