The update's (version 0.9) biggest new feature is the introduction of the Murray Cup Racing Mode, which gives players the opportunity to race their pledge ships with friends (or random players). Up until now, the Arena Commander module has been focused on either space exploration or good old-fashioned dogfighting, but this new update introduces another wrinkle into the experience.
Other highlights of update 0.9 include a friend codes system whereby players can connect with friends in public and private matches, an update to the HUD's usability so players can customize it mid-flight, and new hangars that include a forward-looking room and an asteroid hangar. There's also a completely new co-op experience called Vanduul Swarm releasing with the update that pits you and a friend (or competitor) against hoards of aliens.
- Murray Cup Racing Mode: As shown at Gamescom, players can now race their pledge ships in a specially designed upper-atmospheric scenario!
- Vanduul Swarm Co-Op: Take on the alien hoards with a friend, or competitor!
- Flyable M50 and 350R: The M50 and the 350R have been readied for flight to kick off the race mode. These ships will now be flyable in all Arena Commander game modes.
- Friend Codes: We’re launching a code system for both private and public matches so you can connect with your wingmen.
- Updated Ship Performance: We’ve increased the speed and acceleration of every ship. With this we’ve also reworked the afterburner mechanic to increase acceleration instead of top speed.
- HUD Update: We’ve overhauled the usability of the visor HUD interface so you can customize your ships systems much more easily in flight.
- New Hangars: We’ve re-mastered all of Star Citizen’s Hangars with the new forward-looking room system and added the Asteroid Hangar.
- 6DOF: With the improvements to the IFCS and flight physics we are now ready to introduce 6DOF movement for an entirely new way to fly.
In keeping with the racing theme, Cloud Imperium has also released a new commercial (seen above) for Star Citizen that takes its inspirations from the popular BBC series Top Gear. Yes, using Top Gear for racing games is a bit clichéd at this point, but not when we're talking about space ships.
This particular trailer also highlights the M50 Racer that was added to Star Citizen back in August. The ship boasts a sleek, yet colorful, design and will perfect in the Murray Cup.
Of course, the Star Citizen train doesn't stop with this latest update – not even close. Since racking in record-breaking sums of money through crowd funding, Cloud Imperium and Roberts Space Industries have held true to their promise of keeping fans in the loop and rewarding their loyalty with cool stuff. The dogfighting module was delayed a few times, but now that it's out gamers are finally getting just a small taste of what Cloud is going for. And as they can see, that was only just the beginning.
What new feature are you most excited about from update 0.9? Are there any experiences you hope are added to Star Citizen's Arena Commander module?
Star Citizen should officially release sometime next year.