Chris Robert’s Star Citizen has been under fire following a report from The Escapist that accused Roberts Space Industry of mishandling money gathered from crowd-funding, mistreating employees, and various delays. Some of the controversy surrounding the PC space simulator game may have been wiped out Saturday thanks to a CitizenCon presentation Twitch livestream featuring an all-star line-up of actors for the Squadron 42 single-player campaign plus new updates to the overall game.
If there was any question about where the $92 million raised through crowd-funding went in Star Citizen, Roberts Space Industries spared no expense when it came to the cast for Squadron 42 who lend their voices and perform the motion capture work. Gary Oldman gets top billing as Admiral Ernst Bishop, a leader and tactician that evokes memories of Alexander the Great, Hannibal, and Patton, according to the character bio.
Oldman is no stranger to video games as he most recently did voice work in LEGO Dimensions, but has also appeared in the Call of Duty series as Viktor Reznov as well as Medal of Honor and Spyro the Dragon games.
The opening cinematic for Squadron 42 features Oldman’s Bishop giving a speech to the United Empire of Earth Senate urging the empire to war with the alien Vanduul. The result won’t fool anyone into thinking they are seeing something from Hollywood, but it is high quality work for video games with Oldman’s expressions clearly coming through down to the wrinkles on his skin.
Oldman will be joined by other Hollywood talent such as Gillian Anderson of X-Files fame, Mark Hamill from Star Wars, Andy Serkis and John Rhys Davies from Lord of the Rings, and Mark Strong from Kingman: The Secret Service.
Other cast members listed include Sophie Wu (Kick Ass), Sandi Gardiner, Craig Fairbrass (Eastenders), Liam Cunningham (Game Of Thrones), Ben Mendlesohn (Dark Knight Rises), Ian Duncan, Jack Huston (Boardwalk Empire), Rhona Mitra (Shooter), Gemma Whelan (Game of Thrones), and Harry Treadway (Control). The characters of the cast beyond Oldman has not been announced yet.
Star Citizen: Squadron 42 is currently slated for a 2016 release following a delay from the original 2015 planned release. It is described as a spiritual successor to Robert’s Wing Commander franchise with development led by his brother, Erin Roberts, at the Foundry 42 studio located in the United Kingdom. The brothers previously worked together on Wing Commander and Privateer 2: The Darkening.
A website dedicated to Squadron 42 was launched Saturday along with pre-orders for the game.
Star Citizen Alpha 1.3
Roberts Space Industries also detailed two future alpha updates to the persistent universe part of Star Citizen. It starts with a 1.3 update with the following highlighted changes.
- Behring Ballistic Cannon S4
- Apocalypse Arms Mass Drive S2
- Additional Emotes
- Character Loadout Selector in hangar
- ArcCorp Additions and Improvements
- Improved Elevator Interface
- Improved Chat
- Improved AR
- Functional Buggies
- Functional Respawn
- Multiplayer ArcCorp v2 (increased players per instance
- Updated Hangar Lighting
- Improved Player Dead-Reckoning
- Updated ArcCorp Screen Videos
- Animating Clouds
Star Citizen Alpha 2.0
A greater number of new Star Citizen features were announced for the upcoming 2.0 alpha. More than 38 playable missions are planned along with a space map measuring 1 million km by 1 million km by 200,000 km. That gives a 200 quadrillion cubic km space to explore. It’s filled with a gas giant the size of Jupiter, a transit hub named Port Olisar, a security station called Post Kareah, and a Covalex Shipping Hub. There will also be various research satellites and service platforms.
It will also be the first time that the sometimes controversial multi-crew technology for ships. Critics have said that it’s not possible and one of the examples of “feature creep” that has hurt the development of Star Citizen. We’ll have to wait and see how this all shakes out, but there are numerous new development diaries released to the Star Citizen YouTube channel showing progress with the games, behind the scenes, and interviews with the cast.
[Images via Star Citizen]