In a nutshell, Star Citizen is an upcoming space sim video game. It will consist of two main components: First-Person space combat, mining and trading with first-person shooter elements in a massively multiplayer persistent universe. Squadron 42 is the single-player campaign and is being released as a separate title.
Star Citizen vs Squadron 42
You've probably heard them used together. Simply put, Star Citizen is the massively multiplayer persistent universe game title. It is a sandbox where players can choose their destiny. Squadron 42 is the story-driven single-player/co-operative multiplayer campaign. Two separate titles, same game universe and they tie in together with each other.
In Squadron 42, players will take on the role of a rookie UEE Navy combat pilot. The game will consist of and be released in 3 episodes. The first episode, due out in 2016, will have 70 missions which will total up to roughly 20 hours of game play. The story line in non-linear and is set to allow players multiple solutions to complete each mission, choosing their story. The captivating story of Squadron 42 will be reinforced with experienced professional actors and stunning cinematics. With an all star cast with names like Gillian Anderson, John Rhys-Davies, Mark Hamill, and Gary Oldman Star Citizen is sure to deliver a single-player campaign that hasn't been experienced in well over a decade, putting it light-years ahead of other competing titles.
Do you want to know more about gameplay aspects?
Here are some, but not all, roles that can be played in Star Citizen:
- bounty hunter
- Passenger Transport
Realistically, if you can dream it, you can do it. If you want to be a gunner on a larger ship and that's all you want to do, you can do it. If you want to be a dedicated space marine that sits onboard a ship and acts as physical security waiting for a gunfight to break out, be my guest. You don't even have to fly ships – you can stay on a planet or a space station and play the game. Star Citizen takes the space simulation genre to an entirely unprecedented level and breaks down walls put up by other space sim titles.
About the Game Universe
From the Official Website:
From the website:
Star Citizen offers an ever-expanding galaxy that players will navigate and build. Be the first to set your eyes on untold astral wonders.
Navigate treacherous spaceways to discover secret pirate bases. Cross militarized frontiers to deal with alien merchants.
Join the raging battle lines between human fighter pilots and Vanduul raiders in the depths of space. Locate lost derelicts and xeno-artifacts and priceless commodities in hundreds of ports and locations beyond.
The world size will be roughly 120 star systems, each with various numbers and types of planets, moons, and asteroid belts. Star Citizen will also implement procedural generation. In most cases, this technology will be used to initially create each planet. Once the planet is satisfactory via procedural generation tweaking, cities, star ports, and other locations will be hand crafted by cig's world designers. Check out the video on Procedural Generation in Star Citizen.
When does the game come out?
Star Citizen (persisent multiplayer universe) is anticipated to have the core gameplay functionality complete in 2021 or 2022. Squadron 42's first episode should be released in 2021. Cloud Imperium Games has had a bad history of not meeting set dates so they have stopped publishing specific dates that are too far out to be accurate. Ultimately, the game will be complete when it is complete. It's a massive undertaking and a lot of people consider Star Citizen and Squadron 42 to be the most ambitious game development endeavour of all time.
Parts of the game are already out and playable. It is being released and tested in modules. There are currently four modules that are released and available to anyone who has a game package:
- arena commander – Provides players with an arena-style gameplay where they can participate in various forms of PvP dogfighting, racing, and some PvE cooperative gameplay. Rental Equipment Credits (REC) are earned in the “Spectrum Match” area of Arena Commander and are used to rent ship components and even a nice assortment of ships can be rented.
- Star Marine – Provides players with an arena-style first person shooter gameplay. This is a great location to learn how the FPS mechanics work, what armor and weapons work well for your play style, and just how the FPS game play feels.
- Hangars – The Hangar module allows a player to enter into a solo hangar and load in any ships they own and tour them. There are a few hangar accessories available to spawn in and look at. This was the first module released.
- Crusader/Persistent Test Universe (PTU) – This is a test module for the glue that will hold the universe together. Players start off in a space station orbiting a gas giant planet and can spawn ships that they own or board another player's ship and fly around in a limited universe. The area consists of several communication relay stations, service stations Port Olisar (and orbital space port) and a few other locations. Distances are quite large – hundreds of thousands of kilometers – and require players to engage the Quantum Drive (20% light speed) to reach the various destinations. PvP and PvE encounters abound in this test module to include first-person shooter encounters. Players are tasked with a number of missions that grows with each patch.
What's up with the game packages? How is this game funded?
Game Packages used to be called “Pledges”. The game is crowdfunded by players buying game packages, additional ships, equipment, and a variety of Star Citizen/Squadron 42 “swag”. The game is currently at over $300 million in funding and over 2.7 million players and those numbers grow by the minute.
Here's are the steps to get started:
- Get Star Citizen Today. This link has a referral code that will reward you an additional 5,000 UEC to spend ingame on weapons and stuff. UEC are “permanent” in that anything bought with those credits you get to keep forever.
- Choose from one of these two game packages. The $45 Aurora LN. It's a basic ship but that's all you need to start. If you want a smaller but more aggressive looking ship, the mustang Alpha game package can be had for $45. You are, of course, not locked into either of these ships and can choose to purchase a more expensive game package but please read on before you do that. You can also upgrade your starter ship to a more expensive ship in the future.
“Some of these ships cost hundreds of dollars!”
Luckily, it doesn't have to be that way. You can get into the game for as little as $45 and still fly a solid selection of those expensive ships. All for $45.
The Aurora LN game package gives you access to the currently released game test modules, Squadron 42 (single player story campaign, when released), and the full game of Star Citizen. For $45, you are getting a AAA title.
The Aurora isn't a bad starter ship. It can be fitted and configured to perform most roles in the game: Combat, Mining, Transport (cargo or passenger), Exploration, Bounty Hunting, Recon. While it'll never be a master of any of those roles, it can be outfitted to perform any of those roles. Really your imagination is the limit and that is what makes it a great ship to start out with and get a taste of all the game has to offer. Furthermore, most backers only have a starter ship. As shown by this census data taken in 2014 of the Star Citizen playerbase, 43% of players had the Aurora and according to chris roberts roughly 60-70% of players only have a starter ship. This trend of most players being a single ship owner has continued through 2020.
Other Ship Options
There are other ship options. Some are more expensive. There is a $45 Mustang Alpha game package. The ship is smaller but more aggressive but less suited for non-combat roles.
Of course you can go more expensive, but do you really want to? Ships can be earned by actually playing the game and buying them with in-game currency (aUEC). While nobody is certain how much time will be required to purchase a larger ship in-game, a lot of people are holding off.
You can upgrade your ship, too.
You aren't stuck with the ship you buy, either. There's no buyer's remorse. “I should have gotten THAT ship instead.” There's always ship upgrades. Say you spend $45 now on an Aurora but you really want that Hornet F7C. The ship's cost $35 and $110 respectively (no game package, just the ship). The Ship Upgrade option allows you to just pay the difference and trade the Aurora in for the Hornet.