An Hour From Star Citizen's Incredibly Ambitious Universe

We saw a brief trailer of Star Citizen's singleplayer efforts, Squadron 42, earlier this week. But how's the broader playable universe coming along?

Over an hour of gameplay from Star Citizen's multiplayer component was shown off at this year's CitizenCon. It starts off fairly routinely: you walk into a bar, have some whisky (only one ice cube, please) and then go through your available contracts.;

There's a bit of audio desync throughout, although you still get a good look at a lot of the quality that's gone into the models, voice acting, animations and other bits and pieces. A metro system between spaceports is shown off at one stage, and then after about 25 minutes the action finally takes off into the skies.

From around 35 minutes in, the action transitions to first-person on foot. A nice grassy savannah is shown off, although Chris Roberts - as he always does - mentioned an idea of having a lush, dense jungle world at one point.

Star Citizen is still well away from approaching anything from what most people would expect from an early access release, let alone a full release. But the gameplay shown this time around is much closer to a vertical slice that you'd expect from other publishers at an E3, Gamescom or some other kind of launch.

It does still raise the spectre of when the developers might rein it in, though. With every extra detail, there's talk about how systems are in their early stages, still the first pass, and so on. You can see part of that particularly in the first-person mission shown about an hour in, where the AI attacks one at a time, presents little threat, and lacks any of the presence or threat you would expect from a normal shooter.

It's nice to see a lot more of this action strung together. It's hard not to have doubts about a project this ambitious, especially given how far development has come. Star Citizen is on track to hit more than $US200 million in crowdfunding this year, and there's still no release date for the singleplayer component, and I don't even want to think about the amount of optimisations still required.

But it's nice to dream. I'm still holding onto my $60 pledge from the original Kickstarter campaign. What that eventually ends up translating into, who knows. It's fun to watch, though.


Comments

    I've got my $45 pledge from years ago so I'll just sit in my corner over here with my fingers in my ears ignoring the naysayers. Really though, I don't keep up with development of SC anymore but I'm quietly hoping it becomes an actual thing and my $45 wasn't a waste. It's my dream game honestly.

    I also try remember games take a while to make, we just don't usually get to see it from the very beginning when it comes to usual AAA titles because they're usually kept behind closed doors until they're ready to show off. Even games like Mass Effect Andromeda took 4 or so years to make and could've used more time in the oven.

      It's been seven years though and a full release is still years away. It looks amazing but... it's empty so far. They set goals and sail right past them and nobody says anything. Talk about vaporware.

        It's not really empty, it's just not complete. I can still load into a space port, request my ship, physically walk to it and get in, set an actual planet as my destination, land on that planet and dock in one of the landing zones, get a quest from an NPC and then head back to my ship, fly around and do missions, get cargo, bring it back and drop it off, go mine asteroids etc. I don't know of any other game that allows me to do that in such a seamless way without menus or loading screens and with me looking through the eyes of my character 100% of the time.

        I've got plenty of other games to play while I wait, I'm in no hurry. It's hardly vaporware when it's actively in development with near daily updates and a recent (and quite impressive) PTU client has just been released.

        If they can pull it off I'll be a happy camper, if they officially cancel it then I'll accept that my $45 on a kickstarter was my gamble to make. Until then I'm happy just to wait and see what happens.

      Yeah same here.
      Knights of the Old Republic MMO took 7 years to develop.

    I don't know what was worse - the glitching NPCs, the empty metro, the boring-as-hell fetch quest, the NPCs apparently dealing no damage, the missing weapons on guards, the (LOL) platforming... You're a visionary, Crobear!

      You realize that IA was not part of the patch 3.3 but new massive location together with OCS? Same for NPC's not being too skilled in order to keep the demo going... Keep pretending an Alpha is superior to a polished released game... :)

        I thought demos were meant to be impressive though...

    I want this game to deliver on its promise so much, and I am also very glad I have not committed any money to it.

    Just please be good.

    I got a small start ship for online along with the Single player game years ago for $45 and also nabbed a small lti ship on sale. Now Just sitting back and will see what happens. I do think some of the ship prices are a bit silly but if a group wants to get together to buy a large ship for themselves then what should I care. Too many upset sensitive people caring about what others do with their own money.

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