It ain’t easy being a movie tie-in game these days (or any), but the usual skepticism may not apply when it comes to Star Trek. Details on how the story will be working as a prequel to the events of J.J. Abrams’ upcoming sequel have been hard to come by, with actual footage of the game even more elusive.

Thankfully, Namco Bandai has finally released a full gameplay trailer and batch of screenshots at Gamescom 2012. While some may refuse to be convinced until the game ships, there is more than enough reason for Trekkies to get excited.

First things first: Star Trek may have initially been branded as a ‘PS3-exclusive Mass Effect‘ when it first showed up at E3 2011, and the music for the new trailer won’t be changing any minds. That being said, there aren’t many ways that third-person blockbusters are bending over backwards to reinvent gameplay that, fairly obviously, works. The science fiction backdrop of Star Trek is sure to invite comparisons to Mass Effect (even if the traversal and environmental interaction more closely resembles Uncharted), but that in itself is a compliment to the developers at Digital Extremes.

The gameplay finally shown at some length confirms that the game will be based on cover-based shooting scenarios, with traversal and some epic cinematic moments and pulse-pounding twists thrown in for good measure. What fans are sure to notice in the trailer is the amount of graphical polish on display, far exceeding what is usually found in movie tie-ins. And with the narration confirming that the now-infamous Gorn will be waging war on New Vulcan, the ties between the game and the upcoming Star Trek sequel are far more promising.

A host of screenshots and concept artwork have also been released to show the wide range of locales and installations that players will be able to explore, and while the visible character models aren’t quite as impressive as those in the trailer, it’s evident that Digital Extremes isn’t cutting any corners:

What isn’t evident in the trailer is the dialogue between the in-game Kirk and Spock – the highlight of our time with Star Trek at E3 2012. With a story overseen by those behind the motion picture franchise, fans of the reboot are sure to find plenty to enjoy with the game’s banter. If the new trailer is any indication, Star Trek might also stand a strong chance of attracting those who simply enjoy a well-crafted space adventure.

It might seem a bit jaded to suggest that if the movie tie-in game can achieve even that, it’s an accomplishment, but successes in the genre are few and far between. For better or worse, the developers have unquestionably raised expectations for Star Trek‘s video game incarnation, with more assets and footage hopefully on its way.

Star Trek is slated for release in early 2013 for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.

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