Hands-on: Star Trek Bridge Crew fulfills every geek's wildest starship fantasies in VR

Become Worf.

You know what game was great? Spaceteam. If you never played, well, you should round up a few friends and download it onto your phone— it’s free. But failing that, here’s the idea: Your spaceship is crashing, and the crew needs to cooperate to survive. That mostly entails yelling at each other, because each player only controls one small part of the ship.

Star Trek: Bridge Crew is like Spaceteam, except you get to yell silly Star Trek catchphrases at each other while wearing a VR headset. “Full power to shields, ensign.” “Fire phasers on my command.” “Arm photon torpedoes.” “Bring us around.” “Engage.”

The game puts you on the bridge of the USS Aegis, where you’ll take on one of four roles: Captain, Helm, Tactical, or Engineer. Each player has a unique LCARS panel—for me, playing as Tactical, I could raise and lower the shields, arm and fire torpedoes, fire phasers, and scan debris or other ships. And I mean physically do those things, as Bridge Crew supports the Oculus Touch controllers. You need to physically reach out and touch the controls to activate them.

star trek bridge crew

But Tactical can’t go it alone. For instance, our mission required us to scan escape pods for survivors and beam them aboard. To do that, the shields needed to come down long enough for our Engineer to lock on and energize.

Again, it’s like high-concept Spaceteam. Or exactly what you’d expect in a VR Star Trek simulator.

Moment-to-moment, it’s not like I was doing much in Bridge Crew. Pressing buttons. Admiring the scenery. Scanning enemy Warbirds. But it’s not the doing that hooks you. It’s the doing with friends. It’s hearing and seeing your crewmates on the bridge, interacting with them, living out that fantasy with them, and—yes—occasionally messing with them.

Star Trek: Bridge Crew seems like it could make for a great late-night party game—if you and four friends each have an Oculus Rift, at least. At the moment it’s essentially a polished tech demo (like so many VR experiences), but it nails the Star Trek look and feel, and I’d love to get a group of four together to run missions. Hell, if we’re going to keep comparing virtual reality to the holodeck, then Star Trek’s a pretty obvious place to start.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags virtual reality

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Hayden Dingman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?