Looking out at the vastness of space I punched a couple of buttons on my right-side panel before reviewing the objectives of my mission. On my left side panel I pulled up a map of the system, instructed my helmsman to plot a course and asked engineering to prepare the warp drive.
Then, I gave the order: "Engage".
The deep black galaxy disappeared in a vortex of colour as the starship under my command, the USS Aegis, leapt into warp speed and hurtled through space towards the danger of the Klingon neutral zone.
Bridge Crew, which is played entirely in VR, truly puts you in the Trek universe like no game ever before. It doesn't feel like you are playing a game, it feels like you are living it. None of the Star Trek games I've played over the years has ever come close to capturing the levels of excitement and apprehension I felt as my ship dropped out of warp speed to arrive at its destination. It's the ultimate fan fulfilment.
There's a decent single player campaign that pairs your captain with three AI players who you can jump into at any time. It's worth playing but the real substance of the game is online, when you form a crew with three other humans.
You all take a role and have to work together to complete the mission. The captain is the only one with a full strategic picture but also has no hands on control. He barks orders to the crew. The helm drives, tactical looks after the weapons while engineering gets to regularly say, "I just don't have the powah, Cap'n" in a bad Scottish accent.
Maybe that was just me ...
Dodgy accents aside, the fun of the game is in working together (or not) to complete your mission.
All four roles offer their own challenges and feel very different but none are particularly complex as the game is fairly basic. This is good for accessibility but a hardcore mode with a touch more complexity wouldn't have gone a miss.
It's also a shame that the missions offer none of the moral quandaries or choices that Trek built its reputation on, rather they break down to variations on attack, defend or sneak. This makes the game feel more like the promising start to a potentially amazing franchise rather than the realisation of its promise. I look forward to seeing where they boldy go from here.
That said, Bridge Crew is a terrific VR game and a must for Trek fans. Short of enlisting at the Starfleet academy you're not going to get a better Star Trek experience than this.
Star Trek: Bridge Crew
Platform: Playstation VR
Verdict: It's time to fully enlist in Star Fleet.