It's not often that an early access title manages to make waves that continue to permeate the gaming industry for more than a few months. Whether it's the latest in open world zombie survival or an experiment in world creation, these experiences often lack the staying power necessary for promoting growth. Star Citizen exists as an outlier, having held the interest of both gamers and press since its initial announcement.
For much of the time following this announcement, the information coming out of Cloud Imperium Games Corporation was presented with little to no context. New details are one thing, but it's another to see the game in action. Thankfully, Star Citizen fans have been treated to more than a few snapshots of early in-game footage ranging from planetary flight to the game's FPS mechanics. Now, gamers can get a closer look at the game's gorgeous dogfighting gameplay.
Posted by YouTube user Gizimoo86, the video showcases some of the recently released Arena Commander module's finer moments. In a word, it's beautiful. There's something hypnotizing about the fluidity of the ship's movements as it careens through space, firing at opponents. Despite the game being very much an early access title and just recently receiving its first public test universe, it's impossible to deny how polished it looks at a glance. Check out the video below.
In particular, the game's UI - even in its early state - is a thing of beauty. It looks as though players will spend a great deal of their time quickly and erratically maneuvering their way through heated conflicts, but at no point does the interface come across as disorienting. With much of it taking on an almost holographic quality, it adjusts itself and orients itself to keep the player's experience as smooth as possible. Not only that, but the holographic form of the UI gives players a sense of urgency as they whip around floating asteroids.
Whether this early look at Star Citizen's development is enough to make gamers go out and support the game is beside the point. Too many early access titles take overt polish for granted when focusing on the implementation of new features. While Star Citizen is still very far from a complete game, each new module is presented in a manner that gives gamers an idea of what's to come while also establishing a baseline for polish and quality that is to be expected of them.
Having set a Guinness World Record and recently surpassed $63 million raised through crowdfunding, the success of Star Citizen pre-release borders on terrifying. While competition exists on the horizon with EVE: Valkyrie, it's hard to deny the raw power of Chris Roberts' growing behemoth.
Having received a good look at Star Citizen's dogfighting gameplay, have your expectations for the title increased? What would you like to see released alongside the next module?
Star Citizen is available now in very early access form to PC and Linux users. The full game is expected to launch in 2016.