Give Peace a Hand in Our Star Trek Online Mirrors and Smoke Review

By Jeff Francis
Star Trek Online Mirrors and Smoke review

Sometimes peace and diplomacy needs a helping hand, even in Star Trek Online. However, such help might require the use of photon torpedoes and phasers. The sci-fi free mmo recently released their latest feature episode, Mirrors and Smoke. The player will once again join forces with the Lukari and Captain Kuumaarke. Does this latest episode continue the recent themes of exploration and discovery? Find out in our Star Trek Online Mirrors and Smoke review.

Star Trek Online New Kentar

Let's begin this Star Trek Online Mirrors and Smoke review with the introduction to the episode. The player is contacted and informed that the Lukari have found a class-M planet in the Gon'cra nebula while looking for weaponized protomatter by using long distance research probes. What gets the Lukari really excited is that the probe found signs of sentient life on the planet, and the biosigns show a race very similar to the Lukari. They hope that it might be a lost tribe from the time of the Great Exodus, but the probe went offline suddenly after detecting the planet. The player is asked to help the Lukari and Captain Kuumaarke investigate.

Now that the premise of the featured episode has been given, we can turn our STO Mirrors and Smoke review to the events that occur during the mission. Once in the system, the player and the Lukari ship, the L.S.S. Reskava, detect the presence of other ships, but attempts to contact them are met with silence. When Captain Kuumaarke contacts them, the ships arm weapons and begin to open fire. A space battle ensues in which the player disables the enemy ships. The fight is pretty easy, but I'll take any excuse for space combat as Star Trek Online (which you can play for free here) has the best mmo starship combat. Once the fight is over, the player is contacted by Prime Minister Tuulemaan of the Kentari Union. She apologizes for the hostilities and asks the player and Captain Kuumaarke to beam down to discuss the misunderstanding.

Star Trek Online news report

Captain Kuumaarke is excited to hear that the Kentari have survived and informs the player that the race is usually distrustful and quick to attack. The player and Captain Kuumaarke then beam down to the surface of New Kentar. This next part of the Star Trek Online Mirrors and Smoke episode is the absolute best part, and I really loved it. Once on the planet, it's quickly realized that the Kentari are continuing their highly polluting ways. The city is straight out of some dystopian near-future motion picture as smog and pollution clogs up the environment. Sick people lay on the street and people walk around wearing breathing apparatus. The planetside zone is simply gorgeous in all its polluted, neon-lit glory. The player makes multiple scans that show the pollution is highly toxic (there are times when the player and his away team are disabled and actually take some damage) and that measures against the pollution are extremely inadequate for the poor citizens. There are a few highlights to this zone. The first is when Kuumaarke expresses amazement at the appearance of a vending machine. It's quite cute, but it's also interesting that the vending machine sells breathing masks. There are also two different news kiosks that offer multiple reports on the current situation on New Kentar. One news service tells the truth while the other is a propaganda organ, saying nothing is going wrong. It's little touches like this that make this episode so interesting.

Before the player reaches the meeting with the Prime Minister, there are two separate attacks by Kentari. Once the player reaches the Capitol Building, they are whisked high above the smog to meet with the Prime Minister. There they learn that the attacks are carried out by the Traditionalist faction, who seek to have the Kentari stay true to the Old Ways. The Prime Minister is part of the Reformists faction, who seek to work with other races and put an end to the self-destructive practices of their race. The player is also introduced to Pentaaro, the Minister of Defense, who is highly suspicious of the player and the Lukari. The meeting is interrupted by the player's crew, informing them of the approach of Tzenkethi ships. The Kentari are moving to intercept, but they are heavily outgunned. The player and Captain Kuumaarke beam up to help out.

Star Trek Online space combat

Another round of space combat ensues as the mmo player fights off several waves of Tzenkethi ships. Once the first fight is over, it's quickly apparent that the Tzenkethi are planning on detonating protomatter bombs on the moon, which serves as the food production facility for the Kentari. The detonation will wipe everything on the moon out, so the player goes to intercept the Tzenkethi flagship. This is a pretty good fight as the flagship sends out several groups of frigates. However, the attempt to stop the detonation fails, and the Tzenkethi flagship escapes. Captain Kuumaarke offers to use her race's technology to restore crop production on the moon. The Prime Minister agrees, and the necessary preparations are made. However, something goes wrong as nothing happens. The player and Kuumaarke beam down to the moon to find out what went wrong. The player fixes some devices via a mini-game to match waveforms. Kuumaarke then realizes that a Traditionalist sabotaged the devices, which would have normally then caused a massive explosion. Luckily, the Lukari devices have a failsafe to shut them down instead. The player then protects Kuumaarke from several attacks by Traditionalist forces as she restores the system. Once that is done, she activates the system, which restores crop production again.

Now we reach the final act in our Star Trek Online Mirrors and Smoke review. The Prime Minister contacts the player, thanking them and Kuumaarke for their efforts. She has sent out ships to escort the player back to their homeworld under the command of Defense Minister Pentaaro. However, Pentaaro is secretly a member of the Traditionalist faction, and his ships open fire. It's interesting that a number of Kentari ships help defend the player during this fight. This space battle is of higher difficulty than the previous ones, and Pentaaro is eventually defeated. The Prime Minister then beams up to the L.S.S. Reskava, where she and Captain Kuumaarke begin to discuss peace.

So, what's our verdict in our Star Trek Online Mirrors and Smoke review? I have to say that this is another strong episode in the new season for the mmorpg. We get to interact with a new alien race (and fight them!). I love seeing the developers digging deeper into Star Trek lore and bringing it to the game. I absolutely love the New Kentar zone in all its squalid glory and would love to actually be able to regularly visit it in the future. It's always fun to adventure with Captain Kuumaarke as she's so optimistic and cheerful. The overall political atmosphere of the Kentari is very interesting to me, which added some nice depth to the storyline. Overall, the episode also continues the Star Trek tradition of where mistrust and hostility are eventually overcome with mutual understanding and the promise of diplomacy and peace.


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