Star Trek Online had a lot of expectations hung on it when it launched back in 2010. After all the notion of a massively multiplayer game that would let you captain your own starship and set out to boldly go where no one has gone before is a dream close to the heart of pretty much every Trekker out there. Unfortunately, as with many a high-profile game, it got off to a rocky start. But thankfully the folks at Cryptic Studios listened to player comments and complaints, learned from their mistakes, and set about the work of making the game better. Now, four years in, STO may not have set the world on fire, but it’s still chugging along quite well, with a devoted player base and tons of improvements. With the game celebrating an anniversary, they’re bringing another Trek veteran into the game world: Voyager actor Tim Russ, who is reprising his role as Tuvok within the game. But these days it’s Admiral Tuvok.
That’s one thing about STO that appeals to longtime players: it continues to unfold in the original Trek timeline, rather than the rebooted universe of J.J. Abrams’ films. While Paramount has shifted the focus back to young, different incarnations of James T. Kirk and company, Star Trek Online keeps right on exploring the state of the original Star Trek universe in the years after Nemesis. That’s afforded the developers the chance to bring in several Trek veterans to voice their characters again, including Leonard Nimoy as Spock, Denise Crosby as Tasha Yar and Sela, Michael Dorn as Worf, and now Russ. (They even got the new Spock, Zachary Qunto, to voice an emergency medical hologram.)
Russ is part of a new playable “featured episode” — i.e. expansion — called “A Step Between the Stars,” which continues a story begun in the previous episode, “Sphere of Influence,” for which Dorn returned as Worf. STO players who complete the new episode will get to chose a new piece of equipment for their ship, 400 “Qmendations,” and other additions. If you’re not a gamer and none of that makes sense to you, just pretend we said, “Yay, goodies!”
Here’s a brief featurette showcasing Tim Russ’ return to the Trek universe, and a snazzy infographic looking back at STO’s four-year history below that. Engage!