The year is 2015. The twin capital ship combo of Star Citizen and Elite: Dangerous have warped on our hard drives and PC gamers now live almost exclusively in virtual cockpits, trading and killing one another in an era of interstellar gaming bliss. Star Citizen now has a bigger budget than the British government and Elite: Dangerous is being used to train a future generation of space pilots. The space games have arrived.
Sorry, drifted off a bit there. I can't help but imagine a time when these crowdfunded monsters are finally finished and we'll be free from the teasing feed of trailers. Elite: Dangerous' latest example covers a recent multiplayer test that had backers defending capital ship from waves of enemies, and mugging asteroid harvesters in space. Mmmm, that's good space.
Ever since Mechwarrior I've loved cockpits in games, especially ones that move HUD information into your surroundings. This video shows the player looking around the cockpit to access menu screens and target mining ship subsystems - set nerd alert to red! Looking around and manipulating a cockpit instills an immediate sense of place. You should feel as though you're a warm tin bubble of breathable air in an awful, freezing vacuum, wrestling with targeting computers to fry a pirate's engines before they close range.
Oh, you wanted lasers? It's got those, too.
The video's part of "Alpha 2.0" multiplayer test, which offered up four scenarios for backers to try including "free-for-all melee", team fights, "co-operative defense of a crippled Federal battlecruiser" and an advanced "Pirates and Bounty Hunters" mode which "hints at the fluid choices and roles players will experience on a much greater scale in the final game."
You can get in on the alpha here , but look out for the huge £200 price tag.
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Part of the UK team, Tom was with PC Gamer at the very beginning of the website's launch—first as a news writer, and then as online editor until his departure in 2020. His specialties are strategy games, action RPGs, hack ‘n slash games, digital card games… basically anything that he can fit on a hard drive. His final boss form is Deckard Cain.