Today is a good day for both PC gamers and fans of the dying genre which is space sims as Wing Commander creator Chris Roberts has finally unveiled his latest project. After pulling out of the games industry for a bit to focus on other efforts such as creating films, the man responsible for one of the best space sim franchises to ever be released is making a strong comeback that could provide one of the most anticipated PC games to be released in the past decade.
Teased ever so slightly last month, today served as the official reveal of Star Citizen - a new PC game that is essentially a spiritual successor of Wing Commander. Built using CryEngine 3, Star Citizen is aiming to provide a deep space sim experience that’s not only built around intense space battles but also utilizes user-generated content to propel a MMO style world.
Chris Roberts may have been out of the video game scene for a while, but he’s making a rather epic comeback based on what Star Citizen is striving to achieve. Besides offering space battles which feature location specific vehicle damage, the game will also allow gamers to roam outside of their ships to engage enemies, presumably in ship vs. pilot and pilot vs. pilot combat, along with making every moment unknown since it’s possible to either have your ship stolen from you or steal a ship that catches your eye.
It may seem like Roberts and his team are biting off more than they can chew with Star Citizen, but I think its safe to say that space sim enthusiasts are excited to see what the final result will be. Having to juggle a series of mechanics and a game which includes offline co-op could result in a few things being muddled, but I think Roberts is more than dedicated to not only reigniting the space sim genre but making it clear that PC gaming isn’t going anywhere in the future.
Going for a style that seems like the natural evolution of Wing Commander, sadly sans a killer feline based species, the game looks amazing so far - both from an art direction and graphics perspective since the assets look near film level quality. Not going for a more daring style may be disappointing to see amongst some gamers, though there’s a chance we could see designs that are more out there since Star Citizen won’t be confined to one district of space.
The only downside of Star Citizen is that it won’t be coming out until 2014. Roberts and his team didn’t prematurely announce the game as work has been done on the project and will be open to testing some time next year. So unless something drastic happens we won’t see the game suddenly be delayed half a dozen times as we often see these days.
From how everything is shaping up so far it looks like Star Citizen will be the Wing Commander, Battlestar Galactica, Colony Wars game we always wanted to play.