After years of development and criticism, Star Citizen is starting to shape up. During Gamescom Roberts Space Industries showcased the games’ 3.0 alpha build. The alpha gameplay was thoroughly impressive.
The showcase began already showing off features that other space exploration games sorely lack such as the ability to have other players as part of your crew. Not just NPC’s, but actual flesh and blood players who can assume different roles on your ship. In this showcase it was quite simple—a pilot and a co-pilot. Roberts Space Industries promised with their massively successful crowdfunding campaign that complete player crewed ships were coming, and this is certainly a step in the right direction.
Along with showcasing player crews, the presentation quickly transitioned to showing off the star system at large. This star system is complete with large rocky planets, moons, and a wealth of space stations. After quickly traveling to the planet, the pilot entered the atmosphere allowing in a seamless transition. Most noteworthy of mention is the fact that absolutely no loading screens are ever present, allowing for a truly immersive experience.
Up until Gamescom, criticism surrounding Star Citizen was due to the deliberate pace of development. Myself included, most fans were upset at how little progress had seemed to be made with each update, but now we’ve been given actual ground-breaking gameplay that looks to be better than what other simulation games have to offer.
The mission was for the player to recover a black box from a ship that was thought to have been destroyed in lawless space. After leaving the base on the surface of the planet, the two players immediately took off in search of the broken vessel which was orbiting a nearby moon of the planet they had just departed from.
After a brief battle with two pirate vessels, there was a further showcase of the player crewed mechanics. One player manned a turret located atop the ship while the other maintained piloting duties. They successfully closed in on the remains of the ship they were after.
The first-person shooter elements were then showcased as one player exited the ship and proceeded with an EVA (Extravehicular Activity) showcase, floating over to an entrance to the ship that was heavily damaged.
Once again, none of this requires a loading screen. Every transition is seamless and the team over at Roberts Space Industries is rightfully proud of it. After finding the black box and accomplishing the mission, the player receives a video message from the NPC character he took the mission from.
The NPC’s themselves are impressive, showing personality along with their superb voice acting. The character then indirectly suggests the player could theoretically ‘liberate’ any stolen cargo from the pirates locate at their base on a nearby moon.
They conclude the showcase by attacking the pirate base, using both ground and air assault methods. Instead of fighting A.I., they fought actual players in their two-man siege of the moon base which demonstrated combat from multiple perspectives.
Star Citizen is finally starting to show the signs of living up to the hype it caused when it debuted and was subsequently crowd-funded. There is undoubtedly still plenty of work to do, but the future is bright.
More news is sure to come from Roberts Space Industries regarding Alpha 3.0 in the future. I will be keeping up with this build and all future builds. Be sure to check Gamer Professionals for all things Star Citizen in the future.