Star Trek Online has been on the MMO scene for a little over three years now, and although it received mixed reviews, STO has been praised for it’s well crafted universe and eye pleasing visuals. Developed by Cryptic Studios, the guys behind Neverwinter and the deceased City of Heroes/Villains, Star Trek Online has entered into its first major expansion update titled: The Legacy of Romulus.
I’m sure we’re all familiar with STO’s features and mechanics. A blend of frantic space combat and somewhat bland ground combat. Features that many fans we’re keen to embrace at the release of Star Trek Online. Exploring strange new worlds and keeping your enemies away from these worlds was the main selling point of STO.
With the release of the brand new expansion, Legacy of Romulus, STO takes these mechanics and pushes them further into a new immersive original story, written directly from the Romulan Republic’s point of view.
The story itself is where the expansion shines and comes into its own. Being developed by Cryptic, STO has the Foundry: a system which allows you to build your own missions or take on pre-built ones in your own sort of instance. Although you can take players with you, the Legacy of Romulus story missions are instanced. This has the tendency to make content feel more like a single player experience, rather than an MMORPG.
In terms of the storyline, Star Trek fans will be pleased to experience an entirely original story which fits in well with the already fantastic and vast universe. With Romulus and Remus gone, you play as one of the survivors, trying to survive after the decimation of your homeworlds. The Tal Shiar a ruthless and secretive organisation, who stop at nothing to defend the Empire’s interests. As a lone survivor, you will be the one to rise up and reshape the Romulan Empire against the oppressive Tal Shiar regime. It really is a well written story, playing through the destruction of your colony, all the way to shaping the Romulan Empire. Each mission feels as if you’re getting closer and closer to that point.
In terms of changes to the games systems, it is more of the same. The ship combat remains as frenetic and fun as ever. While the ground combat is still stagnant. Players will also be glad to see the addition of the mighty Warbird class ships. You’ll not be able to access the ships until the tenth level, but when you have them unlocked, boy does it feel satisfying trudging around the galaxy in one of these. New and improved traits have also been added to the game, allowing you to customize and rearrange existing traits, as well as unlocking advanced ones and abilities. A new UI system has also been put in place, giving the player the option to customise the color palette, as well as adjusting reading options.
Cryptic have also extended the free-to-play options further. Upon character creation you will now be able to start as any faction and level them straight from 1 to 50. Parade the galaxy as a member of the Federation, Klingon Empire or Romulan Republic, whatever you want to be, it’s free right upon logging in as opposed to having been only offered via purchase previously.
Legacy of Romulus is a welcome expansion to Star Trek Online. With a totally original story, a new faction, new ships and the option to start as any faction, STO has been improved significantly. Three years on and the game still looks fantastic. With these great improvements added to Star Trek Online, there’s no reason whatsoever for you not to jump back into your ships or start a new adventure in Roddenberry’s universe as see through the eyes of an MMO.
George Dimmock / George Dimmock is a Freelance Gaming Journalist and has been writing for MMORPG.com since 2012. Lover of all things gaming, George has been playing MMOs since 2005 and has been hooked ever since. You can also find him lurking on Twitter, @G_Dimmock
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