Discover a Tragic Past in Our Star Trek Online Survivor Review

By Jeff Francis
Star Trek Online Survivor review

Time and personal storylines meet in dramatic fashion in the last featured episode, Survivor, for Season Twelve of Star Trek Online. This is the third episode of the New Frontiers story arc, following the Of Signs and Portents episode. In this new mission, the Lukari take a backseat to a storyline that is based upon one of the best episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Some old, familiar faces will pop up in the STO Survivor episode as the mmorpg player helps to investigate troublesome time distortions. Will everything turn out okay in the end? Do Gorns crave chocolate donuts? Find out the answer to one of these questions in our Star Trek Online Survivor review.

Star Trek Online T'Nae

Let's begin our Star Trek Online Survivor review with the basics. The player is contacted by Temporal Agent Daniels, who is once again voiced by Matt Winston, the actor who portrayed him on Star Trek: Enterprise. The basis for the mission is that there is a temporal disruption that involves the Enterprise-C, the starship from the TNG episode Yesterday's Enterprise. It seems that there is a temporal duplicate of one of the survivors of the ship: Admiral T'Nae. Daniels knows of only one person who may have knowledge of the survivors, and that person is Sela of Romulus. The player is tasked to go to the Sitor system and look for her. As all Trekkies know, Sela is the daughter of Tasha Yar, who had been captured by the Romulans when the Enterprise-C was destroyed.

Let's kick this STO Survivor review into high gear. Once the mission is accepted and the player travels to the Sitor system, Daniels beams aboard the player's ship. A structure is located on a nearby asteroid, and when the player approaches and scans it, several Romulan vessels appear. A quick space battle ensues, and the Romulan ships cloak and leave once they're damaged sufficiently enough. However, they do leave behind a plasma trail, which the player follows. The trail actually leads to an ambush as more Romulan ships appear, who are led by Sela, played by Denise Crosby. Another quick space battle ensues, which ends with Sela surrendering...but with conditions. She'll help the mmo player locate the survivors of the Enterprise-C, who were allowed to live because Tasha Yar agreed to become the concubine of a Romulan general. Sela will lead the player to the last known location of the survivors but demands that she be placed under house arrest, have access to the outside world, and not face any sort of death penalty. Once the deal is struck, Sela boards the player's ship as a course is laid for the Pictae system.

Star Trek Online Tasha Yar

Once there, Sela informs the player that the Tal Shiar used the system to house assets that were important enough to keep but not threatening enough to kill. The Enterprise-C survivors were sent here, but supplies to the world were stopped when Hobus was destroyed, which was quite a few years ago. Since then, there's been no word at all. The first thing that the player notices is that the Tholians are found in the system as they seek to destroy any temporal anomaly. After a few Tholian ships are destroyed, a course is laid in to the nearby planet, on which temporal anomalies are scanned. The player beams down with Daniels and Sela to the location of the old Tal Shiar base. The facility is in ruins, and there are number of temporal anomalies in the area. These anomalies are deadly if entered, as I found it. The player begins to look for clues and finds some datapads. As the datapads are being powered up, the player is then tasked with opening the facility's gate to allow access to the outside environment. The controls are located in a small mini-maze, which has a few of the temporal anomalies in it. The player has to move several of the anomalies to reach the control pad. If he messes up, he can have Daniels reset it. Personally, this was a bit of a hit or miss as you couldn't really see the anomalies, which meant some trial and error on my part. However, the player only has to move a couple in order to reach the controls.

Once the player leaves the facility is where the Star Trek Online Survivor episode really kicks into high gear. The dates on the datapad go back forty years, and the entries are made by Tasha Yar. This is big news as it is now apparent that she was not executed when she tried to flee Romulus with her daughter but was instead exiled to this prison facility. Yar relates that the guards became sloppy in the months after the supplies stopped coming, and the prisoners were able to overpower them. The bad news is that they don't have the means to call for help, so they're stuck. Tasha Yar then says that if Sela ever finds this recording that she loves her and misses her. Sela is surprised by this but continues to defend her father. The player then continues to search for T'Nae.

Star Trek Online Sela

Now we cover the final arc of the episode in this Star Trek Online Survivor review. The player continues to search the planet's surface and finds additional logs made by Tasha Yar. Things aren't going well for the ex-prisoners, so they decide to hole up in a secondary supply bunker. The player encounters some more temporal anomalies and does come across T'Nae, but she acts irrationally and attacks the player. She screams for the player to stay away and then flees after being bested in combat. The old supply facility is encased in one big giant anomaly, but Daniels says that it can be disrupted if three stabilizers are placed. To do this, the player has to use stable temporal pockets that move around and within the giant anomaly. I really enjoyed this part of the mission, making sure that I stayed within the safe spot as I moved from stabilizer to stabilizer. Personally, I thought the design of this challenge was pretty clever. Once the anomaly has been dispelled, the player finds the facility intact and looks for more clues. Again, we get more logs from Tasha Yar, who is now noticeably older. In the logs, she continues to express her love for her daughter, Sela. She also discusses the increasingly erratic behavior of T'Nae and the realization that temporal anomalies are popping up on the planet.

The final part of the STO Survivor episode has the player following footprints to a cave. Along the way, the Tholians are encountered again and must be fought. More logs are found, now showing a very old Tasha Yar, who talks about seeing her beloved partner, Richard, die from extreme aging caused by a temporal anomaly. T'Nae is eventually found, and the player beams back up their ship, where they have to once again fight off some Tholian ships. The mission ends with T'Nae set to be merged with Admiral T'Nae to fix the broken timeline and Sela is sent into custody. The final cutscene of the mission shows Sela in her quarters being visited by Data, where she asks to be told of her mother.

So, what is our verdict for this Star Trek Online Survivor review? The space battles were really short, which is something I don't like. One thing that STO (which you can play for free here) does best is their space combat. The first challenge of moving the anomalies was nothing special. The next anomaly challenge, though, was really well done and quite enjoyable. Yet while there were quite a few bouts of combat, both space and ground, this episode is not really based upon action. What made the STO Survivor episode so good was the story that unfolded as the player found out what had happened to Tasha Yar and Sela's grudging desire to learn more about her mother. The emotion of the story really hit home for me, realizing that Tasha Year lived for decades trapped on a hostile planet, not knowing what had become of her daughter. This is probably the most dramatic episode, based solely upon the story and the emotions it elicited, that I've played in the free mmo so far. Plus, it was tremendous for Denise Crosby and Matt Winston to reprise their characters, especially Denise Crosby. Overall, I give this episode a thumbs-up for the compelling, emotional storyline that unfolded.


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