Star Trek: Bridge Crew is a fantastic game, but not everyone can play it. While the gameplay doesn’t seem to require VR, the game does anyway. The goal of this is to enhance the immersion for players, and it helps push VR gaming to new heights. But what do you do if you want to play Star Trek: Bridge Crew without VR? thankfully there is an option. Play Artemis: Spaceship Bridge Simulator.
I’ve talked about Artemis before, calling it “the best multiplayer game that you’re not playing.” Two years later I still stand by that statement. What is Artemis? Essentially it is Star Trek: Bridge Crew without VR, and with a bunch of additional options.
Six players team up to control a starship as it explores space, fighting enemy aliens, defending friendlies, or just messing around. Players take the roles of Captain, Helm, Tactical, Engineering, Communications, and Science. Each has their own station, and each has a role to play, though players can double up if they can’t get six players together.
Once everyone is setup, which requires only one “Bridge License” copy of the game you set off in your own starship, which can take on many different forms. You can do pretty much whatever you want to do because Artemis, unlike Star Trek: Bridge Crew, offers players a lot of choices to tailor the experience however they want. Want tons of weapons? Want to make a real challenge? Want to face off against nearly insurmountable enemy forces? Want to just fly around in space? All of these and more are available in Artemis.
Artemis even allows multiple ships to exist in the same space. If you have 12 or more geeky friends then you can honestly set up one of the coolest gaming experiences available. Two or more spaceships working together or fighting each other, with each player taking a role in the fight (except Comms for PvP, I suppose).
Sure it doesn’t have the Star Trek license, and that hurts, although the maker of Artemis has done a fine job of crafting a unique universe.. It also hurts not being in VR. Artemis isn’t a replacement for Star Trek: Bridge Crew, just as Star Trek isn’t a replacement for Artemis. Instead they offer a similar experience, but in different ways.
Artemis is a more robust experience, with more stations and many more options. But that comes at a cost, and even as a big fan I still have trouble getting the people together and organized enough to get a game going. Star Trek: Bridge Crew on the other hand is far, far more immersive. It’s simpler nature also helps expand the audience, and despite requiring VR I have had no problem getting a game together whenever I want.
But it does require VR, and many people simply don’t have the cash or desire to dive into VR gaming yet. So, if you’re looking for Star Trek: Bridge Crew without VR, you should probably check out Artemis. The game is available DRM free right here, and has clients on Steam, iPhone, and Android.