Paramount Pictures Adds 3D to ‘Star Trek’ Game Experience
LAS VEGAS – Paramount Pictures and new co-publishing partner Namco Bandai showed off a playable, two-player game demonstration of the new Star Trek game at an international press event in Las Vegas last week. In development at Digital Extremes, the new game will feature stereoscopic 3D gameplay. The game demo was played in stereo 3D running on NVIDIA 3D Vision technology through two large 3D TVs at The Cosmopolitan Hotel.
Paramount and Namco Bandai revealed that the new game will ship for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in Q1 2013, which puts the game launch right before the May 17, 2013 release of J.J. Abrams’ second Star Trek movie.
“Movie games usually suck and there are a lot of reasons for that, including studios trying to rush a game out to meet a film’s release date,” said Brian Miller, the game’s producer and senior vice president at Paramount Pictures. “We had those opportunities in 2009 to do a game like that. But when the buzz picked up we realized that this wasn’t a typical Trek film. We didn’t want to cash in and disappoint people, hurting the brand.”
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Miller said that Paramount wanted to start from scratch with the new game by aligning with the best developer for the job.
“Digital Extremes brings something to the game that we can only get from them,” said Miller. “We don’t want this to be a typical shooter game. The last movie worked so well because it was a story at its core that was about two guys. We came up with a storyline that takes place right after the last movie for this game that further explores that relationship between Spock and Kirk.”
The new game features the likenesses of Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto. A source said contracts are still be negotiated to include their voices in the game.
“I would love to have the actors in the game and be ready for an exciting announcement at E3,” said Miller.
Everyone from Abrams to Bob Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelofon the film side are also heavily involved in the new game, which offers an original adventure that will bridge the two films. The game is being written by award-winning God of War game scribe Marianne Krawczyk. The fact that Abrams and his Bad Robot creative team are also gamers has helped the development process, according to Miller.
“The production designer on the movie gets us everything we need,” said Miller. “The ships that you see in the game come directly from ILM digital assets. The filmmakers are involved in every aspect of the game.”
In addition, since the game is actually introducing new elements to the Star Trek universe, the relationship works both ways. All of the new content, including the game’s enemies and new villain, are run through the film’s production.
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“The game takes place after the events of the 2009 movie,” said Miller. “There have been a lot of Star Trek games over the years, but we’ve never had ability to play as Spock and Kirk in a game before.”
The new game will essentially deliver two experiences for players to explore. Playing as Kirk will not only offer a unique perspective on the action, but it will unlock weapons and gadgets designed specifically for that character. Digital Extremes has designed a different shooter experience catered to Spock’s personality.
The gameplay revolves around the interaction between these two characters, including one action sequence that required Spock to fire at enemies while helping an injured Kirk to sick bay.
“We know the pitfalls of bad movie games and we’re working desperately not to be that,” said Miller.
The game has come a long way since it first debuted at E3 last year. The much-publicized script delays in the film’s production have actually given this game additional time to focus on the gameplay experience, including the new stereo 3D capabilities. That’s good news for the game’s publisher, which is looking at this game as the beginning of a new interactive franchise, according to Carlson Choi, vice president of marketing at Namco Bandai.
Namco Bandai will showcase Star Trek at E3 this June, where a source said the game will be the key focal point in the game publisher’s huge booth.