Star Citizen: Arena Commander 1.0

It’s been a while since I last talked about Star Citizen, and there have been many, many interesting changes and improvements, not least the Arena Commander, version 1.0.

The addition of several newly flyable ships and variants is cool, but it’s the ongoing changes and tweaks to the flight model that are most impressive.

So here’s a look at SC now, and where it’s headed…

The most exciting thing about this update, for me, is the addition of the Avenger as a flyable ship. SC’s A-10 is chunky goodness that I’d been hoping would fit my playstyle. After being able to fly the 300i (F-15 maybe?), the Hornet (F/A-18, clearly), and the M-50 (F-16/A-wing), it was clear I wanted something beefier.

The Avenger is surely that. It’s impressive how differently the ships handle. Where the M-50 feels like the twitchy racer it is, the Avenger feels more like a sturdy fighter, what would be called a “ground attack” plane, if SC had ground (it surely will, eventually…).

The control issues I reported on before are long gone. Customizable controls means you can assign right/left joystick controls to yaw (which feels far more natural), roll to the stick’s twist, and assign lateral movement to one of the hats.

Now, control feels precise and “realistic,” perhaps even more so than Elite.

Sadly the multi-crew ships still aren’t available to fly. Those will have to wait until next year.

If you haven’t checked out SC in a while, there are some other recent updates worth mentioning. The Hanger module (it’s all modules in SC’s long development), now features multiple different hangers, depending on what ships you’ve bought. They each have a unique feel, from the bare-bones Self-Land, to the gorgeous Revel & York (is Chris Roberts a high-end audio fan?).

The new year will also bring the first-person shooter module, which I’m almost as excited about as the rest of it. Check out this footage from a recent expo:

Zero gravity!

And if that wasn’t bonkers enough. This is the one that really blew my mind:

Bottom Line

Ambitious isn’t an adequate word. Star Citizen, on paper, seems like it’s everything I (and so many others), have always wanted in a video game. The expected breadth and depth are staggering. Will it be as good as we all hope? Like I’ve said before, the open development and seemingly endless funds sure make it seem like it will be hard to screw up. We shall see. 2015 is going to be very interesting…