After years and years in development hell, Star Citizen’s cinematic single-player spin-off is finally nearing completion. Starring Mark Hamill, Gary Oldman and more, the sci-fi FPS game was pitched as a huge step forward for the genre.
Revealed way back in 2012 during the original Star Citizen Kickstarter campaign, Squadron 42 has been in development trouble for over a decade now. However, developer Cloud Imperium Games is finally close to release.
After years of waiting, fans have been treated to a 26-minute gameplay video showing cinematics, space travel and on-foot gameplay with puzzles and even FPS gameplay. While the game is still not ready for release, this is the best update fans have seen in years.
Between space combat and on-foot FPS sections with FEAR-esque AI, Squadron 42 is looking brilliant — as it should after over ten years of development. It may not have the sheer depth of Bethesda’s RPG Starfield, but it does look infinitely more engaging.
“We are excited to announce that Squadron 42 is now feature complete,” developer Cloud Imperium Games explained. “As we move into the polishing phase, we’re fully focused on optimising and fine-tuning all aspects of the gameplay experience to deliver an unprecedented cinematic adventure. To celebrate this milestone, we have gathered our core development leadership from around the globe to share what this means. Thank you for your continued support of Squadron 42.”
In the gameplay video, Senior game director Richard Tyrer revealed that gameplay is complete at the time of reveal. However, there is still a long road ahead as the team fixes bugs, optimizes performance and finishes environments.
“This is the final phase of gameplay iteration before we fully transition into optimisation and stability on the road to release,” Tyrer told fans.
Star Citizen has been one of the most controversial video games of all time. Following its initial crowdfunding campaign, Cloud Imperium Games still receives frequent donations from fans. However, this hasn’t stopped the studio from being blasted by fans and even legal trouble.
Over the years, the Star Citizen developer was taken to court by CryEngine and Crysis creators Crytek over the studio’s license to use their engine. The studio has also been criticized of feature creep, poor money management and various changes to its terms of service after fans have paid for products.
Nevertheless, Star Citizen Squadron 42 does look like a rather brilliant sci-fi game, and something fans have waited years to play. While the main Star Citizen online game is still deep in mid-development, and extremely far from completion, Squadron 42 should tide fans over.
Squadron 42 is confirmed for PC, but doesn’t currently have a release date. Console versions of the game are expected, but are not confirmed at the time of writing.