Star Citizen Launches Another Free Trial Week

For millennia, humanity has stared at the skies on a Monday morning and thought “Blast me off this godforsaken rock and end me in nuclear fire.” We’re a dramatic sort. You can come close to that this Monday, though, as Star Citizen [official site] is holding another ‘Free Fly’ week until next Monday. All and sundry can peep at Cloud Imperium’s crowdfunded spaceship ’em up, poking around its modules to see how it’s coming on.

As CIG explain, the Free Fly week lets players into the Star Citizen module, which is their prototype persistent universe bit, along with the combat-oriented Arena Commander and their Social Module spacechatroom.

We last sent Alec into Star Citizen in December after the release of alpha 2.0, when he concluded it was promising but: “Don’t buy it yet, though. Not unless you want to see the sausage getting made.” Well, now you have another opportunity to rummage in that spaceoffal yourself for free.

Registration is over here, and you’ll need the Star Citizen client to blast off. If you’ve registered for a Free Fly weekend before, that account should still work just fine.

If a free weekend is a freekend (thank you Pip), is a free week a freek? More importantly, how did I forget how murderous the Sugababe’s Freak Like Me video is?


  1. FieldyGB says:

    hmm may take this out for a spin again.. it was all over the shop the last time, hope its better

  2. KillahMate says:

    Warning to everyone interested in this: Star Citizen is still very much in the spaceoffal phase. You should maybe check it out to see what the (possible) future of AAA online games is going to look like, but be forewarned – you may have to make your own fun (it’s recommended to bring friends), and many gameplay mechanics are not optimized for fun yet – up to and including spaceflight. Many mechanics aren’t even implemented yet. And the tutorial is outdated (being updated), and controls are too complex (being updated), etc etc.

    But it does things no other game does, and it looks really quite amazing while doing it as long as it’s not bugging out at that particular moment. So, if that’s something you’d care to witness…

    • MrLoque says:

      Do you get a starting ship during this free week? Because I see it requires at least a $12 membership to get a crappy ship and play the alpha.

    • Mortivore says:

      I saw a steam not long ago, decided to stop watching when the 3th crash occured within 20 minutes (of which 10 minutes were spend logging into a server/getting into the game).
      Doesn’t seem to promising.. (ye ye, I know; beta here, early acces there).

      • raazman says:

        Have you checked it out recently? Crashing in alpha is completely normal. Nowadays the game is a lot more stable. The game is in constant production and you know that with the timely releases that are out out very frequently. Check out the free flight thing, it definitely doesn’t crash like that.

    • bit.bat says:

      I think that this game is quite indicative of one of the issues with crowdfunded and early access games in that developers are forced to constantly approach their game as a vertical slice to attract further people and appease the people already invested. This one of the reasons why so much has gone into presentation yet the game still feels incomplete from a gameplay perspective.

      I remember in interview with a couple of the guys from Supergiant Games, creators Bastion and Transistor, they were talking about how they try to keep their games visually basic for as long as possible so that they can focus on gameplay without the visuals masking potential issues. This method makes sense to me but perhaps there are several ways to approach the issue.

    • tomimt says:

      I have to ask, what does it do no other game is doing at the moment? As far I can see it’s just all around clunky alpha tech demo.

      • raazman says:

        If you follow the development, they’ve done so much in terms of pushing technology, down the reworking cryengine to support the scope of the game they want to build. They have been making technologies in house to push the game to where it is today. Look up its development and you’ll be shocked with what they have been doing under the hood.

        • tomimt says:

          Yet sadly enough nothing of that is really in the alpha yet. I do know of their awesome facial animation work and what not, but as a game, they’re not really doing anything special yet.

        • Love Albatross says:

          You didn’t answer the question. What, exactly, has Star Citizen got that no one else is doing?

          Is it the space toilets? Broken physics? The anti-griefing system that locks you in your room when you’ve been naughty?

          • Comco says:

            So, for one thing, they’ve got multi-crewed ships working. It’s bare bones at the moment – there will be far more to do as it develops, but they’re doing very clever things like simulating physics independently inside ships. So – you can jump out of the back of your ship with its artificial gravity field, float through space in zero-g, enter another ship with its own artificial gravity. This is an example of some really impressive technical work that is currently in-game. It sounds straight forward, but imagine that occurring on dozens of ships all in the same game at the same time with multiple crew members on each.

            Or another example is how all objects have emissions values. So the ‘radar’ system is truly reacting to ‘real world’ (simulated, of course, but a real simulation – not faked) objects that it can see. This allows for cool gameplay like cutting your ship’s emissions to disappear from weaker radars etc.

            A lot of the tech comes down to things like this. It takes an awfully long time to get it right as you’re actually simulating systems, not just faking it and saying ‘follow all ships xyz co-ords and map that to a radar screen’. In the end, the idea is that this work becomes worth it, as players can experiment and come up with all sorts of emergent gameplay.

          • Love Albatross says:

            But nothing except maybe the local physics grid stuff (though I’ll be surprised if no other game has done that) is new, or even groundbreaking in its application?

            The only interesting thing they have to show so far in terms of actual game is the zero-g stuff (specificially moving between stations and ships, other games have done zero-g). That’s pretty much the best they have to show for four years and $112m.

            It’d be something if at least the flight model was great, but it isn’t. It’s absolute unmitigated crap. Far from being realistic as they claimed to be making, it just feels like they’ve enabled ‘noclip’ mode.

            There’s a long, long way to go before this is anywhere near to becoming a game. What’s there isn’t an alpha, it’s a rough vertical slice.

          • Tempus Fugit says:

            I think I’ve figured a new game for Greenlight: Space Toilet.

          • Comco says:

            I think, perhaps, you’re projecting a little to much of your own expectations on the game. Notice no one else has said ‘no one else is doing x’…

            What Star Citizen seeks to achieve, is a scope beyond anything out there – a simulated sandbox that lets players create their own stories and work within the rules of the universe to create their own gameplay.

            As such, I’m not sure if any of the tech is ‘OMGWTFBBQ I’ve never seen anything like this before!’ But I doubt, if they pull off what they’re seeking to, that you’ve ever seen an MMO that looks better and offers a deeper simulation of things like real world physics.

      • Marblecake says:

        Right now it really is nothing more than a clunky alpha testing ground, though that shouldn’t be something to hold against it as a future game, because, you know, alpha testing bed. I.e. if you’re looking for a proper gaming experience and aren’t interested in testing, you really shouldn’t spend money on it.

        As for what it offers right now (as opposed to future features) that no other game offers:
        Actual first person walking around, getting into a ship, landing at a station, getting out, shooting others with guns, stealing their ship. No other game does that.

  3. Nymera says:

    Basically, it’s an alpha.

    Not in the warped marketing-speak sense of the word which is “buggy preview”, but a real alpha where there are some playable bits and bobs but nowhere near feature complete.

    The fact that some parts of it are fun at all is promising.

    • raazman says:

      And this is what the majority forget. This game is literally in the state of what a AAA game would be before the company announces the game. What CIG has done here is let its backers in since day one. If anyone has any experience with software/game development they would know what this entails.

  4. Anti-Skub says:

    What a weird article…oh nevermind, it’s Alice, totally normal then.

  5. Arglebargle says:

    As long as Roberts has any say in the production, you can count on realistic SC play being far, far in the future. And no telling what they’ve promised will actually end up working.

    Can they get more than 16 people in an instance yet?

  6. derbefrier says:

    It’s come along s9 n ce the last couple patches. Performance is a lot better than what it was but still has a ways to go. There’s some new ships.

    The new fun thing if you haven’t played since the last free fly week is the inclusion of the first version of the bounty system. It’s very basic, think grand theft spaceship. Certain actions get you wanted levels and creates dynamic quests for other players to try and hunt you down. It’s pretty fun. You can also fight pirates over comm arrays now as players can disable them.

    Slowly but surely the game is coming together. Hopefully this month’s big patch will bring some new big features like the beginnings of some persitance.

  7. Risingson says:

    I call the sugababes song “Concha”.

    And I’m mildly interested in this game. Not so much on expending three evenings downloading it (is there any place in Tower Hamlets where internet is not crap?)

    • Anti-Skub says:

      Dunno about Tower Hamlets but I’m just north of you in Hackney and I get 70 down 20 up out of my fibre.

      • Risingson says:

        Down in Poplar and sometimes I feel I am using a modem. Before I was living in Chiswick and the speed was even worse. :(

  8. Premium User Badge

    Serrit says:

    I am interested in seeing how the sausage is made, but I suspect I’ll be better served by something else

  9. syllopsium says:

    aaaaaarrrghh. What have the Sugababes done to a half decent tune?

  10. dmastri says:

    link to

    Look at this picture and explain to me how this game will ever see the light of day. There is no way cryengine will ever be able to handle that many players, or ships this large, in a multiplayer setting. It is doubtful it can even deliver in a single player setting.

    This game is a pipe dream helmed by a man out of touch with reality. I do hope squadron42 sees the light of day in a release as janky as battlecruiser 3000ad was, mostly so we can laugh at all the poorly written cutscenes.

    • Unclepauly says:

      It’s so heavily modified that you really can’t call it Cryengine anymore.