Star Citizen is one of the most hotly anticipated video games of the moment — perhaps unsurprisingly, given that the project has amassed more than $118 million in crowdfunding support. Many backers have been keeping an eye on development since 2012, and now the space sim finally appears to be coming together.
Up to this point, its developer, Cloud Imperium Games, has been releasing individual modules that allow backers to test out individual gameplay systems like dogfighting and FPS combat. However, the studio’s Star Citizen presentation at Gamescom 2016 demonstrated what players can expect from the finished product.
Over the course of nearly an hour of gameplay, the developers behind Star Citizen show off just how varied the title is going to be. Players can seamlessly take a ship from their hangar to a distant planet, then land on its surface and base missions on the characters that they find there.
There are obvious similarities between what Star Citizen is aiming to achieve, and the lofty goals of the controversial No Man’s Sky — but there are also some major differences. For one, Star Citizen will only feature a tiny proportion of the quintillion planets present in No Man’s Sky, but they’re hand-crafted rather than procedurally generated.
Star Citizen also offers full support for online multiplayer, as is evidenced by the Gamescom gameplay. Players are guaranteed to see plenty of other human privateers as they travel the stars, and can even co-pilot larger spacecraft with one another.
Backers will be able to test out the game as showcased in this footage when version 3.0 of its alpha hits later this year, according to a report from Polygon. Star Citizen is still a way off from being complete, but it’s certainly looking less like a collection of unrelated mechanics and systems, and more like a cohesive, compelling experience.