Playing through the Jumptown 2.0 Contraband event this weekend rekindled my love of Star Citizen. We assembled a party of nine pilots from across the Oceanic region and took to space with the intent of making a lot of aUEC, the in-game currency, and we got a lot more.
My gunship and I hovered in over-watch of our small ground team as our fighter escort circled. “A2 Descending!” echoed across the comms, and a moment later, a blinding explosion annihilated our ground crew and our A2 that we had been loading full of Contraband.
An A2 Hercules Starlifter had successfully swooped in and dropped its nuclear payload. What ensued was an hour-long scramble of ships and a fleet battle bigger than anything I had been a part of to date.
Star Citizen has a long and complicated development history. A game that started as nothing more than a Kick Stater dream willed into existence by Wing Commanders Chris Roberts; has raised $485 million (USD).
Since its humble beginnings, Star Citizen has gone from nothing more than a virtual ship in a virtual hanger to a fully-fledged space game. It’s truly awe-inspiring to think of the game’s scale and just where it’s going moving forward.
About The Game
Star Citizen’s scale is enormous, and in my opinion, there’s nothing that comes close in gaming. You can wander the plaza of New Babbage, fly between planets, land and trade – all without ever seeing a loading screen.
Whilst you could draw comparisons with something like No Man’s Sky, it doesn’t come close in terms of fidelity. Having a ship that you can fly and walk around in whilst it’s in-flight between planets is something I’ve yet to see in any other title.
In its current state Star Citizen is limited to a single-star system, but you’ll never be without something to do. There are plenty of missions to keep you busy, trading opportunities to grow your wealth, and if exploration is more your speed – you can do that too.
Stanton, the game’s current system, is littered with moons populated with both marked and unmarked locations. The moons are complemented by three capital cities, each on planets of their own which are explorable in their own right.
It is expected that a new star system named Pyro will be added to the game later this year or in the “4.0” version of the game’s Alpha. Pyro is a lawless and desolate system crippled by a prolonged nova phase. Piracy will be the name of the game in Pyro, and with significant risk will come great reward.
What’s Next For Star Citizen
The next revision of Star Citizen Alpha, 3.17.2, is currently undergoing testing in the Public Test Universe (PTU). Updates in PTU are close to release and are undergoing refinement and testing for game-breaking bugs.
More recently, Star Citizen has made significant strides in developing its underlying technology, Object Container Streaming (OCS). OCS is one of the most significant steps toward making the fully persistent universe a reality. This will, with some luck, culminate in real-time server meshing allowing for massive player counts.
Whilst OCS has allowed for long-term persistence; it’s not without its imperfections. In fact, for 3.17.2, players can expect a total wipe across the board on everything but reputation. Some people are more upset about this than others, but the reality is that this is an alpha, and Cloud Imperium will wipe everything for the final release anyway.
This update will bring a raft of exciting updates to the Stanton system. All new derelict ships that players will find both in space and on the surface of planets. Colonial outposts, populated by NPCs and a brand new event called The Seige of Orison.
The Seige of Orison is likely the most significant addition to the game, which will take players out of their ships and introduce them into an FPS environment. You’ll head into an otherwise lawless area of the floating cloud city and help Crusader Security clear out the criminal element.
Free Fly Event (7-18 July)
Now is your chance if you’ve wanted to try out Star Citizen but didn’t want to foot the $49 USD bill. Star Citizen is running a free fly event from July 7th to July 18th, in which you can jump into the action free of charge.
This free-fly period will coincide with the in-universe Foundation Festival, which will encourage players to participate in activities hosted by in-game factions.
Full Disclaimer, It’s An Alpha
Whilst Star Citizen has come leaps and bounds in the last year, and it’s worth noting that this game is in Alpha. It is an Alpha in its truest form, and you should fully expect to find weird, wonderful, whacky and sometimes infuriating bugs.
This game isn’t for everyone, but even if your ship decides to Quantum Travel through a planet-killing you, your crew and imploding your costly cargo, you can still have a lot of fun.
Why Join Now
Star Citizen has had a divisive history, with some claiming it’s just a cash cow for a game that will never eventuate. Some people have been waiting since the game went to Kickstarter in 2012 to see its release. Whilst there’s a lot of criticism, it is worth noting the ambitious intent of the game.
Star Citizen aims to be a fully realised universe with hundreds of locations, planets and moons to explore. Players can take to the skies in ships ranging from snub fighters to massive multi-crew capital ships that will be available to players in the game.
Joining now means you’ll get to participate in this now, albeit on a smaller scale.