'Squadron 42 is now feature-complete and has entered its polish phase', says Chris Roberts

This year's CitizenCon was a two-day event and apparently the biggest show Cloud Imperium Games has put on for its cautionary tale about scope creep in MMO form. It wasn't all engine demos and new ships for Star Citizen, however, with Cloud Imperium's singleplayer game, Squadron 42, finally ready to be shown again.

"We are excited to announce that Squadron 42 is now feature-complete!" Cloud Imperium said. "As we move into the polishing phase, we're fully focused on optimizing 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."

The 26.5-minute video that accompanied the announcement features Cloud Imperium founder Chris Roberts alongside a host of other developers showing off different parts of Squadron 42. As well as the expected space combat and cutscenes featuring actors including Gillian Anderson, Mark Hamill, Gary Oldman, Mark Strong, John Rhys-Davies, and Liam Cunningham, we get to see a chunk of the on-foot sections.

There's a definite Half-Life 2 feel to the boat sequence and the physics-based environmental puzzles, which even feature a gravity gun. Called the "military multi-tool", this weapon can lift crates and barrels as well as cutting through metal. 

Richard Tyrer, senior game director on Squadron 42, highlights the "tactical FPS combat and stealth, which has seen a suite of improvements from improved looting, weapon feel and balance, realistic scopes, and smoother locomotion alongside our new and improved FPS radar and scanner that provides you an overview of the battlefield, but at the cost of ramping up your own emissions. We've also seen the introduction of our Maelstrom-powered destructible environment."

Tyrer goes on to say, "Ultimately, this is the final phase of gameplay iteration before we fully transition into optimization and stability on the road to release." How long that polishing phase will take, Cloud Imperium hasn't said. Two years, maybe three? Given how long it took to get to this point, it's impossible to say.

"When we have the locked release date, you will be the first to know," Roberts says at the conclusion of the video. "We have come this far, and we want to make sure that Squadron 42 delivers on the promise of being this generation's Wing Commander."

All the way back in 2015, we went behind the scenes to meet the star-studded (and pingpong-ball-studded) cast of Squadron 42, talking to Mark Hamill and John Rhys-Davies as they wrapped up their performance capture. 

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and Playboy.com, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.