VR is video gaming’s hottest expensive new toy, and this year’s E3 expo has offered no shortage of major developers and well-known franchises showing off their plans to take advantage of the immersive new format. The most talked-about new VR property of the show thus far has been Star Trek: Bridge Crew, which offers players a chance to feel like they’re serving on the bridge of an actual Starfleet ship.
Now, to reveal the gameplay, Ubisoft gathered a trio of celebrity guests to take a turn with the game, all of whom are best known for roles across the Star Trek franchise: LeVar Burton, who portrayed Geordie La Forge on The Next Generation, Jeri Ryan, a.k.a. “Seven of Nine” on Voyager, and Karl Urban, the popular Dredd star who plays the new incarnation of Dr. McCoy in J.J. Abrams’ “reboot” universe of movies.
That “Abramsverse” continuity is the setting for Bridge Crew’s main storyline and setup, which finds players taking on individual roles aboard the bridge of the Enterprise-like starship Aegis as it explores the galactic region known as The Trench on a mission to scout new homeworlds for the Vulcans, who were displaced from their obliterated planet during the events of 2009’s Star Trek. As was made apparent in the trailer, gameplay will be team based, as players must perform their individual function in order to keep the ship flying amid outer-space dangers both random and story-generated.
Ironically, Star Trek helped to popularize the idea of “virtual reality” gaming with science fiction fans during the Next Generation series; which introduced the idea of a “Holodeck” where crew members could act out interactive fantasies by entering a controlled holographic space. While initially a vehicle for telling stories outside the typical settings of the series, it soon grew to be a key component of the franchise mythology and is often cited as a major influence on VR developers.
Star Trek: Bridge Crew is set to arrive in the fall 2016, and will be available for the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR formats. It has not been confirmed whether any other VR mediums will support the game, as several console and hardware brands are rumored to have VR capability in development but not yet formally announced.
Screen Rant will have more details on Star Trek: Bridge Crew as they are made available. Star Trek Beyond will hit theaters on July 22, 2016.