Star Trek: Bridge Crew no longer requires space-goggles

Star Trek: Bridge Crew

In what feels like an unusual sign of the times, the formerly VR-only Wobbling Around While The Camera Shakes simulator Star Trek: Bridge Crew is now open for all PC players of all stripes to enjoy, rather than just the silly headgear contingent.

The non-VR patch for the also adds support for Windows Mixed Reality headsets, which seem to be increasingly common these days, giving huge Trekkie nerds even more opportunities to speak Klingon at each other, despite flying a Federation ship. Nerds.

As non-VR players only have to render a single image, the new version of the game also lets you crank up the graphical sliders a little further than they used to go, although the developers say that if you’ve got a beefy enough machine, then VR-users can try this out as well, although don’t expect it to go well unless you’ve got GPU horsepower to spare.

One thing the developers are keen to stress is that Star Trek: Bridge Crew is a social experience, meant to be played with friends. Thanks to this update, Bridge Crew now offers full cross-device, cross-platform play, meaning that it should be easier than ever to rope your mates into living out your daftest spacefaring fantasies. PG-rated ones, hopefully.

Still, the reason for this update may well have been a shortage of players overall. A quick look at the fan-run Steam Charts (usually a reliable enough source of data) reveals that the game has been hovering at an average of 20 concurrent players on Steam at any given time for the past few months. After all, without players, a game like this is just a hollow shell of itself.

The announcement video for the update above also includes a little bit of a tease at some major new feature or content coming to the game in the near-ish future, although Ubisoft remain tight-lipped on what this might involve.

Star Trek: Bridge Crew is also down to half price for the length of the Steam Winter sale, putting it at a reasonable enough £20/$25, although I think it’s a bit of a missed opportunity for them not to offer a multi-copy bundle to share with friends.

58 Comments

  1. Sakkura says:

    A fair chunk of players will not have been playing it via Steam, so the numbers won’t have been as bad as that. But still, getting enough people for a multiplayer VR game is hard at this point. It only makes sense to add in non-VR support when possible.

    I just doubt this game is at all interesting on a monitor.

  2. jon_hill987 says:

    I still can’t believe they canceled Star Trek halfway through the first season…

  3. mlcarter815 says:

    I think VR is really cool, I just don’t feel like spending the money yet to update my rig to be able to handle it.

  4. grimdanfango says:

    How about a non-Uplay patch? I have the silly cybergoggles, I just can’t stand having to deal with their godawful mandatory launcher. There are sometimes the occasional Ubisoft games I actually wouldn’t mind giving a try, but there are so many *other* great games around these days, that I simply never summon the will to dick around with Uplay, and just go play something else instead (Ideally on GOG, DRM-free, through their excellent, entirely optional launcher)

    • Megatron says:

      This isn’t quite the complaint it used to be. Uplay is perfectly fine these days. Installing and using it is no more trouble than installing a second browser. It’s certainly no worse than Steam.

      Origin, on the other hand, still deserves to go die in a fire.

      • MiaStar says:

        Really, wow! I’d love to know what you dislike about Origin. It’s just so simple and streamlined to me, I much prefer it over Steam’s million system services it installs or Uplay’s spread-out overly pretty interface. For example it took me 5 seconds to figure out how to change my Steam name, 5 minutes for Origin, and about an hour of feeling very stupid with Uplay. Uplay’s just not as intuitively laid out, to me … plus it has a lot of unnecessary animations IMO.

        But I’d really like to hear a dissenting viewpoint on that. :) Like for real, I’ve wanted someone to explain to me why Uplay is nice if it actually is, heh.

        • ShEsHy says:

          UI size, especially game tiles (they have the gall to call those monstrosities “small”), lack of an icon or list view, gigantic, touchscreen level spacing on every single piece of text,…

          Basically, everything in Origin is just way too big.

          Got nothing on Uplay though, since I don’t use it.

        • April March says:

          It took me a lot longer than that to learn to change my Steam name, which was a shame since it was automatically set to my email address and many people use their real name as their email address. Then again it was years ago, so maybe this issue has been 😎 adressed.

      • grimdanfango says:

        Eh… I’ve tried it somewhat recently. I honestly wouldn’t mind it if there was a way to see nothing but a plain text list of the games I have and just click on them to run them, and Uplay would just butt out and never tell me about any achievements, points I’ve earned, other games they want me to buy, and all the rest.
        I’m sure it’s perfectly usable, but it’s always just in-my-face enough that I inwardly groan any time I consider buying another Ubisoft game, and end up not bothering.

      • tehfish says:

        “Uplay is perfectly fine”

        My total lifetime tech support requests to gaming services: about 15

        Number of those related to uplay for owned games due to their DRM: 12

        Admittedly, their support had a decent turn around time, but i shouldn’t have needed it at all if it wasn’t for the cluster[censored] iteration of their DRM.

        It’s gotten to the point where i really have to greatly *want* a game thats on uplay, if i’m mildly unsure on a game i’ll stay clear to avoid the DRM hassle and play something else instead.

        • Unclepauly says:

          “These days” You left that part out sir.

          • tehfish says:

            I didn’t, this is not just a recent thing, but a long term core strategy by them.

        • April March says:

          My total lifetime request for support for gaming systems is 1, so maybe it’s just a case that you are cursed.

          That said, I had about as much hassle to create a Steam account than to run uPlay for the first time, but haven’t had any hassle on either since them, other than righteous anger.

      • Buuurr says:

        “Megatron says:
        This isn’t quite the complaint it used to be. Uplay is perfectly fine these days. Installing and using it is no more trouble than installing a second browser. It’s certainly no worse than Steam.
        Origin, on the other hand, still deserves to go die in a fire.”

        I agree. Uplay just isn’t the beast it used to be. Origin on the other hand is a monster still and always. Origin is just a pig that takes forever to load – if it loads. I run a real fast m.2 and it is a pain as of this recent update.

      • Premium User Badge

        keithzg says:

        I’ll take your word for it, I still have the scars from how shitty UPlay was. It also seems to have dissuaded Ubisoft from bothering to port to Linux, which makes me sad. Sure, for some games maybe that isn’t as huge of a deal but don’t you understand how many nerds run Linux and love Star Trek, Ubisoft? This is money on the table!

    • Pharaoh Nanjulian says:

      I’m pretty fed up with DRM, Steam, UPlay, Origin and all the rest. ‘Always on’ Internet access is not a given. I really wanted to buy Prey after seeing the write-ups on here, but of course the DVD copy has Steam activation too. I’m sure online downloads of everything have made developers code more indiscriminately. How else can I explain World of Warships updating at least 1GB every time I open it? Then installing the update and finding another 0.5GB to ‘update’. The game is water and a bit of land. The textures aren’t changing all the time on my hard drive!

      Back to Emperor:RotMK on CD. Or Imperialism via GOG! Ho ho ho!

      • Kurshuk says:

        Emperor:RotMK hadn’t ever heard of this game. Thanks for the mention. Found it on gog for the princely sum of $3.59 in freedom dollars and got it immediately.

  5. GernauMorat says:

    I can’t believe you guys would use a picture from Night Rider to illustrate this story. *angrily cancels subscription*

    • Ghostwise says:

      And they say “plunkbat” too !

      /readjusts monocle

      • ziffel says:

        “And they say “plunkbat” too !”

        Which is making this site a bit of a laughingstock in that regard.

        • Premium User Badge

          kfix says:

          We do not care to be taken seriously by someone who would take *that* seriously.

          • montorsi says:

            The silliness is less important than using this abbreviation in titles or copy where people will have no faffing clue what game they are talking about. I read an article here about Fortnite and had no idea why they were referring to “plunkers” or some such, what that was or how it was relevant to the discussion of Fortnite BR.

          • Someoldguy says:

            Yeah, then they call all sorts of things Metroidvanias even though neither title involved in that mashup ever appeared on a PC so no self-respecting PC gamer will have a clue what it means, right? It must be a conspiracy to leave us ill-informed forever.

        • Premium User Badge

          keithzg says:

          How dare you, sir!? I challenge you to plunkbats at dawn!

  6. Vandelay says:

    I am not really sure what the point of this is. In VR, Bridge Crew is a wonderful experience and gives you that feeling you are sitting on board a starship. They capture the aesthetics of Star Trek wonderfully right from the very beginning in the menus, where you are sitting in a shuttlecraft manoeuvring around a planet and seeing a giant docked starship. Engaging the warp drives by gripping the throttle, sliding your finger around as you try to “majestically” avoid ramming an asteroid, etc. are all lovely tactile experiences that make you feel like you are a member of Starfleet.

    In non-VR, this is all going to feel incredibly light weight. People might as well just be playing Bridge Commander, which came out in 2002. That was a game that didn’t offer very much outside of combat, but it was still a much more complete traditional game then Bridge Crew.

    I suppose this is my own bias towards single player games, but I think their main issue was focusing on making this a multiplayer social game in the first place, not in making it a VR game. If they had have given us a robust singleplayer game, with missions that had multiple outcomes based on your decisions as a captain and some more depth to what you can do with the ship, then I think the game would have been much better then it was. Plus, releasing an update later on that added non-VR would have made sense. Working on the co-op after they had that really solid base would have made it an even stronger package.

    • MiaStar says:

      Bridge Crew has a “too many cooks in the kitchen” feeling, definitely, and I think it’s because of the caution they had going in. The developers clearly wanted to put an IP like Star Trek where it should be, at the forefront of new technology, and so they took a chance and then followed it up appropriately by marketing it heavily. (Other companies with experimental games in their lineup: Copy this! Market them, dangit, don’t leave them to rot!)

      But it still looks like they were scared in the end, so some parts (like the voiceovers or the Watson control) seemed so perfectly high-budget and elegant, but then you’d have a few bad font choices, a somewhat clunky main menu system, and several controls that feel like Mario Party minigames but dumbed down even more somehow, instead of elegantly simple.

      My hope is that while the game screams that their development process was one of confusion, saved by some very cool heads that tied everything together into a great game in the end, they’re a bit more confident now that it became one of the best-selling and largely best-reviewed VR games ever for a good chunk of 2017.

      In other words, we were always waiting for either Bridge Crew 2 or a patch made from their profits which turned it into “a real game”. I hope the patch is beefy as heck and I even wouldn’t mind paying an unusually high amount of money for it as paid DLC instead of free, because I’d love to see what the team does now that they’ve invented a genre and carved themselves a niche in the industry for this kind of thing.

    • rusty says:

      Probably an economic decision rather than an artistic one.

  7. goodpoints says:

    I’ve always wanted to play bridge with Nathan Fenian.

  8. McOliver says:

    Is it me or the picture is from Firefly?

  9. Premium User Badge

    Mungrul says:

    It’s a shame the main campaign is so ridiculously short and that the procedural missions quickly devolve into “Warp here, blow this up, warp back”.
    Yes, even the science missions.

    They could really do with some proper Trek style diplomacy and exploration.

    • Imperialist says:

      The problem with Trek Diplomacy in a video game is thus:
      1. The writing needs to be stellar. Otherwise it has a “bad episode” feel. We would want City on the Edge of Forever, not Battlestar Galactica Season 4.
      2. Procedurally generated dialogues and missions always suck. It either ends up making no sense, has clashing themes, or is downright cookie-cutter. Trek usually prides itself on breaking tropes (or creating them in the first place) and having a bag-o-tropes that get pulled from a hat is a big disservice. I love STO, but their exploration missions were god-awful.
      3. None of our characters are fleshed out or have enough reverence as their TV counterparts. Diplomatic events in ST usually have a direct tie to a character’s theme, story arc, or present a challenge or moment of growth for them to get through. Its pretty hard to do that for a blank slate avatar.

      • Premium User Badge

        keithzg says:

        To be fair, BSG Season 4 was pretty decent for the first half. And it’s almost just a fiction that it was all the same season; there was a longer break between the two halves of season 4 than there was between season 3 and 4, and IIRC it seemed to be mostly just a ploy by SyFy to avoid having to pay people more (since TV contracts often include increased rates or require renegotiation based on the seasons). Anyways, I do feel like

        Spoilers follow for Ron Moore’s BSG, which considering you’re reading an article about a Star Trek VR game and Ron Moore wrote for three different Star Trek series and two movies you really should have seen already

        the “mid-season” break for BSG S4 would have made a decent series finale, where the remnants of the humans and many of the cylons that were pursuing them finally set aside their differences and follow the final clues to where Earth is . . .

        . . . and arrive at a radioactive wasteland, clearly destroyed like the 12 Colonies were. It’s a pessimistic, but thematically appropriate ending. In my mind that’s how it ended, just like how Lost ended with the final moment of season 5, and season 6 never happened.

  10. Premium User Badge

    Neurotic says:

    And here I was thinking that Bridge Crew was a PS4 exclusive! Thanks for enlightening me, RPS. As a non-goggle Trekker of some 40 years standing, I’m going to buy this right away.

  11. Shinard says:

    I would kill a man for a Firefly game. A good one, heavily narratively driven, where I played an original character watching the crew on their adventures. Not very choice-driven, just a pure narrative exp-

    No, wait. A new series of Firefly. I’d kill a man for a new series of Firefly.

  12. defunct says:

    I really wanna know why there’s a picture of the Firefly crew on here. This is an article about Star Trek, no? Firefly=/=Star Trek. And without any spoilers, the picture is currently not possible if you followed the stories at all.

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      It’s a running joke that when they’re talking about a Star Trek (or Star Wars) game, they’ll post a picture of a different space show.

  13. Spuzzell says:

    It’s cruel to post pictures of Firefly on stories about rubbish sci-fi.

    It’s like when a hot girl in a bar makes eye contact with you and then it turns out she thinks you’re staff.

  14. Alberto says:

    Far from me wishing something or someone to fail, but I’m just glad that VR devs are un-VR’ing stuff that doesn’t need to be in VR in the first place.

    There’s some stuff I’m dying to use in VR (medium and painting with light stuff) because those are things you can’t do outside VR. But many videogames in vr are glorified gimmicks

  15. Slazer says:

    Hate to be that guy, but this game looks overpriced to me for what it seems to offer.

    And I spent a lot of money on VR games

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