Atari and Cryptic have announced that aspiring starship captains will be able to cold star their warp engines in January 2010 when the open beta for Star Trek Online goes live.

Set in the year 2409, the galaxy in Star Trek Online is a much rougher neighborhood than the one we’re used to. The Romulan Empire is wracked with civil war. The Klingons have curb-stomped the Gorn and Nausicaans. A strange race of alien shapeshifters has managed to infiltrate the highest levels of several alien governments, although to what end remains a mystery. The Federation, meanwhile, is staring down the wrong end of a very big disruptor.

That’s the mess players will step into as new members of Starfleet, taking part in missions in ships, on planets and out in the cold blackness of space. With peace, prosperity and surrender monkey starship captains a thing of the past, Executive Producer Craig Zinkievich said Star Trek Online will “give fans and gamers a Star Trek experience like no other.”

The Star Trek Online opea beta will begin on January 12 and run until January 26, 2010. Keys to the beta will be given out on a first come, first served basis; more information and access to beta keys (when they become available) can be found at

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