Star Citizen Alpha 3.5 will release this weekend for all backers, and the update will finally add playable female characters alongside a new city-planet named ArcCorp and other features. Star Citizen has released several patches since its inception, but remains in a purely Alpha build currently, one that is accessible to those who have backed the game via crowdfunding.
Star Citizen is one of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns ever. Developer Cloud Imperium celebrated hitting $200 million in crowdfunding late last year by giving everyone a glimpse of how the game is progressing, and despite the incredible amount of time that it has taken to get the game playable even into Star Citizen Alpha 3.5 stage, it continues to impress those who have interacted with it. One of the most consistent elements of the game is that it opens the door for many different possibilities at any given time, with popular videos like the Star Citizen player catching someone falling through a planet's atmosphere providing evidence of just how intense the game's sandbox features can get.
Star Citizen Alpha 3.5 will continue to add more content to the game, including a heavily requested feature: it took years, but players will finally be given access to playable female character models. On top of that strangely absent element finally getting addressed, the game will also introduce a new city-planet called ArcCorp alongside its two moon, while an entirely re-worked flight model that differs planetary and space flight will be introduced as well. Star Citizen Alpha 3.5 will also introduce new missions, ships, and weapons for players, as well as "dozens" of quality of life and performance improvements. Chris Roberts, the CEO of Cloud Imperium, shared his feelings on the game's newest update:
"3.5 is one of our biggest updates so far...we're adding the dense urban planet ArcCorp, which we showed a prototype of at CitizenCon 2017, as well as delivering the revolutionary Gene Splicing system we developed with 3Lateral...but for me, the headline feature we're adding is playable female characters. This has been a long time coming, and it was a huge undertaking."
Star Citizen Alpha 3.5 will also be adding CIG Character Customization Technology, an updated system that will allow players access to new customization options that will create permutations that increase the amount of player possibilities drastically. Cloud Imperium is also placing a bit of a larger focus on communication technology, with updates that will allow players to participate in video comms calls "no matter how far away they are in the Persistent Universe". Essentially, players can now stay in contact while further away from each other, which is a huge boon to those who want to team up and use the game's in-game comm tech for the full Star Citizen experience.
There are a lot of updates coming in Star Citizen Alpha 3.5, and all of them appear to be increasing the quality of an already deep, satisfying game. The issue comes with the fact that Star Citizen is somehow still in Alpha despite having so much financial backing and time behind it. While Cloud Imperium clearly cares about the game a great deal, and its fans continue to report successful implemented content that improves the gameplay experience, at a certain point there needs to be meaningful progress toward whatever the actual finished product of this game is. Until then, though, Star Citizen continues to become one of the most fascinating evolutionary projects in the games industry, and Alpha 3.5 will do more of the same in that regard.