Exactly one and two years ago I did "Battle of Space Games" and it's time for this year's entry. I'm adding Beyond Good and Evil 2 since it seems to also be going for a big huge open world.
Elite Dangerous is slowing down development of new features, and instead focusing on improving what's currently in the game. This is something lots of fans have been requesting for a long time and should hopefully improve the game's depth. Update's are once per quarter and the first is already out. Here's a good video detailing the current state of the game:
Star Citizen 3.0 has finally released and players can now land on planets. It's missing a lot of the planned features but it's still starting to feel like a real game. Here's a video showing off its current state:
New to the thread for this year is Beyond Good and Evil 2. It was announced at E3 with this cinematic trailer:
From that trailer it'd look like a normal linear space game, but shortly afterwards this demo video was released that showed the insane scale the game is attempting:
So that's roughly the state of where the three games are right now. Beyond Good and Evil 2 will not be releasing this year but it seems to be rapidly approaching the other games. It's also having a fairly open development with regular dev updates just like the other two. Might even have a public alpha this year.
Now to the Battle!
HYPE LEVEL 1. BGE2 is newest so obviously I'm the most hyped about it. Hasn't had time to disappoint me yet 2. Star Citizen is a known quantity but I'm hyped to eventually play a more finished version. 3. Elite is Elite. I enjoy it but I have about zero hype. Give me space legs and then I'll be excited!
WORLD BUILDING 1. BGE2 has a crazy world that is so unique. I love it! Jury is still out on if it's actually that good, but there's definitely a lot of it. 2. Star Citizen has multiple aliens and is doing more world building than BGE2, but most of it is pretty bland. It's just text that can be ignored more or less. Aliens have true language so that's awesome though. 3. Elite has a fair amount of world building and is dynamically changing with player actions, but it's not really developed within the game itself. They're working on changing this and having speech synthesis for events but it's still a work in progress. Only 1/2 alien types and both of their lore is pretty good but more abstract. Talks about their language, but no conlang to go with it for example.
CHARACTERS 1. BGE2 might suck but the trailer at least is great. At the very least, character seems important in the game. They've shown off the tech ability to procedurally create hybrids so every single NPC should look unique at least slightly, and they've also talked about making tons of backstory for the characters. 2. Elite has no interesting NPCs that you can interact with, but the world is full of interesting people. Lots of role playing going on. 3. Star Citizen has bland characters and NPCs that are boring.
WORLD SIZE 1. Elite is largest. Real sized galaxy. 2. Star Citizen has scaled planets and solar systems, but they're still very large. 3. BGE2 is unknown but probably the smallest. Have mentioned traveling to different galaxies but I doubt they meant it like that.
WORLD DENSITY 1. BGE2 seems like it'll be really dense but we don't know for sure. They want the cities to feel like a full bustling city with variation at every corner. 2. Star Citizen has shown off procedurally generated cities that can more or less be fully explored. Some of the building will even have insides. 3. Elite is empty.
GAMEPLAY 1. Elite is fun to play. I really love flying on planets since it's so fun. Exploring is nice, and the grinds are kinda fun. 2. Star Citizen ships fly horribly. Not too fun to fly. Really fun to just walk around inside ships and on stations though. NA. BGE2, too little info.
SPACESHIPS 1. Star Citizen ships have full interiors. Automatic win. 2. Elite ships look really good and have unique feels. 3. BGE2 ships look kinda cyberpunk which makes them unique but I personally haven't seen any designs that I've really fallen in love with.
CUSTOMIZATION 1. BGE2 has a lot of space ship customization, both physical shape and color+texture. 2. Elte has a very good character creator and you can buy ship modifiers. 3. Star Citizen has little. Most options are for gameplay reasons.
OVERALL 1. I'm looking forward to Beyond Good and Evil 2 the most. Honestly I wouldn't be surprised if it ends up a hot mess that sucks, but right now it seems really cool! At the very least I'm really excited to see how the game is looking at the end of the year. They've shown off some incredibly good looking tech and have a big enough publisher to hopefully pull it off. 2. Elite Dangerous is slow and steady. I'm not too hyped for it but it's a game that's just fun to be a part of. Hopefully at the end of the year they haven't added tons of microtransactions or loot boxes. I'm somewhat worried that they want to go in that direction. 3. Star Citizen I'm getting somewhat worried that the dev team won't be able to pull it off. They might get things technically working but will it be fun to play?
How about you guys? At the end of the year, which game do you think will be on top?