The Star Citizen release date appears to be generating significant buzz, and it appears to be related to No Man’s Sky‘s failure to deliver what it promised. Gamers who felt massively disappointed with the latter are likely among those playing the former’s Alpha and hoping it actually delivers on its promise.
While space exploration isn’t exactly a new concept in video games, many of them were action-heavy ones with a baseline of story over exploration. This dates all the way back to games like Solaris on the Atari 2600, which had you exploring the galaxy in order to find the titular planet and save it. It ended up being a shooter, but it is considered one of the best games ever made for the console.
Since then, we’ve had Star Wars Galaxies, EVE Online, Mass Effect, and other space games, but none really let the gamer explore on their own terms.
Sure, we’ve had movies and TV shows to attempt to fill the void. Star Trek gave audiences the chance to live out their fantasies through the eyes of Captains Kirk and Picard, but the audience still wasn’t in control of the exploration. Until the world unites and creates a free travel space program, video games are the closest we’re likely to get.
For gamers who have been craving true space exploration, No Man’s Sky was meant to be that experience. It ended up being a “copy and paste” of the same few planets and life forms over and over and gave little incentive to explore. After visiting more than about six planets, there wasn’t really anything new to discover.
One Reddit user had his expectations dashed, according to PC Gamer. Chris prepared a high-end Alienware Alpha PC for his fantastic excursion, a $600 upgrade, only to end up with a repetitive experience after 20 hours with it.
“The art assets were getting old: repetitive building design, lifeless NPC’s, repetitive flora, bizarre fauna – random mixes of reptile and mammal parts – the same terrain and single biomes. I never really felt like an explorer because over every horizon there was a landing pad, observatory, or trading post with several NPC’s casually glued to their chairs. Exploring the game was no longer fun for me. I can honestly say that it’s not a horrible game, it was just marketed wrong.”
Now Chris, as well as many other gamers, are keeping their hopes up for the Star Citizen release date, expecting it to sate that thirst for space exploration which No Man’s Sky failed to adequately provide. While unfinished, his new obsession has turned out to already be everything he craved and more. Star Citizen has proven more fun even in its Alpha phase than No Man’s Sky was as a complete game.
It’s still unknown if Cloud Imperium Games will deliver on the promise Hello Games made, and it’s a fan-funded project. Star Citizen could still be another disappointment since fan-funded games aren’t always great in the end. Keiji Inafune was the mastermind behind the Mega Man series, and after leaving Capcom, he created Mighty No. 9, the spiritual successor to the blue bomber. It ended up being a massive disappointment, not delivering what the fans expected, and the game appeared to reflect Inafune’s intention for Capcom to buy it off of him. He was ready to let the game go, and the end product allegedly shows it.
Not all fan-funded games are underwhelming, though, and Friday the 13th: The Game is being made by the people behind the original film series, and they are putting much of the same passion into it. In this way, Star Citizen may actually be the game which fans expected No Man’s Sky to be.
Until the Star Citizen release date hits, however, nobody really knows what the final product will deliver.
[Featured Image by Cloud Imperium Games]