Star Trek: D-A-C is the upcoming arcade-style space shooter for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and the PC. The game will offer fast-paced shooting action along the lines of the Super Melee mode of the old computer classic, Star Control II as up to 12 players duke it out in competitive team deathmatch, conquest, and assault modes, but it'll also include musical scores from the upcoming motion picture. You can play on one of two symmetrical sides, the Federation and the Romulans, choosing one of three ship classes to determine your current ship's speed, armor, and firepower. We got our hands on the Xbox Live version and zapped a few starships ourselves.
Games of Star Trek: D-A-C are clearly intended to be fast-paced; the team deathmatch mode, the conquest mode (which has capturable control nodes similar to Battlefield 1942), and assault mode (which pits one attacking team against one defending team on a two-sided map) all have a hard time limit of 10 minutes, with provisions for sudden death in the event of a tie.
Starting a new game is easy--just hop into a match and choose which side to play. If you prefer, you can also load up a single-player game with bots, though the game seems like it'll be most enjoyable in multiplayer. Once you've chosen your side, you then choose which ship class you'll play the first time out, though if you're defeated in battle, you can change ship class on your next respawn. The bomber is the smallest, lightest class of ship on either side, and it drops mines in its wake in the hopes of getting pursuing enemies to land on them. The fighter is the game's medium ship class and is a well-rounded battleship, while the largest ship on either side, the flagship, moves most slowly, but has an independent targeting reticule that can fire in any direction, and also has laser beams that auto-target any enemy ship that gets into range.
The game itself seems easy enough to hop into and start. The console version of the game will let you use the analog sticks to move and aim, while using the A-button to fire. Every ship has a main weapon, and you can power up your ship's weapon up to five times by grabbing a white power-up item (which you can find hidden in a floating asteroid, or dropped by enemy ships). You can also pick up gold-colored power-up items that give you powerful, one-shot abilities, which you can trigger by tapping your controller's left bumper. We had no trouble getting the hang of the game and picking up a few frags ourselves in the team deathmatch and conquest modes, though it did take us a few tries to get used to the game's respawn system. If your ship is destroyed in battle, you can quickly tap the A button to launch an escape pod. If you succeed, you'll gain control of a tiny (and very vulnerable) escape pod which has no weapons. If your escape pod survives five seconds, you'll be able to respawn more quickly into the game in the ship class of your choice, and you'll retain some of your previous power-ups.
This easy-to-play arcade-style shooter will be making its way to Xbox Live in May, and is also planned to appear on the PS3 by way of PlayStation Network, and on the PC as well, some time later.