Videogame tie-ins to movies are generally disastrous affairs because they’re often designed as cash-grabs to get fans of the film to shell out $60 just to see their favorite characters again. That was almost forgivable in the 8-bit days, where graphics and gameplay possibilities were limited to the point where recreating a film-like experience was largely impossible (plus they were cheaper).
Things have changed, though, and it’s entirely possible to create games today that mirror films (in fact, the game industry spends almost too much time trying to make games that are comparable to movies) – and with that in mind, Roberto Orci is hard at work making sure the new Star Trek game provides players with an experience every bit as compelling as the reboot or the original series. The current “keeper of canon” sat down with GamePro magazine and talked about the title, what players can expect, and even hinted a bit about the title’s villain. Read on for some choice excerpts.
On the ever controversial issue of what is “canon”, Orci had this to say. “True fans will tell you that canon is only what’s filmed. I’m not an authority on what is canon. However, I will tell you that this may be the first game that falls within the parameters of the people who are in charge of canon for now; the “supreme court,” as we call ourselves… this is the first time where the game itself is generated by the people who are deciding canon and we generated the game to fit within canon.”
Orci goes on to add that the new title will “bridge the gap” between the Star Trek reboot and the upcoming (and untitled) sequel, and that gamers who take the time to experience the new game will learn more about Kirk and Spock’s evolving friendship and have some special insights into things in the upcoming film.
“It’s [the game] going to fit into the Star Trek that we were lucky enough to generate, and it’s going to be a story that happens within that universe and that story is not going to be fan fiction. It’s going to be a story that fits into our movies, and fits into between the first two movies.” He also adds, “What’s great about the game is that it gets to show that middle step. You get to see Kirk and Spock in a way you’re not going to in the movie. They’re becoming friends; they’re going on adventures you’re not going to see in the movies. The game is giving you new insight into who they are.”
As promising as all of that sounds, the best bit of news may be this statement: “We would not allow a game to go out if it was not somehow a part of the continuity.” While few would expect Orci to say anything less, we have to admit that we’re at least somewhat comforted that one of the creative minds behind the new films is overseeing the game version-- too often, as Orci hints at, movie tie-in games feel like poorly written fan-fiction. Whatever happens with the new Star Trek game, we can at least go into it knowing that the film’s creative minds were shaping its narrative direction.
Still, Orci is coy about the one thing every Trekkie wants to know: who are the villains Kirk and crew are facing this time out? All the writer will say on the topic is this: “I don’t want to give away who the villains are, but the people in the game might be people who end up in the movie. I like to think of the game as a movie we’ve might have done. We treat the game with the same respect. I can say that the villains are very much in canon.” We’re sure we’re not alone in hoping it’s the Klingons…
For more details on the upcoming game, be sure to swing by GamePro’s website for the full interview. Look for the Star Trek game to hit retailers sometime in 2012.