Star Citizen To Resurrect The Space Flight Sim Genre
The creator of the highly successful Wing Commander series, Chris Roberts, aims to resurrect the space flight sim genre with his hugely ambitious and crowd funded Star Citizen.
Having been hugely popular in the early 1990s (and not forgetting Elite in the 80s), the genre has since fallen into abyss. Roberts’ last attempt was Freelancer back in 2003 which was received with favourable reviews but never achieved any significant commercial success.
Star Citizen is an open world that allows you to play either as part of an MMO environment, or you can enlist in the military and play out a structured campaign similar to the Wing Commander series. The overarching goal of the game is to obtain citizenship although how you do this is completely up to you. As well as the military service option (see the SQUADRON 41 trailer) you can also acquire citizenship through the privateer style missions or just earning enough money through missions/trade/piracy to buy it outright.
A few key features of the game have already been revealed. Players will have the freedom to roam around space stations and even the interior of their ships where they can be joined by friends who can man the turrets. Players can even group up online for dangerous journeys into the outer fringes of space, with one friend owning a huge ship that the others can dock into when not in combat. Players can even land their ships on the hulls of other space stations and roam around the outside.
The universe itself seems to be very much a melding of both the Privateer, Wing Commander and Freelancer titles, hoping to offer a little something to everyone. The game will be played out against a backdrop of a constantly evolving and updating universe, with the expectations that new content should be a weekly/monthly feature that will keep the universe growing and expanding. Added to that are the customisation options that you can apply to your ship to create a bespoke craft best suited to your field of work within the universe.
Roberts’ overall focus on this title is the absolute freedom you will receive in a persistent universe with plenty of scope for future expansion after the initial release. Whilst the title will require an initial purchase, there will be no subscription fee. Instead a micro-finance economy (similar to Guild Wars 2) will be implemented whereby players can purchase and upgrade optional extras or just top up their bank balance to give them the edge in combat and trading.
The in-game economy is designed to be as reactive as possible to what players do throughout the world, and there are even plans to allow players to create and sell their own in-game content, even designing and selling their own space ship from the ground up, with a cut obviously going to the developers.
With Star Citizen having been developed over the past year with a modified version of CryEngine 3, there are still a few years to go before the finished product is finally launched. But Roberts’ is hoping to have a playable release made available at some point next year to significant backers of the project. It would seem that the scale, detail and scope of this title are suitably epic for a game set in space, the cockpits in particular are exceptionally well detailed. But these are early days yet and the success of this title will rely heavily on how well the crowd funding goes over the next few weeks.
The crowdfunding itself is taking place outside of the usual Kickstarter begging bowl, and is being done directly from http://robertsspaceindustries.com/star-citizen/.
Source: The Verge