Big Geoff's Summer Game Fest offered few surprises this year, but I definitely wasn't expecting to see a Star Trek grand strategy game published by Paradox. Star Trek: Infinite is being developed by Nimble Giant Entertainment, the studio behind the latest Master of Orion 4X, and is due this autumn.
Set in the decades before the TNG era, Infinite will let would-be conquerors and diplomats take control of the United Federation of Planets, Romulan Star Empire, Cardassian Union and Klingon Empire. Paradox and Nimble Giant haven't given much away, but we can expect each faction to boast "individualized traits, stories, quests and more to make their play feel distinct".
Weirdly, the Borg Collective seems to be involved, too, and we can see a Federation fleet bumping into a Borg Cube in the teaser. What's odd about this is that the Federation didn't properly clash with the Collective until after Q introduced the Enterprise to them in TNG. Of course, Star Trek is full of time travel nonsense and alternative realities, so maybe that's what we're seeing here.
I wasn't really blown away by the latest Master of Orion (though it was absolutely better than MoO 3) and confess I'd be a bit more excited if Paradox was developing instead of just publishing, but I'm going to be uncharacteristically optimistic because I desperately want a great Star Trek strategy game.
Technically, this isn't the first Star Trek offering that Paradox has been involved with. Star Trek: New Horizons is a total conversion mod for Stellaris, and probably my favourite mod of all time, leveraging the sci-fi grand strategy romp's 'everything and the kitchen sink' approach to create a game that's absolutely gargantuan, ambitious and true to Star Trek.
With Infinite's focus on only four factions, it sounds like a much slighter game, but that focus could also be a boon, allowing Nimble Giant to flesh out the Federation and its adversaries a lot more. We'll be finding out more on Picard Day, which most people call June 16.