Star Citizen Unveils First Public Demo

Star Citizen‘s gameplay footage has finally been showcased at PAX East, much to the excitement of space sim fans.

Sometimes it feels like news coverage about Star Citizen is focused entirely on the money it’s raking in, or to mix things up, on what it’s doing with that money. But at the end of the day, we’re supposed to be looking forward to Wing Commander‘s spiritual successor, complete with engaging aerial dogfights. Thankfully, PAX audiences got the chance to see how Star Citizen‘s gameplay is shaping up, thanks to a demo where just getting into the cockpit gave as much of a thrill as combat.

First off, in case you were wondering, Star Citizen‘s visuals do look impressive for the demo provided here. Whether that appeal is worth the millions of dollars poured into the project is subjective, but this is still an early build, so additional improvements should be forthcoming. The space sim gameplay, however, is well underway with complete 3D movement, high-speed combat, and even a slick auto-targeting system. Just be very mindful of your cameras so you don’t fly into a landing pad, like the presenter does within seconds of leaving his hangar.

Of more interest to me are the subtle nuances Star Citizen adds to the space sim experience. As a character flying the ship, rather than the ship itself, players are subject to G-forces that can impair vision, even to the point of blacking out. Also, individual ship components can be damaged and affect overall performance, most notably the thrusters that direct your craft. While these features are technically hindrances, they should also go a long way towards immersing players into the game world. We still have at least a year before Star Citizen gets its final release, but given how the demo performs so far, I expect the game’s remaining Alpha Slots will disappear rather quickly.

Source: kigamitya, via Joystiq

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