So, what to play during a break from World of Warcraft?

I know I didn’t want another fantasy, sword & sorcery genre game.  Over the past year, I did the free trials for Rift, Warhammer, and Age of Conan.  Right away, each one felt like WoW with a different skin.  Each one had differences, but the same general feel was there. I knew nothing in that vein would be fresh enough to hold my attention for a while.

I looked at the super-hero genre. I love comics, and flying around beating up bad guys is kind of fun.  I still have City of Heroes/Villains, and it’s free to play now, but that engine is even older than WoW, and I wasn’t feeling the pull. Paragon City never really became a place that felt like home to me.  I tried the free demo for Champions Online, and it felt just like CoH.  The trailer for DC Universe Online totally licked ass, and the game looked ind of interesting, so that’s one I may eventually try.

What I really wanted to do was venture into space in a sci-fi flavored game, but the choices are pretty narrow.  There’s EVE Online, which is a game I’ve tried before, and I have a character a little beyond the newbie level.  So much of it just seems like text boxes, though.  Cargo holds, the auction house, training – it was all text. Some of the space scenes were stunning, and the shop controls were neat, but I don’t feel like thinking that much right now.  I’m much more of a visual person, and I wanted something that was more pure eye-candy right now.  EVE was my runner-up choice though, so I will likely come back to it and give it a more serious spin at some point.  The Old Republic sounds pretty cool,  but it won’t be out for at least a few months.  I saw some other sch-fi themed games, but they were shooters of tactical sims, and not what I was looking for. That left me with my final choice.

I ended up going with Star Trek Online.  The lore that Cryptic has built this on is pretty solid.  The premise is good, and the flavor is exactly what I was looking for.  Flying around in Federation and Klingon starships is pretty fun.  And being able to leave your ship and wander through the Trek universe has some very appealing aspects to it.

I found the standard edition of the game at Gamestop for $8.  Yes, only eight bucks.  It comes with 30 days of play-time, and an original series Enterprise in-game ship to fly.  I look at it as a month long unrestricted demo, so I’m pretty sure I’ll get at least 8 dollars worth of enjoyment out of it. I’ve paid more than that for a 2 hour movie that sucked.