Star Trek Online's Klingons have fought their way back into the spotlight, with a new Klingon storyline kicking off a year of Klingon-themed updates aiming to bring the classic faction up to the standards of the newer additions.
Despite its terrible UI, lockboxes and hard-to-parse progression, STO is still one of the best Star Trek games, even if you're looking for something singleplayer. It's structured a lot like the shows, with each mission designed to feel like single episodes, some standalone—like patrols and diplomatic missions—and some that are part of big arcs.
The Klingons originally started off as a PvP faction, but it was overhauled years ago with its own introductory storyline, which eventually leads into the shared galactic missions. In comparison to the Romulan, TOS and Discovery faction arcs, however, the Klingon stuff doesn't quite hold up. This update, House Divided, begins its makeover, which will continue over the next year.
So as well as two new episodes focusing on the war between J'Ula's Discovery-era Klingons and the modern empire, the Klingon tutorial has been given an overhaul. There are new environments, cutscenes, voice overs, character models and, beyond the tutorial, new ship models and character customisation options.
To keep up with the new shows and be a celebration of all things Trek, STO is full of time-travel shenanigans, and the way it squeezes in characters from all the different eras is often pretty clumsy, but I'm happy with any excuse that lets my Next Gen captain flit around in a slick, Discovery-era ship while firing off TOS-style phasers. They make the best noise.
House Divided is using time travel as an excuse to bring back classic Deep Space Nine antagonist Gowron. Well, his grandfather, but he's played by the same actor. He's hopped over from the Discovery-era, along with J'Ula. They'll be butting heads with another notable Klingon, Martok, again played by the original actor. Having completed yet another Deep Space Nine rewatch not that long ago, I'm looking forward to this filling the gap.
It's also Cryptic Studios' 20th anniversary, so it's put together some bundles in Star Trek Online, Champions Online and Neverwinter, which has also just received a big update. The bundles can be claimed from the Zen Store in Star Trek Online and Champions Online, while Neverwinter players will need to talk to the Rewards Agent.