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What is the Trek All About?

February 2, 2010

Let me begin by paraphrasing the opening monologue that we normally attribute to Star Trek Original Generation and Next Generation:

*ahem*

“Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Normandy. Its purpose, to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before. ”

The idea I’m discussing today isn’t so much about whether Mass Effect 2 or Star Trek Online is better. In fact, I probably won’t even talk about Star Trek Online since I haven’t played it. Instead, I’ll mostly talk about what a trek is all about.

To trek is to make a slow or arduous journey, either by foot or through other means of transportation. I think that, given that definition (and I suppose other people who’ve played Mass Effect 2 may agree with me), Mass Effect 2 has a trek through the stars of its own.

Though most of the given areas you can visit are already plotted out for you on a galaxy map, as a newcomer to the game, I felt as if everything was there to be explored. Each galaxy had its clusters, which had its own planets, and had its own asteroid fields and whatnot. Along the way, you would visit alien worlds, meet new people, and befriend old comrades.

Much like the Star Trek most people know and love, the overarching story of a voyage in space is punctuated by moments of action, and Mass Effect 2 is no different. The weapons may change, but you’re still setting your phasers (or the equivalent gun) on kill rather than stun, and taking out the opposition from behind effective cover.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that Star Trek doesn’t have the monopoly on Trek-ness, and that it takes a pretty good game developer to induce that sense of trekking into a game, comparisons be damned.

Picture Source: Mass Effect Wikia

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 3, 2010 05:01

    You’ve really hit the nail on the head there. Even though everything is all obviously plotted out for you in advance it doesn’t change the feeling of galactic discovery that you get out of Mass Effect 2 on your first playthrough. Even for a cynical gamer like myself, who knows full well that everything is pre-scripted and ultimately pre-trekked, couldn’t help but be taken in by ME2’s charm.

    I honestly feel that Bioware has a game “world” on their hands here that has the potential to rival the real greats in imagination land. Their dedication to really fleshing out their setting is inspiring and if you haven’t yet read any of the Mass Effect novels I strongly encourage you to do so. They are well written (no surprises there) and really help draw you into the Mass Effect universe even more.

    • victorstillwater permalink*
      February 3, 2010 07:26

      Thanks for the comment. Honestly, the two recent Star Trek/Mass Effect 2 posts were really just an excuse to post that gif image I found.

      I can’t stop watching it.

      The only thing that’d make it more awesome was if Morgan Freeman was the one doing the screaming. 🙂

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