Dreams of Star Citizenship

For many people, Star Citizen is the game. Or maybe, to put it better, at this moment Star Citizen is a dream of the game for a lot of people. See, the game called Star Citizen doesn't strictly exist, not as a complete, playable game, at least.  It exists as huge, alpha state public releases, which showcase some of the elements of the game, but not nearly even close all that is planned for the game. The current iteration of Star Citizen (version 1.3) shows some PvP flying in the form of racing and combat done through Arena Commander, hangar spaces with barely interactive ships in them (you can open doors, get in, sit down in the cockpit or lay down in the sleep pod) and a huge city structure called ArcCopr, where people can finally see other people walking down the streets and driving small, two-seater buggies. And when that's said out loud, it doesn't really sound that much of a game with a budget about 100 million dollars, all crowd funded. But while it doesn't sound much YET, that all is just a first stepping stone to something that aims to be much more ambitious when it's ready.

What Star Citizen aims to be is not a mere space sim. It aims to be a real, breathing digital world, where people can take their ships and fly where ever they want among the hundred or so mapped star systems. They can fight, trade, explore, all that things you can do in Elite Dangerous as well, but they also aim to be a tad more human in their touch from the get-go: you also have the ability to leave your ship to explore the planets and bases on foot. You can stop your ship in space and go on an EVA. And then there's the thing that Elite lacks: a single player mission called Squadron 42, with a star-studded cast from Gillian Andrson and Mark Hamil to Gary Oldman.
Yes, it's virtual Gary Oldman. Sadly not playable, but maybe there will be an action figure?

But, as I said, Star Citizen is nowhere ready yet. What there is now is hardly even bare bones. It's a basis for something that has the potential but hasn't yet realized it. It's pretty to look at but very shallow to use. The Arena Commander part is the most playable thing about it at the moment, but only if you are in PvP and are willing to spend some time generating the in-game currency you can use to rent better ships, so you won't be decimated immediately you enter the arena with those players who have used actual money to get biggest and the worst combat ships in the game (and when you say that out loud, it's no wonder some think SC is a pay to win game, which the devs have assured is not the case. After the release, everyone has the chance to get the same ships with in-game currency. We'll see in time.).

If you've kept tabs on game news, you'll also be aware that there have been some rumblings about the finances of Star Citizen. That's not surprising, considering how long it already has been since the game was originally funded and how much the game itself has grown in size and in ambition. Are they running out of money? Who knows but them. But at least they do seem to have a schedule in mind for the release. The single player Squadron42 should be released next year, and the more ambitious backer alpha, 2.0, should be released soonish (though exactly when is anyone's guess).

It's easy to see why some people are a bit afraid. There's a lot of variables here that can go wrong, a lot of different parts that might end up sucking or poorly implemented. A lot of things that can break the game and end up on the cutting room floor. Game devs have tried to do something as ambitious as SC is before and most of them have failed. It's definitely a huge task and despite they would pull it off, in the end, I can see people still being disappointed with it. There are so high expectations and some people already have built an image of the game in their minds and that image might end up difficult to fit on the finished product.

Some people like to think Star Citizen will end up like this
So, I guess, you might be wondering should you take a plunge with Star Citizen. And honestly, no, if you are expecting something that is ready and playable. If you don't want to see how the sausage is made, you'd do well to stay away, at least for now. Maybe, if  2.0 brings in a significant amount of real interactivity like the devs have promised, then yes. But now, if you just want a space game that you can play, I can't recommend it. Go with Elite, or if you don't like that, try the X games.

If you do however feel that you want it and don't shy away from bugs and a game in production, then I guess I can give a yes with a warning. Don't go for the most expensive packs, that's a path to folly. Even if you have a lot of money to spare, buying expensive digital ships just isn't the right way to spend it, even if it's your money and you have the right to spend it in any way you please. So don't be silly and spend a mint of dough on it. If you get burned, get at least burned with an amount that doesn't mean a difference between paying your rent or getting thrown out of your apartment. Besides, if you really want to, you can always pour in more money later if you so feel.

So that's what Star Citizen is at the moment. It's not something very concrete at the moment, not to the public at least. But it is a dream. And sometimes dreams come true.

If you want it, you can get it directly from Cloud Imperium Games. Oh, and if you do decide to get it, you can use this referral code: STAR-G4R9-XLR3