Although it has suffered through a myriad of missed deadlines, Star Citizen's Alpha 3.0.0 update has finally been released to all players following a lengthy testing period. This update brings along a massive amount of content over the previously available Alpha 2.6.2, and is described by Cloud Imperium Games as a "big update that lays the foundation for larger developments down the road."
The changelog in its entirety can be found on the official website, but perhaps the main highlight of this release is the arrival of planetary tech, which has been featured in many gameplay showcases the developer has done. All Alpha players can now journey to and explore three entire moons, Cellin, Daymar, and Yela, which even arrive with unique day-night cycles as they rotate on their axis.
Two mission givers have also been added, the ever popular Miles Eckhart and Ruto. The developer says there are around 20 "distinct missions" that players can participate in, with choices within them for lawful and unlawful outcomes as well as "hundreds of random permutations." Outposts on the traversable moons mentioned above serve as "drop-off and pick-up points for missions."
Beyond that, a brand new launcher with a delta patcher, new ships, vehicles, derelict ships for scavenging, random encounters, increased server capacity, cargo, and a heap of more features have been added.
However, for anyone who is looking to jump in and experience all the new features, expect severe frame rate issues, bugs, and crashes. It may take a while for the developer to iron out the performance issues. The PC requirements for the Alpha 3.0 are as follows:
- Windows 7 (64bit) with Service Pack 1, Windows 8 (64bit), Windows 10 – Anniversary Update (64bit)
- DirectX 11 Graphics Card with 2GB RAM (4GB strongly recommended)
- Quad-Core CPU
- 16GB+ RAM
- SSD strongly recommended
Moreover, for those interested in the single-player component of Star Citizen, Cloud Imperium Games unveiled an hour-long gameplay demo of Squadron 42 just a couple of days ago. Despite the controversies and even the recent lawsuit against it, it seems the developer is still hammering away at the crowd-funded game's development. Hopefully, the next time it decides to announce a release window, we won't have to sit through too many delays.
Access to the Alpha as well as all future Star Citizen multiplayer content can be acquired by purchasing a starter package, that has been discounted for the holidays, for $35 via the game's store page. $60 packages that include both Star Citizen and the single-player campaign, Squadron 42, are also available.
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