Star Citizen Trailer Invites You Into A Sprawling, Crowdfunded Universe

By David Wharton | Published

Chris Roberts already earned his place in the pantheon of video game gods by creating the beloved Wing Commander series of space combat sims. Not one to rest on his laurels, he’s now working on Star Citizen, an epic science fiction game that will unfold in a persistent universe and offer players a huge interstellar sandbox in which to shape their own destiny. And the latest trailer for Star Citizen looks promising indeed. Check it out.

The video is reportedly comprised entirely of in-game footage, which means we’re not seeing fancy pre-rendered cut scenes. And it does look pretty gorgeous. It also shows off the various types of gameplay that will be available in the increasingly ambitious Star Citizen. It’s been described by the developers as as “spiritual successor to Wing Commander,” and the space combat footage will definitely conjure nostalgia for those of us who grew up pouring many hours into that franchise. You also get to see some of the game’s first-person shooter combat (including in zero-g!) and shots at some of the game’s planets and space stations. All in all, it looks like there will be plenty to do in Star Citizen.

Star Citizen is set in the 30th century, when the “United Empire of Earth” has expanded beyond our own solar system. Much like in Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers, citizenship within the UEE has to be earned through things like serving a term in the military, and earning that citizenship will likely grant you in-game benefits.

As for Star Citizen’s storyline, the game’s massively multiplayer elements will allow for “emergent gameplay” in which players get to create their own stories as they fight, trade, and negotiate their way through Star Citizen’s universe. However, there will also be a traditional single-player campaign dubbed Squadron 42. As Roberts has described it, “It’s like a sandbox for everybody, and occasionally you’ll sprinkle in little bits of scripted content to give a bit of character, but you’re letting a lot of the players generate the intrigue and the drama.”

When Roberts launched a crowdfunding campaign to support the project in 2012, contributions soon blew past the $500,000 goal. In 2014, Star Citizen was certified by Guinness World Records as having collected the “largest single amount ever raised via crowdsourcing.” As of December 2014, Roberts said that the project had raised a staggering $68 million.

You can track Star Citizen’s development on the game’s official website.