So I’ve been patiently waiting for the game to get more updates before properly checking it out. And upon loading up the game’s persistent multiplayer universe for the first time, holy shit is the game’s character creator good.
The game starts out by asking you to create one of two unnamed genders, before giving you a choice of the “First Head”. The first head is effectively you picking from a bunch of presets with various skin tones, facial features, eyes, and so forth.
So far, so standard. Star Citizen has pretty high quality models. But what's absolutely sick from that point on is the blending tool, which lets you incorporate entire looks, or individual facial elements from other presets.
Here's one of the original models that Star Citizen offers:
I decided I wanted to see what it looked like if you merged two heads together. You're given a slider for fine adjustments, so you can see what it's like when you merge two sets of mouths, cheeks, ears, eyes, brows, jaws and all together at once.
It's seriously impressive. Using the mousewheel flips between different presets, and you can hover over individual facial elements. Clicking on the eyes will slowly merge their positioning on the face of your new character; likewise with the placement or juttering of the jaw, cheeks and so on.
Even just the animation over individual facial elements is sick. The mesh that appears animates as the cursor moves over the contours, which looks really neat especially on something like the ears, where you have the inner cavity.
From there it's onto a series of hair choices -- which look pretty decent, considering how notoriously difficult hair is to replicate in video games.
As for the actual playable experience of Star Citizen, I'll be leaving that to another article. It's pretty wild when you fire the game up and leave your cabin for the first time, especially since Star Citizen is pretty minimalist about giving you the information you need to know. I'm not at the point yet of answering the question many fans have had for ages -- what's Star Citizen like to actually play these days. But it certainly knows how to impress at points, as you'd expect for something that's generated hundreds of millions of dollars in crowdfunding over several years of development.
Update: I mentioned facial hair choices before, but I meant just regular hair presets. Apologies for the error!