First off I would like to take a moment to apologize to the Great Mel Brooks for appropriating the subtitle of the illustrious Spaceballs 2. That said, I do think even Yogurt would be impressed that he was outdone on moichendizin’.
Secondly, a few disclaimers and disclosures because dear god the shit storm drama that infest this particular topic demands it.
While I am a staff writer for CrankyGamers, the opinions and thoughts contained herein do not necessarily reflect the views of CrankyGamers or other Staff. These are purely my own thoughts and opinions on the fiasco that surround Star Citizen.
This is not a journalistic coverage of the project, nor should it be viewed as anything other than one gamer’s opinion regarding Star Citizen and the drama around it. It is not polite. I do not expect many to be happy with my opinion, nor do you have to agree with it. However, it is just that, my opinion.
Concerning Derek Smart.
Yes, it does seem that I have to put in a Derek Smart disclaimer now because anything negative about Star Citizen these days is immediately dismissed as a mouthpiece for Derek Smart.
Yes, Derek Smart is on my Facebook friend’s list. How do I know him and it came to be that we’re friends on Facebook? Simple, the developer of a game I’ve played since my Senior year in High School happens to be friends with him on Facebook and sometimes this friend would comment on Smart’s posts. I happened to comment on one of the Star Citizen ones one day.
My opinion was formed well before I knew who Smart was, other than some asshole who supports GamerGate, that keeps popping up on my feed because a friend keeps commenting on his posts.
When the news broke about Derek’s critical view of Star Citizen and subsequent expulsion from the Star Citizen Community, I still didn’t realize who he was. I would say it was a good two weeks into this maelstrom before I realized we had a common friend on Facebook.
And lastly, we will wrap up this ridiculously long disclaimer and disclosure segment with the fact that I am not a backer of Star Citizen. I have played the game for a few hours during a one week free trial obtained from one of those codes from a Con. I have no investment into this project. I was using that week to evaluate if I wanted Star Citizen or Elite: Dangerous first.
Now then, with all of those disclaimers and crap out of the way, let’s dig into my thoughts on the Star Citizen project and the maelstrom of drama that surrounds it. First I’ll express my thoughts on the project itself, then I will turn to the insanity and cat fighting going on across cyberspace regarding the project.
I will start with the positive things I have to say about it. Star Citizen is incredibly beautiful to the eye. There are multitudes of tiny details that can leave you quite impressed and pull you in.
That ship destruction? Utterly amazing and quite deliciously satisfying to that part of me that likes to see thing blow up. If the project’s pieces can be pulled into a cohesive game that plays nice together, it’ll be great… assuming it actually works.
Yes playing nice together and actually working are two separate things in my book.
I want it to succeed. I want it to be a bloody amazing game. I remember many hours spent trying to play the Wing Commander games. I say trying to play simply because I knew little about it other than go blow shit up, and I was terrible at it. It was a lot fun even then. I want to see the game be a success if only because we need more good space sims.
Unfortunately, that’s about all the good I can say about it. So much about the project leaves an utterly sour taste in my mouth. I suppose I shall start with my short live hands on experience with the game earlier this year.
At this time all that was available was the Hangar and Arena Commander modules and even then the disk space requirements were 100GB.
Wait, what? Did I read that right? Surely I was mistaken and it was not 100GB for two modules! This was nearly twice the space required for even the largest AAA release at the time and there wasn’t even a completed game. That 100GB was for two Alpha phase demos.
The full game, I recall reading a comment that it could take upwards of 1TB to install the whole game upon full release. Seriously? What the ever loving hell?
Considering how much of the world is on a metered net connection how are these people going to acquire your game? You certainly do not want anyone on dial-up to experience your game. This is the biggest “Fuck You” to those on anything less than the best net connections I’ve ever seen.
The ship looked neat sitting in the Hangar, but that’s about all I can say about it. This little segment is pretty much a bloated waste of space, especially considering that it was released to tide backers over until Arena Commander could come out. A little peace offering to show see, there’s a ship so it means you’ll be able to fly it later.
Arena Commander is where things were a bit better. This is the first place I could say that it was visually impressive. It is veritable porn for the artistic eye. But again, it stops there. The controls were noticeably meant for keyboard and mouse to take advantage of the acute precision of those peripherals as the basic mechanics of the flight left it playing out like a full on FPS.
I don’t have a nice HOTAS setup sadly, but I do use a console controller. I couldn’t even get the demo to accept me trying to switch to controller to see how that felt. The flight just felt… nasty. I get so frustrated with it I just devolved into do the one thing that was fun in there, making myself redout and blackout.
Needless to say, my one week with Star Citizen was extremely disappointing considering all the hype my friends wove around it. I could see that the potential was there, but it was like watching a batter whiff on the most perfect pitch they had ever received.
I now knew what was being offered, and as I thought about things and how this project was growing, I grew sick to my stomach. I looked at Elite: Dangerous and what it offered and I was just utterly taken aback by what was before me.