Developer Cloud Imperium Games is building one of the most incredible first/third-person experiences we have ever seen.
If you have not heard of Star Citizen, chances are you aren’t a PC gamer, which is fine. Many people enjoy their gaming experiences on console and handheld devices and that is enough to engage them in a world for hundreds of hours. However, Chris Roberts’ team of developers at Cloud Imperium and Foundry 42 are building a
world galaxy that will surely leave you breathless and likely persuade you to jump into the world of PC gaming.
Currently in its Alpha 3.0 stage, Star Citizen boasts a gorgeous first and third-person MMORPG, experience featuring space trading, a live economy, intense space and fps combat amidst a living, breathing universe amongst the stars.
Chris Roberts and his team used Kickstarter and their own website to build crowdfunding to help bring their aspirations to life. What happened after is perhaps the most impressive success story through a crowdfunded campaign of all time when the team broke the Guinness Book record in 2012 for highest crowdfunded game project with over $4.2 million, before breaking the record for “most-funded crowdfunding project anywhere” with over $15 million in 2013. As of 2017, the crowdfunding total has reached over $150 million, shattering any previous records in existence.
If I were to describe this game to a friend, I would try to get them to imagine Skyrim, the best parts of No Man’s Sky, Destiny, and Call of Duty all rolled together to spit out an epic space adventure. This is what Star Citizen is all about, and even then that sentiment doesn’t even come close to scratching the surface of everything you can do and see in this game.
Comprised of several different parts, Star Citizen is broken down into modules that each feature very distinct gameplay styles and experiences. These modules were later combined into a single module, Crusader as its called, which became the foundation of which future content was built on.
Among these modules are Hangar, Arena Commander, and Star Marine.
First among them released in 2013, the Hangar module, allowed players to modify and alter ships in an environment that was closed off from other outside happenings in the ongoing world. Manipulating ships in realtime, whether it be with various ornaments or designs, the center focus was to give the player’s ship a real sense of unique identity.
Do you know your ships? Prove your knowledge and get a chance to win a Anvil Hawk!
— Star Citizen (@RobertsSpaceInd) November 28, 2017
The second module, Arena Commander, was later released the following year in June 2014 and featured combat against in-game AI or other players in space battles. This took your ship and its designs to the stars for various challenges such as survival and racing and even co-op. Basically, this was like being a Rebel pilot in Star Wars fighting in a galactic war on the surface of the Death Star.
Finally, the Star Marine module that released in December of 2016, contains the first-person shooter experience that maintains story elements and in-game fiction where players can face off against other in-game opponents. Star Marine features a “Last Stand” game mode that is more like capture and control the point, where two teams fight for occupancy over designated areas to gain score. Then there is Elimination, a free-for-all match where players go out solo and fight to survive against one another with the object of maintaining the highest kill count.
Uniquely, the shooting aspect of Star Citizen is considered to be quite realistic with variables such as a player’s breathing, stamina, and even their stance to impact how weapons feel while being fired.
Eventually all of the game modules were combined into one super module known as “Crusader”, which houses the all game types, features, and the persistence and continuity of the Star Citizen universe. Alpha 2.0, what Crusader would become, includes all of the above modules in order to maintain a consistent flow of gameplay experiences for the player when joining multiplayer PvP modes.
Crusader is also the name of the fictional planet where players are allowed to free-roam and explore the living world around them which would also include surrounding space stations and moons as well as asteroids within a reasonable proximity to the planet.
Existing gameplay features of Crusader also include a wide-array of missions that the players can choose to engage in, or ignore. Should players ignore missions, they may be carried out anyway by AI which could result in undesired outcomes that impact the in-game economy.
For example; if a quest is designed where the player has been tasked with getting supplies for an outpost but rejects the quest, the AI will carry out the mission. However, the events of the mission could face a threat like space pirates or looting which could result in the supplies not making their destination. If the destination requires those supplies to manufacture goods or wares, then those services will receive a price increase across the galaxy since they did not receive their supplies required for manufacturing said goods. This could happen anyway even if the player took on the mission and was attacked by an outside source, but at least the player could make decisions to alter the outcome.
Chris Roberts and everyone involved with Roberts Space Industries (RSI) aims to include several genres in one, such as flight combat and simulation, first-person shooters, trading and space exploration and combat all within an insanely large MMORPG space. With games like Destiny and The Division failing in comparison, both unable to deliver on their own hype, the market for a FPS MMORPG has been left untapped, possibly with the true potential lying with the restrictiveness of developers biting off more than they can chew while under the watchful eye of micro-managing publishers. RSI doesn’t seem to have such a problem when it comes to rushing to meet deadlines, but they have had to push back deadlines time and again for their game in order to meet fan expectations. This has brought on some criticisms from those that are dying to jump in and experience the fully fleshed-out world, but good things certainly come to those who wait, especially on such a massive gaming scale of this kind.
Stay connected with #StarCitizen!
— Star Citizen (@RobertsSpaceInd) August 22, 2017
Perhaps one of the biggest draws of Star Citizen, is the single-player campaign, referred to as “Squadron 42“, which takes place within the fictional universe designed by RSI. The campaign itself has not been fully released having faced many delays over the past couple years, the expectation being pushed is that it will be available in 2017, but with a month to go, that does seem unlikely.
Centering on an elite military unit, the campaign will feature intense space battles and first-person combat. The outcome of these events will impact the player on a large-scale, including lasting effects in the persistent universe and influencing the status of the player’s citizenship within the fiction. The devs have stated that the game will come in episodic chapters with many hours of gameplay and dozens of missions that will challenge player’s in a variety of unique and fun ways. Voice casts for the NPCs in the campaign include Gillian Anderson, Mark Hamill, Mark Strong, Andy Serkis, and even Gary Oldman among many others.
Perhaps the only thing that can be said about Star Citizen is that the development team has a very large set of shoes to fill with this title, considering all they have promised and shown fans of this new gaming behemoth. They continue to grow large amounts of income from donations and continued crowdfunding, despite not having met many deadlines. This could be a turn-off for many but that shouldn’t wreck any hope that the game won’t contain at least a select variety of fun achievements and experiences for fans of any of the combined genres that makes up Star Citizen as whole.
With no release in sight, and an overwhelming amount of funding from fans and investors, Cloud Imperium Games holds all the cards as the publisher and developer, so it really is up to them in which direction this franchise goes. However, if you have experienced even a small taste of what this game has in store, there is much to look forward to for the future of Star Citizen and RSI.
THE KHARTU-AL (my favorite ship design)