As part of CitizenCon 2949 (AKA CitizenCon 2019) Cloud Imperium Games has revealed their next iteration of ground warfare and FPS mechanics coming in Star Citizen. It’s called Theaters of War, and it involves creating massive conflicts over a large battlefield. The new mode is an addon to the existing framework of Star Marine, meaning it should be a bit easier for the developers to actually ship the thing. Fans of persistent online shooters should find a lot to like here.
The game mode blends a ton of different influences, borrowing heavily from a variety of FPS games. In particular CIG is borrowing a ton of elements from games like Planetside and Battlefield. Keeping that in mind, it certainly seems like Theaters of War is just Planetside with more spaceships. CIG is allowing players to take part in a combined series of conflicts that takes place over multiple phases, to prove who really is the best at war.
Two teams of 20 will take on a three phase operation to gain control over the battlefield, with each phase having objectives which confer different effects onto the wider conflict. The goal is gain and keep control over various installations at a planetary mining facility. The first phase involves the attackers disabling Anti-Air defenses to allow their heavier assets to pound enemy ground positions into the dirt. The next layer of defenses, a large radar installation, is the objective for the second phase of the battle. Disabling that tower will allow an assault on the mining laser itself, with the final side standing being able to claim victory at the end of phase three.
Each side of the conflict will have mobile and static spawn points to encourage both armored pushes for attackers to gain an FOB, as well as allow defenders to establish strong points. Each team has four different asymmetrical classes (Advocacy and Supreme have different loadouts) including Foot Soldiers, Assault, Snipers, and Anti-Vehicle. This should make for some interesting potential for rock-paper-scissors style tactical decisions in the final game.
Players can use both land and aerial vehicles during all three phases, allowing them to engage in troop hot drops to support armored infantry pushes, all while relying on bombers overhead to keep enemy fighters suppressed. This kind of hybrid warfare is something EVE Online fans know from DUST 514, CCP’s ill-fated attempt to marry and FPS into the EVE universe. Eventually the system will be designed to have a full lobby setup with squads and VOIP support.
Check it out in the gameplay footage below.
2,423,780 accounts have been registered for the game so far, but this number is likely to increase with the free fly event that is starting tomorrow, letting anyone who wants to hop in get a taste.