Revisiting Star Trek Online: Klingons, combat and more

PCG STO Ground Combat 4

It's been a rough ride for Star Trek Online. Many Trekkies lamented that the space combat lacked some punch, and ground combat felt more like watching paint dry than a space-faring sci-fi adventure. Previous updates have addressed the first problem, and the latest patch offers some exciting new enhancements to ground combat.

The “shooter” control scheme is simple to enable: either go into the menu and select it from a drop-down, or hit B on the keyboard. A targeting reticule will pop up on your screen, and the camera will switch to over your shoulder, similar to a third-person shooter. Going into shooter mode also changes the way you enable your abilities. The left and right mouse buttons are your main and alternate attack, and the middle button is your melee attack. Just point at your target and use an ability to activate it. No more Tab targeting for you!

This might seem like a simple change, but it adds a tremendous amount of fun to the ground combat. Running and gunning through Klingon and Romulan outposts seems much more epic when you can dive into a Max Payne–style leap across hallways with your dual phaser pistols. Not very Star Trek, but a hell of a lot of fun!

While the majority of the game remains very solo player friendly, the end of the game leans heavily on fleets, which are STO's version of guilds. There just isn't as much to do as a solo player when you reach the higher ranks as there is when you're leveling your captain through the earlier portion of the game. Klingon content, a lackluster afterthought at the game's launch, has grown immensely, but it's still not as vast as the Federation content.

But even with the issues at the end of the game and in the Klingon content, I still have fun when I log into STO. The changes to ground combat have helped to relieve some of the frustration with those missions, and Featured Episodes make me feel like a character in one of the shows. If you were frustrated with the ground combat, and you wanted some more excitement, then you'll want to jump back in to explore new planets and new civilizations.