Star Citizen: Taking Flight to Uncharted Horizons

Remember when No Man’s Sky was an exciting, bold step forward for gaming?

We were big fans of the release, although it was met with critical response. It turned out space was vast but it was also empty. Many players lamented the lack of playability options, resulting in No Man’s Sky all but being consigned to history.

There have been various updates to the game since release, with entire communities forming within the game. There is still a lot for players to explore or craft and many fans are still returning for that. The ambition to explore was overshadowed for most though, with a lack of direction across eons of emptiness.

The concept though was a truly exciting one that many gamers had been waiting for, for a long time – the opportunity to explore space. That excitement has been captured by developers as several companies try to capture the magic that should have been No Man’s Sky.

Ubisoft are working on the hugely ambitious Beyond Good and Evil 2, but don’t expect to be playing that anytime soon. There was an optimistic deadline of 2019 sounded out after initial footage at this years E3, but that deadline will probably come too soon.

There is a serious contender just on the horizon though in Star Citizen. It’s already been described as ‘No Man’s Sky with things to do’ so we expect it to draw many parallels. There is currently no official release date slated but it was supposed to be this year and the game looks very near completion. We’re hopeful we won’t have to wait too much longer, in the meantime we’d like to ramp up the excitement and introduce you to a new title.

How Does it Improve on the Formula of Space Travel?

Although the game has drawn comparisons to No Man’s Sky, it shares a closer link to the Wing Commander series. Director Chris Roberts previously produced the long-running space combat series and was a key part of the Kickstarter program. Star Citizen was originally conceived as a spiritual successor to the series but evolved into so much more.

With that in mind, Star Citizen focuses heavily on the combat side of space travel. It does offer exploration, trading and crafting options but unlike No Man’s Sky, it will borrow a lot more features of traditional first-person shooters.

Star Citizen is everything No Man's Sky should have been

Posted by Dream Team Gaming on Sunday, November 5, 2017

There will be multiplayer matchmaking with two competitive modes; a capture and defend mode and a deathmatch. This will allow players to engage in huge multiplayer space battle whenever they desire.

There is also going to be a full in-universe campaign featuring 20 hours of gameplay. Later chapters of the story will also be added after the game’s release. The story revolves around a player enlisting in the United Empire of Earth Navy and taking part in military service to earn citizenship of Earth. Players with citizenship will have exclusive privileges within the larger universe such as military discounts at merchants.

Neither side of gameplay is mandatory though which will allow the players to engage however they want. Whether you want to explore build and trade or complete FPS mission objectives is entirely up to you.

What to Expect, When Are We Expecting?

The game began like so many projects today with a Kickstarter page, crowdfunded by fans. The page was initially targeting a $500,000 total to put the game into production. It quickly achieved this and went on the smash it projected target raising over $2 million dollars. The team has continued to raise funds through their own website to aid production and add extras into the game.

From what we have seen of the game so far it has received many positive reviews, with a lot of hype surrounding its release. The funding process was highly successful and Cloud Imperium are expecting very positive sales figures to follow.

It hasn’t all been smooth sailing for Star Citizen though, production has dragged on far longer than expected. Production began in 2011 with an initial release date of 2014, a date which they missed by a long way.

With the project put back, it was slated for two additional release dates one in 2016 and one this year. It looks as though Cloud Imperium are going to miss both of those deadlines, with a timeline for the finished product still unknown.

Sections of the game’s development have been unsuccessfully outsourced to third-party developers, which has slowed development. The scale of the project has also proved an obstacle, with most of the stretch goals from funding still yet to feature in the game. Although we are informed the game is close, a lack of official dates makes us unsure of when Star Citizen will arrive or how many of the suggested features to expect included in initial gameplay.

Space Travel is Not Cheap

That isn’t the only concern for Star Citizen, as players are going to need a large windfall to enjoy all of the features. Despite achieving all of their target goals, the team have continued to raise funds for the project, with donations still accepted now. Some have criticised Cloud Imperium for continuing to collect players money after missing out on so many deadlines and features they have already collected for.

Star Citizen was listed in the 2014 Guinness Book of Records for the highest sum raised through crowdfunding. And with donations still available that sum has continued to grow exponentially – reaching an estimated $150 million this year. But don’t expect that generosity to be passed on to the player, as Star Citizen is not going to cheap.

We have spoke recently on this channel about greed in game developers, with high priced games and additional features. Star Citizen could be about to take that to the next level with a range of extras available to purchase. Starter packs begin at $54, with the campaign available for an additional $18. The game will also feature an in-game currency players can purchase and superior space crafts fetching up to $3,000. If you’d like access to all ships and privileges from the start there is a ‘Completionist’ package available at $15,000.

Conclusion

In our humble opinion, no video game is worth $15,000, but some wealthy players may be inclined towards the option. At $54 though it is potentially a very exciting game. Maybe don’t hold your breath though they did miss the initial launch date by 3 years and counting.

We hope it does get to us sooner, as we learnt with No Man’s Sky the verdict must remain out. Star Citizen promises to be everything missing from that title but certainly, it’s not there yet.