Where it all starts.
With Star Citizen Alpha 2.0 being released last week, I thought it would be a good idea to examine the game in its current state to see what’s been added in 2.0. It’s been a long road to get to this point but the wait has been well worth it in my opinion. There are some issues of course, this is an alpha, but it’s fun nonetheless.
Alpha 2.0’s main attraction is the so called “Universe”. Loading it up we’re taken to Port Olisar, a space station orbiting the planet Crusader. It doesn’t contain much except the makeshift “hotel” room you spawn in, a bunch of terminals to call your ship from, and the landing pads. There are 4 flight decks in total, with 10 pads on each (2 are dedicated for large ships). The port is fairly sizable, which you can see in the picture above.
Corvalex Shipping Hub
There are about 20 different locations to jump to in the Universe so far. A lot of them are copy/paste “Comm Array’s” where you’ll get caught in the middle of a skirmish between some space pirates and some form of space security. Once you’ve disposed of the pirates, you’ll be asked to exit your ship and EVA (extra vehicular activity) down into the comm array and restart it.
Hopping out of your ship and drifting in space is incredibly exciting the first few times you do it. In all of the space games I’ve played, I’ve been a ship. Here though, for the first time, I’m a man inside of a ship. That right there is the biggest accomplishment of 2.0 in my opinion.
Another main destination is Kareah Outpost. A dedicated on foot combat space to practice the first person shooter aspect of the game. A little lackluster, but hey, it’s in alpha and this is the first implementation of it.
The last spot I’m going to touch on is the “Corvalex Shipping Hub”. You’ll get an email when you first boot up the Universe with instructions to head over there to do a little mission. I won’t spoil anything, but it’s pretty cool to explore.
This has to be both the best and worst part about the 2.0 update. Flying my Constellation Andromeda is a beautiful thing. The ship is incredibly detailed, functional and just downright cool. It is a multi-crew ship capable of having 5 crew members controlling the turrets and ship functions such as shields and sensors.
Just look at this beauty:
The problem then, is that it has been impossible to get my friends into the same server instance as me. For an update that has touted multi-crew ships as a big feature, they’re almost impossible to use to their potential. Hopefully this will be addressed in the 2.1 update, but as of right now, don’t bother trying to play with friends unless you want a night filled with frustration and disappointment.
Typical way a game session is ended.
I would describe the stability of the Universe as hit and miss. There was a day where I was able to play for about 2 hours straight. Tonight I was crashing every twenty minutes. Yesterday I couldn’t even get into a game. I have no hard feelings about this, though. I didn’t pay for a finished game. Thankfully, I haven’t seen too much gripe about this in the forums either. The biggest concern going seems to be the inability to play with friends. Rightfully so.
Overall, this has been the biggest and most exciting update to Star Citizen. It is starting to feel like the game I’ve been waiting over two years for, and I couldn’t be happier. Well, joining a friends game would make me happier, but I’m not going to get too greedy. This is a big step for the game, and it shows that 2016 is going to be a very exciting year. I mean, you guys saw that procedurally generated Pupil to Planet video, right? Here’s that in practice.