Although Squadron 42, i.e. the single-player campaign for Star Citizen that has overtime become a stand-alone product, isn’t coming out anytime soon (the alpha-tests should open no sooner than sometime in 2020), it’s not too early for Chris Roberts to be hyping his game up. In an interview with VentureBeat, the creator and director of the game, who also brought you the cult Wing Commander series, revealed that the newest game from Cloud Imperium Games will, in many aspects, be able to overshadow such story-oriented titles as God of War, Red Dead Redemption 2 or The Last of Us.
What aspects does he mean? Roberts talks about acting, scenography and characterization, as well as the emotional bond you develop with characters. Each person, even the supporting characters, is supposed to have their own story and develop along the progress of the main thread, which the players will of course be able to impact through numerous choices. It is up to the player to choose who they want to talk to, who they want to become friends with, and who they want to know better. All this is supposed to bring the game to a new emotional level. Quoting after Roberts:
“As the story unfolds and things happen to various characters inside the story — and of course they do, because otherwise it wouldn’t be a very interesting story — then hopefully it’s more affecting for you. If someone gets killed and you spent the time to get to know them and really like them, that should be more emotionally affecting than if you’re told that you should be upset, if you’re crying about them simply because that was constructed into the narrative. We’ve tried very much to be subtle, to paint with texture. When it all comes together, I think the detail of it will be really impactful.”
The game’s director points out, however, that he’s not being totally objective, and some of the stuff he talks about might be idealized. Anyhow – his aim is to create a real interactive-movie experience; a story, where the player is the main character.
In case you wonder what all that money’s going for – the actors.
From what Roberts says, then, it would seem that Squadroon 42 will be a truly epic story of stellar proportions. And it’s enough to just look at the cast to see that it’s something more than another empty promise: Mark Hamill, Gary Oldman, Gillian Anderson, Andy Serkis, Ben Mendelsohn, John Rhys-Davies, Mark Strong, Liam Cunningham and Henry Cavill. You can see a sample of the things to come in this trailer from the last CitizenCon.