Friday, 7 November 2014

Lower those expectations for Star Citizen.....for a while anyway



Star Citizen has been rocketing through it's crowd funding campaign like no other, in fact it is and has been for a while now a record breaking campaign and will no doubt be on top of that list for quite some time.  There are far too many reasons to list why this game which isn't even close to releasing yet has garnered such a massive fan following but just looking here at the funding goals page shows the extremely ambitious goals which the team at CIG or Cloud Imperium Games have ahead of them.

Now this isn't a post to knock the team or what they are trying to achieve.  My opinion on Star Citizen is that it will kick the shit out of every other space game out there hands down....if it can do everything it sets out to do.  The thing is that many fans of the game seem to be dreaming up their own scenarios of what you can do in the Star Citizen universe.  People seem to think you will be able to walk into a bar and watch player ships land and unload cargo or explore the entire city on a planet or perform complex tasks with your ships that are way beyond the scope of the game.

It's not to say the game won't be doing some pretty impressive things not seen before in a space sim title.  The very fact that you will be able to walk around massive capital ships that are fully modelled inside that allow you to traverse them and operate their systems (within reason) is a cool idea and all of this while it's in a combat situation with the ship making evasive manoeuvres.  This kind of movement is hard to do right in a multiplayer environment since the programming requires the avatar and ship to stay in sync with each other as they move independently of each other.  We have seen this working twice now and both videos are only early days. 

My point in this post is to not get your hopes up too high though when the game launches next year. A project like this needs to take baby steps to ensure that everything is working as it should be, so I wouldn't be surprised to find the initial Star Citizen launch to be pretty slim on content comparatively.  I can however see a ton of people losing their shit on the forums and decrying the game as a scam when it does launch and it doesn't have every single tiny feature mentioned in the many videos, Q&A sessions, conventions and more.  Some people have for whatever reason dove straight into the game and created their own version of the game before it's even released and this version for them is very fragile.

Other people seem to have this weird way of looking at things from a gameplay versus realism perspective.  Now yes you can't really have realism in a game involving alien species, faster than light travel, terraforming and laser cannons but bear with me here.  The recent first person module had some very brief footage of a player assisting a soldier when he was wounded and used a healing tool of some sorts which used a blue light beam graphic.  This has caused some players to now call out the developers for making the game too arcade like and that the realism should take priority.  Heeling beems!? Imerrsun breking four me! As this retard OP puts it the game would break immersion should this blue beam be kept and that instead the medical procedures be more realistic.  Yeah because players want to play doctor and not fly spaceships and earn cash for bigger, better ships.  Others agree with him and these are the kind of players I am talking about who will lose their shit when the game launches and their little fragile world in their head will shatter.

Clearly for a majority though we know what we are going to get, which is a space game that has all the classic elements such as mining, piracy, bounty hunting, exploring, trading, fighting and crafting but it will also allow us to raid ships in first person, explore planets (again within reason) on foot after landing, rescue players adrift in space, ferry passengers too and from destinations, smuggle information and intercept signals for profit, scavenge wrecks for salvage, run a luxury liner and more.  It's a pretty impressive list and caters to pretty much any kind of play you want to experience.  The things that some people want to do are very odd and over the top that wouldn't really add to the experience such as surgeon minigames, hanging around in spacer bars, stowaway on other players ships and kill the crew or have NPC crew be blackmailed or paid off to kill players.  Some of the idea's are pretty fucked up really, like the stowaway idea which just screams serial killer to me.

In closing yes Star Citizen will be a great game when it does finally arrive but remember to temper your expectations a lot.  In the end it's a PC game that will no doubt have bugs, glitches and crashes which won't be shocking given the complexity of the title.  Your money has been spent on making the game better in the long term and a lot of things that have been mentioned or described may not be there at launch but it doesn't mean they won't be there eventually.  And remember you can always quench that space sim thirst with a copy of Elite Dangerous which is out this year and if you are really, truly desperate for some space gaming you could try EVE, but I wouldn't recommend it.  Hell even X-Rebirth is better, but only just.

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