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Star Trek: the ultimate sci-fi buddy comedy

It's Kirk and Spock v the Universe in the most explosive Trek game in years

In recent years, Star Trek games have focused on large-scale strategical combat. That approach has its merits, but it's not for Digital Extremes, the narrative-driven studio who were previously behind The Darkness II.

Instead, they want to use the licence to tell a more personal story, and one that's at the very heart of the long-running sci-fi series - the rarely-smooth relationship between two of Star Trek's most iconic characters, Kirk and Spock.

The playboy captain and his ultra-logical first officer are wildly different characters, and this manifests itself in two different ways. Firstly, in the verbal banter they share over the course of the game, and secondly in their vastly different movesets, which force the pair to work together creatively to overcome their problems.

It's the same kind of 'asymmetrical gameplay' which is at the heart of both the upcoming Wii U console, and of many other contemporary co-op games such as Disney Epic Mickey 2. The player who takes control of Kirk will be the cowboy of the pair - he's armed with a brutal revolver-style phaser which levels-up into a vapouriser. He's tooled up to lead the line, but there are situations when you'll want the more cerebral Spock taking point instead.

Spock's vulcan repeater doesn't have the 'oomph' of Kirk's weapon, but it is equipped with a special statis beam which freezes anyone it touches in their tracks for five seconds, allowing our lads to sneak past without anyone being any the wiser.

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Spock can also pull off the patented vulcan mind-meld, allowing him to temporarily take control of his victim. On top of that, Spock lugs around a Tricoder which can be used to scan the environment around him, Metroid Prime style. The more intel the team collect on their travels, the better equipped they'll be to face later challenges.

Metroid Prime is a comparison Digital Extremes are happy to invite, because Star Trek shares the same thirst for exploration and puzzle-solving as Retro Studios' masterpieces. The segment of the game we were shown, however, was a 'vertical slice' (urgh, horrible term) put together to show off the game's credentials as a shooter.

It begins with the dynamic duo infiltrating an unresposnive USS Enterprise, which appears to have been snared by a set of alien tendrills. First they have to reach the ship, so they both strap on a Life Support Propulsion Unit - which has been 'sexed up' to give it a more Bond-esque vibe - and rocket towards the Enterprise as rocks and other debris whistle past their hair. It's a pulsating scene which immediately brings to mind Dead Space 2's zero-g sections.

Once aboard, our heroes gingerly make their way down the main corridor, where they make the grim discovery that the hapless red shirts have been killed by a deadly toxin. Into the main bay they go, where they discover the perpetrators of the foul deed....and we can't tell you who it is. Yet.

The enemies we saw were just placeholders - they're saving that reveal for E3. Considering that the game's storyline (which bridges the gap between 2009's Star Trek and the as-yet untitled 2013 sequel) has been drawn-out with input from none other than JJ Abrams and Bad Robot Productions, however, we're anticipating that it'll be a headturner of a reveal, even amongst the bright lights and distractions of E3.

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