Hardcore PC gamers have been scrambling, begging, pleading for an advanced starfighter simulator to follow in the footsteps of games like Freelancer or Homeworld or Wing Commander. Legendary space-sim game designer Chris Roberts heard your cries, he listened to your pleas, he patted you on the head and said “There, there... Roberts will make it all better.” The Roberts Space Industries and Cloud Imperium Games took it upon themselves to crowd-source the ultimate space simulator and it's called Star Citizen.
The game has received its fair share of criticisms, mostly that after garnering more than $41 million in crowd-funding, the developers would take the money and run off. Well, Roberts has done just the opposite. The CEO of RSI instead took parts of Star Citizen's dogfighting module and demonstrated what was playable in front of a live audience at PAX East.
The video above gives you around 12 minutes of unadulterated gameplay from the module, containing close calls and some spiffy looking visuals that help bring the nuances of space simulation to life.
Having the demonstration take place in front of a live audience was probably one of the smartest things they could have done. I love the reaction from the audience for just about every thing Roberts does, especially during the opening segments and during any close-calls. It was really nice to see that Roberts and crew have gone over and beyond to engage and entetain the very people who are putting money up to fund the game.
But getting back to the game... the thing that really struck me was how visually engaging everything is. I mean, right from the start we see the ladder-climbing animations; we get that snazzy helmet-flipping animation once inside the cockpit. There's the whole thruster-strafing animations as the ship moves up, down, left or right from a stationary position. I also loved the whole pilot g-force effect, as Roberts swung the ship around left and right like a cowboy steering a wild stallion, and the little guy inside the cockpit is just swinging left and right like a middle-class family's finances while trying to work in the American farming industry.
I love the fact that there is a visual representation for every single aspect of interactivity in the game. I absolutely love all of it. This is the space simulator to which every subsequent game in the genre will be measured.
Now at one point, I was worried about the physics systems in Star Citizen and whether the damage models would accurately reflect what was happening to the ship through location-based collisions and damage, but those worries can be laid to rest because the video shows that the team has already ironed out that feature (or at least, they are ironing it out).
I can definitely see where the money is going in this game, and it looks like it's being used in a way to make Star Citizen worth every penny that was put into the project.
While the game is still early on in development, there's definitely lots of promise and progress being made that I think bodes well for the future of Star Citizen.
You can learn more about the game by paying a kind visit to the official website. Star Citizen is expected to launch in 2015.