Fans of Star Citizen will be happy to know that developer Cloud Imperium Games today released the first-person shooter section of the game in early access, ready to be tested by the PC-gaming public. The segment, called Star Marine, was once promised to be “more lethal” than Call of Duty and has had fans of the hybrid game excited for months.
First announced in the patch notes for the latest build of Star Citizen on the game’s official subreddit, the Star Marine section comes with two playable maps for now, as well as two game modes. The first, elimination, is an all-out brawl where it’s every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost. The second mode is called the last stand and is more tactical, involving four control points that are fought over by two teams of players.
Not that Star Marine is the entire update – players will be able to play a new game mode called Arena Commander while in their space ship, which involves increasingly powerful waves of pirates coming at the player as they struggle to survive. There are also a large number of cosmetic tweaks, such as enhanced control of the third-person camera as well as a laundry list of new ships to choose from.
The breadth of the patch shows off the ambition that drives the developers of Star Citizen. The team is headed up by Chris Roberts of Wing Commander fame and from the start of its development over five years ago has promised to offer gamers everything they could hope for. If players wanted relief from the thrill of space combat they would be able to trade or explore, once their desire for adrenaline kicked in again they could suit up and fight FPS style. No wonder, then, that Star Citizen shattered all records by raking in over $100 million in Kickstarter donations.
Worries about Star Citizen’s feature creep persist, though the game is likely not going to be another No Man’s Sky. It’s just taking a lot longer than expected: the story mode was delayed recently and the developers have been a cagey about the exact release date, especially since it has been moved up so many times already. One backer even got his Kickstarter donation refunded after he complained to the California authorities claiming that “the product remains unfulfilled and no longer constitutes the product(s) I originally purchased.”
This new update is an exciting step in the right direction for Star Citizen’s backers and should keep them going as the game is finished by its developer.
Star Citizen is available now in a development state on PC.