First revealed at the 2021 Game Awards, Star Trek: Resurgence is a “narrative adventure game featuring dialog choices, relationship building, and exploration” set in the year 2380, the era immediately following the Star Trek: The Next Generation movies. Now, courtesy of IGN, we’ve got the debut gameplay trailer, and it’s got just about everything you’d expect from a classic five-year mission: An intractable conflict between alien races, tough moral quandaries, the prime directive, ion storms, and—of course—Spock.
Resurgence is being developed by Dramatic Labs, a studio founded by former Tellgame Games CEO Kevin Bruner and other Telltale veterans, and it looks very much like a Telltale game in this trailer: Over more than seven minutes of gameplay in the video, there are no fewer than six A-B-C choices which steer the conversation in one way or another, presumably leading to slightly different outcomes at various points along the way. Resurgence will feature two playable characters, with gameplay switching between them over the course of the game, but will differ from Telltale games in one notable way: It will not be episodic, but will be released as a single, large story.
It’ll be very interesting to see how this works out. Telltale closed very suddenly in 2018 after what appeared to be years of consistent success, but an in-depth Verge report into the studio not long before its closure found that crunch and mismanagement were common, and multiple sources said much of the studio’s problems arose from Bruner himself. Bruner, who co-founded the studio and took over as CEO in early 2015, stepped down from the top job in March 2017 and actually sued the company in June 2018 for effectively freezing him out and voting him off the board of directors.
How Bruner will manage at the head of a new studio is obviously a big question, but so is the nature of Star Trek: Resurgence itself. Telltale’s games were big business across a number of lucrative licences over the years including Batman, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and Guardians of the Galaxy, but the formula has seen a lot of miles. One source commenting on Bruner’s departure for the 2018 Verge report said the studio “needed to break out of the Telltale formula, do something different, surprise and delight people.” Based on this video, Star Trek: Resurgence may delight people—Star Trek fans, at least—but the odds of something different and surprising do not look good.
Meanwhile, Telltale itself came back to life in 2019 under new ownership and management, and is now making its own game based on a sci-fi TV show: The Expanse.
Star Trek: Resurgence is expected to be out later this year, and will be available on PC on the Epic Games Store. More information about the game is up at startrek-resurgence.com.