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[LOS ANGELES] French video game giant Ubisoft is poised to satisfy a longtime geek fantasy by letting fans virtually join the crew of a Star Trek ship exploring the cosmos.
Star Trek: Bridge Crew was built from the ground up as a virtual reality game where players take posts on the command deck of a Starfleet ship and tackle adventures similar to those faced by characters in the television shows and films that have won a devoted following over the decades.
"For the first time, Star Trek fans will be able to be on the bridge as a crew member," said David Votypka, senior creative director at Red Storm, the Ubisoft studio making the game.
People playing the game solo will be cast as captain of a star ship, assessing situations and giving orders to a computer-generated crew.
However, as many as four people can play in a single game, taking roles as captain; a chief engineer handling power and repairs; a navigator who also tends to sensors; and tactical officer in charge of weapons and shields.
Hand-tracking capabilities allow players in the game to gesture to one another, along with talking. Captains in games are provided a bigger picture of situations to make it to the advantage of crew members to obey orders.
"You really feel like you are in there with people," Mr Votypka said while providing an early peek at the game at a private event at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles.
"Ultimately, we want to allow players to live the Star Trek fantasy." The virtual ship is named the U.S.S. Aegis, fashioned after the space craft in recent blockbuster Star Trek films by J.J. Abrams to tune the game to a modern audience.
The mission of the game is to explore a largely uncharted sector of space known as The Trench, facing enemy Klingons while hunting for a new home world for a decimated Vulcan populace.
The target launch date for the game is late this year.
As part of a press presentation Monday, Ubisoft showed a video of LeVar Burton and a few other actors from Star Trek shows playing the virtual reality game.
"It is pretty cool," Burton said during an on-stage chat.
"We really had to work together to accomplish the mission. What is more Star Trek than that?" Burton played lieutenant commander Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation.