Sunday, 11 October 2015

STAR CITIZEN adds lots of star voice power

In-development space sim Star Citizen has added a lot of top-tier voice actors to its roster. Most of these actors will appear in the single-player and narrative-focused companion game, Squadron 42, but it's possible that some will also spill over into Star Citizen itself.

The announced voiced actors so far include Gary Oldman, Gillian Anderson, Mark Hamill, Mark Strong, John Rhys-Davies, Andy Serkis, Jack Huston, Ben Mendelsohn, Liam Cunningham, Rhona Mitra, Sophie Wu, Gemma Whelan and Craig Fairbrass. Some of these are familiar voices from Chris Roberts's previous space games: Mark Hamill starred in Wing Commander III and IV alongside John Rhys-Davies, who also appeared in Freelancer.

Star Citizen is a large-scaled space simulator. The core of the game is trading and combat in a vast, online universe. Players will be able to buy different ships, have multi-crewed ships and, in a notable difference to other games like Elite: Dangerous, will be able to get up, walk around the ship and even exit the vessel to take part in ground combat and exploration. The game is the single most successful crowdfunding project in history, having raised over $91,584,000 (yes, that's $91 million) in donations. The game is widely expected to pass $100 million in the next few months.

Squadron 42 is described as a spiritual successor to the Wing Commander games and StarLancer. The game will focus on the United Empire of Earth's battle against the alien Vanduul, with the player (presumably) joining Squadron 42. Although single-player in focus, Squadron 42 will have a co-operative mode and some achievements in the game will be carried over into Star Citizen itself.

Development of Star Citizen began in 2011 and was opened to crowdfunding in late 2012. The game has had an open development process, with regular updates issued on progress and what the developers are doing. However, the game has come in for some criticism due to missing a large number of release deadlines and questions being raised about lack of oversight and a lack of recent game development experience for Chris Roberts and senior managers. These criticisms led to a renewed development timeline being issued, with Squadron 42 expected to now launch in 2016. Star Citizen will hopefully follow by the end of that year.

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