You can't truly play Star Trek alone. Not because you're in any sort of danger as you don your VR headset, and not because it offers an experience that you just want to share with others. Rather, the developers have created an online multiplayer game which really does requires the assistance of a human crew. The idea is that you issue verbal commands to your fellow players in the hope of getting through sticky situations. And when you're playing online with people you've never met before, you soon realise it's not a game for the shy.
Bridge Crew captures the imagination and immerses you into a Trekkie universe like no other game in this long-running franchise. Quite aside from its remarkable attention to detail and the beautiful aesthetics of the ship's interior with its abundance of easily accessible controls (there are loads of menus and panels to figure out), the fact that you four people flung together in the expectation that you'll figure out what you're supposed to be doing means you end up creating unique narratives - ones that you could so easily bore others with once you've taken the headset off your bonce.
In each case, you'll be choosing from one of four roles, piloting either the Starship Enterprise or some other wonderful craft and using either the favoured PlayStation Move controllers or else reaching for a DualShock 4 (the former giving a better feeling of immersion and the later greater accuracy). If you're the captain then you'll be expected to take control and direct the other players who assigned to control the ship's movement, combat, and power (as the helmsman, tactical officer or engineer). If you are assuming the role of those other three then you'll be looking to perform your allocated task to the best of your ability. It doesn't take too long to realise your new-found “pals” may give you an ear-bashing if you don't. In the nicest possible way, of course.
You can, however, contrary to what we've just said, play on your own if you really, really want to (and in some ways, it's a good way to start to help avoid embarrassing yourself in front of others). There are five relatively short campaigns which can either be fully crewed by humans or else make use of AI bots as stand-ins (with you as captain) but it seems to take some of the fun from the game.
As good as the AI crew members are, they'll struggle to understand you when the action hots up and you're blurting out garbled, complex commands. It's possible to take over their roles to get through a task but it kind of defeats the core of what makes that multiplayer game so memorable.
It soon becomes clear that the verbal instructions are the absolute key to enjoying Bridge Crew and you'll yearn to be surrounded by real people again. In that sense, it is boldly going where no other game has gone before since there is no getting around having to open your mouth and blurt out some words if you're ever going to get anywhere with it. Keeping quiet means your path through space and your ability to get to grips with the finer points of navigating your ship will surely be lost. It's not perfect. The pace can feel slow at times and there are yawnsome moments but if you're a fan of Star Trek it's a must-play.Reuse content