Star Citizen – the ultimate sandbox space MMO
Star Citizen is a first person MMO spanning hundreds of solar systems (when released). Players can fly highly detailed spaceships varying from small single seaters to massive multi-crew star ships. There will be massive space stations, planetary outposts, first person shooter action, land vehicles etc etc.
Star Citizen is being developed by Cloud Imperium Games under the supervision of Chris Roberts, known for the Wing commander series. The game is what Roberts always wanted to build. With over $157 million in funding he should be able to do deliver although there are many challenges.
The game is currently in alpha, they are still creating the technology and it might take a few years before we’ll get our hands on the full game.
Persistent Universe and Squadron42
Star Citizen will have a single and multiplayer version which you can both get for about $60, the MMO is $45. The single player Squadron42 is a bit of a mystery as CIG doesn’t want to spoil anything. They hired a great cast with Hollywood stars like Mark Hamill, Gillian Anderson and Gary Oldman. The multiplayer however is currently playable, but there isn’t much to do yet.
With Star Citizen 3.0 alpha on the horizon, new game mechanics will be introduced. If you’re holding out for now, this might be a good time to back the game.
Arena Commander & Star Marine
To make it a little more confusing, there is a module called Arena Commander. This could be considered a game inside a game. This is the place to practice against other players or take on the AI. If you don’t like dog fighting you’re welcome to try the racing circuit.
Star Marine is the FPS which allows you to engage in head to head combat, even in zero gravity.
What’s so special about this game
Imagine a living, breathing sci-fi universe where you can run around, board a ship with detailed interior, components and simulated systems. You’re able to explore space and the surfaces of planets, asteroids, moons. You can run cargo or mine for resources and if that isn’t your thing you can engage in combat or become a trader. To be clear, these mechanics aren’t implemented yet!
CIG isn’t be the first to do any of this, but it is the first to try to put them all together into one game. If CIG can pull it off, it might be a groundbreaking game. The tech they are working on is quite impressive.
Imagine walking on a planet on a bright sunny day, you look up to the sky and see a orbiting space station. You get into your ship, blast off to escape the planets gravity and put your ship down on the stations landing pad. If you would have a telescope you could actually see someone landing on the moon from the planets surface. That’s impressive!
Another example is the grid system, you can leave your ship to enter the vacuum of space and EVA (extra vehicular activity) to another ship. If the ships is big enough you can even park your ship inside the larger one
Procedural generated planets with a touch of handcrafting is a very promising tech, check out the video:
When will Star Citizen release?
There is no official release date, it can take 2 to 5 years before we get the full multiplayer module. The single player game Squardon42 should arrive before that. This project is ambitious and they are working on the tech. The game is in early alpha and if you’re impatient you better just wait instead of backing the game now.
Star Citizen is a scam
When learning about the game I’ve seen comments about the game being a scam. I couldn’t find any evidence of this claim. There is a playable alpha game (although content is thin) and they are pretty open to their backers. Weekly updates, development burn down charts, this must be an elaborate scheme if it were true.
Delays and scope increase
Yes, the game is heavily delayed and we probably won’t see the multiplayer module for another few years. The original scope was very limited and if you look at it that way, they haven’t delivered. However the funding was a huge success which allowed them to scale up the development team. From about 8 people working on the game to 400 staff right now, that’s pretty difficult to manage.
I did find evidence of a small group of people constantly attacking the game, spreading misinformation and even posting pictures of kids from CIG employees. Don’t get me wrong, being skeptical is a healthy, but there is a line you do not cross. Don’t be a dick.