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Star Citizen launches alpha 3.3, Squadron 42 shows off new trailer

Blast off!

Everything-but-the-kitchen-sink space sim dream Star Citizen has taken another step closer to reality with the launch of a new alpha for backers, including adding NPC enemies to first-person shooter bits for your face-shooting pleasure. It also boosts performance and... lets you use your webcam to motion-capture your own expressions for your character's face? I think my face would start to hurt after an hour of waggling my eyebrows and doing my Elvis lip. Back on the less concrete side of things, hey, a new trailer for standalone singleplayer companion game Squadron 42 shows a neat digital Gillian Anderson. Wotcha!

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Awright darlin'. And yes, that is Henry "Napoleon Solo" Cavill too. And Mark Hamill. And Gary Oldman. And... no wonder they charge so much money for Star Citizen in-game ships.

Speaking of, alpha 3.3 of that launched last night. AI-controlled enemies are now roaming certain zones for first-person shooty action. And Cloud Imperium Games seem very proud of having added "Object Container Streaming, a processing tool that controls how much of the game's massive universe must be loaded by player's CPU." They boast that it not only "enables the rapid creation of future content and locations," it has on average doubled framerates too. Alright, I'd be proud of that. And the weird face tech is in. And new vehicles, costing up to $870 in this weird crowdfunding model which does still feel exploitative.

All this came out of CitizenCon, the unreleased game's annual fan convention. Which also included this big Star Citizen demo:

Still no word yet on when exactly Star Citizen or Squadron 42 will be released. Cloud Imperium plan to lay out SQ42's roadmap up to launch in December, so clearly later than that.

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