After years of anticipation, Star Citizen‘s fans and backers now have a sign that their money and patience will pay off. At the Penny Arcade Expo in Boston Massachusetts today, backers of Cloud Imperium Games’ long awaited space simulator got a first look some alpha gameplay footage. Needless to say, the reaction from the crowd was enthusiastic.
The crowd whooped for joy as they watched Chris Roberts demo the game, walking into a hangar and boarding a ship. They cheered as the player character put his helmet on and the hangar doors opened, launching the ship into space.
The demo got off to a rocky start as Roberts, eager to show off the game’s third person camera, wound up crashing into a platform within seconds of launching into space. However, once things finally got underway, fans got to see Star Citizen‘s impressive CryEngine 3-based graphics as well as its immersive cockpit view. The screen lit up with explosions and laser bolts as Roberts demonstrated the game’s dogfighting mechanics. He also demonstrated the game’s simulation of g-force, in which the player’s vision becomes increasingly blurry should he fly his ship past the capabilities of human consciousness.
In the second half of the presentation, Roberts demonstrates the game’s standalone multiplayer dogfighting module, called Arena Commander. It will function as a virtual reality simulator within the game universe, and will be released as a standalone module to Star Citizen backers in the next couple of months along with a handful of ships, levels and modes, such as Free Flight, Squadron Battle, Capture the Core, Battle Royale, and a horde mode called Vanduul Swarm.
Star Citizen has so far received $41 million in crowdfunding. As a reward to backers for helping the game achieve this milestone, Roberts announced that a Procedural Generation R&D Team will be added, allowing for the game universe to receive additional content such as new planets well after release.
Star Citizen is due for release early next year, and will be available for the PC only. The game will also have full support for the upcoming Oculus Rift VR headset.