The creator of Wing Commander and Freelancer, Chris Roberts, has come back from hiatus with quite the ambitious new project in mind, Star Citizen. The game heralds itself as the proof PC gaming is still alive and well, and from the opening sequences of the graphics it’s easy to see how it couldn’t be on anything but.
Star Citizen is set to be a space sim, not dissimilar to Freelancer or Eve Online, which Roberts has no doubt taken some influence from. The player can take a tour of duty and play through a campaign mode called 'Squadron 42' with planned co-op possibilities, which sees you take on missions from the military and progress through a story. Or, and here's the intriguing bit, they can skip it entirely and start the open-universe multiplayer experience right away.
The pre-production graphics look stunning, with massive amounts of vivid detail in the very Battlestar Galactica style ships and Fighters, as well as in the open and expansive interiors of the ships. The scale of the game is, sufficient to say, gloriously huge, with the carrier ship on the prototype level already a good kilometre in size, while space itself will have to accommodate full-3D dogfights for up to anything between 60 to 100 players.
Chris Roberts has described it as the game he’s always wanted to build, and now, thanks to crowd-funding platform Kickstarter, he’s now able to do so. Already having finished and hurdled past the goals set prior, Star Citizen has now amassed over $6.5 million in pledges - Kickstarter's $2.1m combined with the $4.4m from the Roberts Space Industries site - meaning the title has even overtaken Obsidian's 'Project Eternity' for the crowd-funding record. Even so, donations are still being accepted on the game's website, with packages otherwise exclusive to Kickstarter still ready and waiting. Jump in.
Taking up the current trend of subscription-less play (even EA made the jump to F2P with Star Wars: The Old Republic recently), no subscriptions are in sight in Star Citizen. There will however, as is customary, be the option to buy in-game items for real-world money, much in the same way Star Trek Online is currently earning its Federation Credits. Roberts is also backing a constant stream of content updates rather than hefty bi-annual patches. It won’t be an easy game to make that's for sure, and we’re sure Robert’s personal expectation will be high, but the outcome could be exceptional.