While the world of Star Trek has always featured a ton of wild, futuristic, high-tech stuff, the core of it all has always been the people. The Star Trek brand has spawned a few pretty good games that remain true to the heart of the series, but it's also churned out some pretty lame stuff over the years. Star Trek: D-A-C, released in concert with this summer's blockbuster film, falls into the "pretty lame" category. It's a dull downloadable shooter with a multiplayer focus, sort of like Battlestar Galactica and Wing Commander Arena. Unless you're after that kind of top-down action, you definitely don't want any part of this.
Actually, even if top-down multiplayer space shooting sounds like your thing, D-A-C isn't exactly the best of its kind. It offers three team-based modes that pit the Federation against the Romulans, and each side has three classes of ship. The fighters are small and fast, but don't pack much of a punch and blow up after a scratch or two. The bomber only drops bombs, making it a rear-firing ship that only really comes in handy if you're trying to defend a spot in one of the two objective-based modes. The flagship is the one that looks like the Enterprise (or Nero's ship, if you're a Romulan) and it fires the hardest shots and offers the most hull strength. Unsurprisingly, it's also pretty slow. Maybe it's just the way I play, but I found the fighter and bomber ships to be absolutely worthless.
The game allows up to five ships per side, and you can play offline against artificial opponents, or you can play co-op, which lets multiple humans play on the same machine against AI. Online, as you might expect, lets you play against and with real people in team deathmatch, conquest, and assault modes. Conquest is a control point mode where you must keep your ships in a capture ring to take over the points. When your side controls all the points, the enemy base opens up for capture. Assault mode is similar, but it puts one team on the defensive while another team tries to control a chain of points to open up the enemy base. It's pretty standard stuff that would probably be fine if the game surrounding those modes was any fun.
The main issue is that the game feels totally lifeless. Beyond some nice-looking space backgrounds, D-A-C looks very plain. The explosions and special attack effects aren't great, and the ships turn, bank, and move in weird-looking ways. It feels more like naval combat than space combat. Other than the sounds of explosions and the alarm noise that sounds when your ship is about to explode, there isn't much personality to the audio, either.
Star Trek: D-A-C is totally functional, but aside from having a recognizable spaceship in it and naming a secret achievement after the Kobayashi Maru, there's nothing particularly Trek-like about it. It's another bad top-down multiplayer shooter on a system that already has more than enough of the same.