Thursday, June 27, 2013
But now I'm finally feeling well enough to write logically and not grunt and snuffle like a zombie. It's Thursday, and that means game spotlight!
For the longest time, my dad wanted to be a commercial airline pilot. While he never saw that dream to completion, he did spend enough time with airplanes to get his pilot's license (which I've heard is yours for life once you get it) and told me and my siblings about it quite often over the years. I'm acrophobic (extremely afraid of heights), but I've always loved airplanes. When I was twelve, I wanted to fly B2 Wing bomber planes and then choppers for the military when I was about fourteen or fifteen. I decided pretty quickly that a) I wouldn't be able to physically take military training and b) that the thought of being blown up by a SAM wasn't exactly wonderful. Even so, I still want to learn how to fly someday.
That's the audience that Chris Roberts knows how to address.
Most non-gamers and even a few gamers have never heard of Mr. Roberts, which is kind of a shame since the guy practically invented the space simulation game genre. Wing Commander, Privateer, those are franchises he designed. And now we can add Star Citizen to that list.
Star Citizen is an MMO whose emphasis is on getting your bird, flying it, and not getting shot down. According to IGN, "The game brings the visceral action of piloting interstellar craft through combat and exploration to a new generation of gamers at a level of fidelity never before seen. It offers a complete universe where any number of adventures can take place, allowing players to decide their own game experience. Pick up jobs as a smuggler, pirate, merchant, bounty hunter, or enlisted pilot. A huge sandbox with a complex and deep lore allows players to explore or play in whatever capacity they wish."
The game calls for players to "Immerse [themselves in] high quality, cutting-edge visuals and technology, a virtual world that is massive and detailed, a sophisticated storyline that is wide in scope, and visceral space combat that will make your heart pound." (IGN)
Like many other projects that are looking for direct consumer funding, Roberts took Star Citizen on Kickstarter. It's a strategy that's worked amazingly for him so far, earning $10 million and counting from gamers eager to be part of the project. Critics are jokingly serious that Roberts could easily afford his own universe now.
If the funding keeps up this brisk pace, he could probably own two.
Probably the biggest aspect of Star Citizen is ship customization. I mean, when you play flight simulation you spend most - if not all - of your time staring at your ship. It might as well look perfectly sick, right? Roberts Space Industries (the company developing the game) shared a lot of info with PCGamer concerning this vital area of the game and, needless to say, it's a bit complicated. Concisely speaking (and all quoted material is courtesy of PCGamer)...
1. "Customization...rewards ingenuity and mechanical understanding over stat vs. stat showdowns"
2. There are multiple components required to mod ships (like power consumption, heat load, mass, CPU, durability, etc.), but it's been built in such a way that there's no micromanaging during combat.
3. As opposed to EVE Online - a longstanding space flight simulation MMO - the intricate systems management required in Star Citizen is entirely optional.
4. There are 14 customizable parts to all ships, including: afterburners, hull, avionics, main thrusters, and intake, among others.
If you'd like more specific information on all of this stuff, check out this article at PCGamer. It's pretty interesting stuff.
All in all, Star Citizen looks like a pretty solid game, and I'm definitely interested in seeing if it will be a big competitor to EVE or if it will splutter and not reach the level that is EVE. I say it a lot, but only because it's true: time will tell.
Star Citizen will be available on PC (not sure about Mac, yet) sometime in 2014. An official release date has not been set yet.
DISCLAIMER!: Star Citizen has not yet been rated by the ESRB, but the target rating is T for Teen or higher.
For more information on the game, you can visit the developer's website (which is currently experience an update blackout). And if you'd like to check out the competitor - EVE - then you can click here to find out more.
Now let's hope the flu bug stays away for good and doesn't come back to haunt me, as it usually likes to do. =P
- Edessa, signing off