New bridge, new crew, new Borg.

Star Trek: Bridge Crew is a super-nerdy video game that deserves better than it got. Seemingly designed specifically for hardcore Trekkies desperate to role-play as starship bridge officers, it’s a high production value twist on the indie cooperative multiplayer game Artemis Starship Bridge Simulator. Players each control different bridge stations - captain, helm, tactical, and so on - as their vessels are faced with combat and non-combat scenarios straight out of the shows and films. It’s built around communication and teamwork, and can result in some pretty intense - and hilarious - situations.

Importantly, Bridge Crew started out as a VR exclusive, but Ubisoft and Red Storm Entertainment patched in non-VR gameplay several months ago. It also can cross-play between PC and PS4, which is pretty cool. I feel that's important to restate, as it's been the source of much confusion: regardless of what it says on the box, this game does not require VR to play.

Up until now, the game had been limited to encounters set in the rebooted film universe and the Original Series timeframe (the latter of which reveals just how difficult it is to understand all those unlabeled buttons and sliders). But a new expansion will bring the game into the Next Generation era, complete with a fully-modelled Enterprise-D bridge, new game mechanics, new missions, and more. Cool (for uncool people)!

The expansion’s banner feature, of course, brings the Borg to Bridge Crew. Its new “Resistance” mission type has players hopping across the galaxy to collect prototype technology while being pursued by an endlessly-adapting Borg Cube, in a roguelike-inspired race against time. The goal for the developers seems to have been to make the Borg scary again, while enabling creative use of tactics - and I can imagine that in this particular context, that’d be entirely possible. You can even play it with the original Enterprise, if you’re brave (or stupid) enough. Elsewhere in the expansion, players will find Romulans, a “Patrol” mission type, Soong-type android avatars, and the Original Series’ Planet Killer.

Having played a bit of Bridge Crew, I can confirm the obvious love that’s been put into the game by its development team, and I honestly wish more people would play it. Specifically, I wish more of my friends would play it, so we can populate a full bridge and take on the galaxy.

Bridge Crew’s Next Generation DLC arrives on May 22nd. Make it so.