Star Trek: Resurgence is a choice-driven, narrative game developed by Dramatic Labs.
You play as First Officer Jara Rydek and Petty Officer Carter Diaz. The narrative flows smoothly between each character. It’s a near-perfect mix of having to balance the high-level politics of dealing with Starfleet, alien negotiators, and senior staff as Jara while engaging in the grunt work and experiencing real-world ramifications of those high-level decisions as Carter. And knowing both sides as the player heightens the tension for the whole story.
The story is incredibly well-told, with my roughly twelve-hour playtime unfolding with as much surprise and suspense as a full connected season of a Star Trek show. Each character has nuance and personality, giving me reasons to hate, love, or respect every major character I met throughout the game. Most decisions felt meaningful both because of the outcome and how specific characters would react. There are a few choices I made that seemed big, but I couldn’t tell if they had any impact on the story. I’m perfectly fine with this, because either it was a false choice that helped tell an outstanding story, or the different outcomes were so seamlessly integrated I couldn’t tell how else it could have worked out. Either way is fine with me.
Gameplay mostly consists of making narrative choices and interacting with the environment in very simple, contextual ways such as pressing the directional stick to pull a lever, scanning objects with your tricorder, and walking across rooms. While simple, these are all used well to keep the player’s attention and add a bit of tension with possible failure. A drawback is that there are so many interactions with enough slight variations that you’ll still be getting tutorial pop-ups explaining what to do several hours into the game.
Despite the outstanding story, the game itself has a number of issues. Stuttering, graphical and texture issues, and sections where the music swelled louder than the dialog can be distracting. Characters sometimes have stilted animations and make awkward faces. The camera sometimes sits too close to the character in tight spaces, making looking around difficult and claustrophobic. Auto-saving is too infrequent in some sections and you’ll have to replay a section if the game crashes. And the game crashed on me a number of times, including every time I tried to go to the main menu after the six-hour mark and even after I finished the game but right before the credits.
While those issues can’t be ignored, Star Trek: Resurgence is easily one of the best games I’ve played this year. The voice acting is outstanding, the music is great, and the story is fantastic. It is worth the attention of anyone interested in narrative-focused games.
Star Trek: Resurgence is available now for $39.99 on PC, PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X | S.
Watch the Review in 3 Minutes for Star Trek: Resurgence.