Star Atlas, the GAM3 Awards Best Graphics winner, has recently released its Pre-Season R2. New features in Star Atlas now include dogfighting, ship-racing, and multiplayer mode. The updated version of the central Volant Station signifies a massive evolution since the last update. Explorers across the galaxy can pilot spaceships off the tarmac to the deep black beauty of space. Star Atlas players are now able to experience the true AAA game the devs have been promising. If you are itching to do so the new R2 version of the showroom can be played at play.staratlas.com.
In the improved showroom everything that can be done in and around Volant Station has been transformed with a long list of upgrades and enhanced functionality. To get a better understanding of all novelties, here’s a look at some of the key added features.
Volant Station is still there, but it’s been expanded significantly and now it looks more polished than before. There are more landing pads and additional lands to explore. Familiar areas are still there and are more aesthetic and enhanced to provide a better experience. The light rigs and material libraries of the interior and exterior have been refactored to improve quality and reach a consistent look for all assets. This means more immersive spaces that hold surprises and wonder as this hub in the Star Atlas metaverse comes into sharper focus.
Explorers know that every adventure is more fun with your closest friends. R2 is the first module in Star Atlas to offer live multiplayer functionality with the ability to invite up to seven of your friends to join you simultaneously in the Showroom. Invite your friends to move in and around the ships that any of you own, play hide-and-seek, hold important meetings or climb onto the station roof to hang out and enjoy the beautiful light of “magic hour” together.
For the past few months, explorers have been experiencing Volant Station through the eyes of its sole inhabitant, Captain Asha. The release of R2 introduces a character selection screen to the Showroom. Explorers will now have the option of three additional characters to choose from, in addition to Star Atlas’ favorite captain. Every character can be equipped with different skins.
When you enter the Showroom, each character can then be outfitted with multiple skins, all of which, for the time being, are freely available. Ownable skins will become available at a later date. The current combination of characters and skins creates a range of options to fit your mood and desired look.
The Dogfighting Arena is one of the most exciting new features. Players will get to test and better their skills as combat pilots. All of this in order to survive in the harshness of open space. In the Arena players will face wave upon wave of bots, each wave using different ships and strategies to test your offensive and defensive maneuvering abilities as a pilot. There’s a wide range of controls that must be learned to avoid being hit, and obstacles to be dodged when fighting in an asteroid belt. For competitive players, the Arena already has leaderboards for everyone to see who the best pilots in the community are. In future versions of the Arena, you will be able to challenge other players, including your friends, to one-on-one duels, or engage in team battles.
Space racing is another great new feature in the Star Atlas Pre-Season. Players can race on the aerial race track to try and get their time on the leaderboard. Test out their maneuvering skills by flying as fast as possible through each gate. The flying mechanics will differ ship by ship. Make sure you don’t miss a gate, because then your chance to top the leaderboard will drop considerably. Conquering the twists and turns of this track requires strategy, quick reflexes, and finesse. Different ships have different flying mechanics and only training will help you develop the deft touch required. Every mistake will put your standing at risk.
Anyone can summon and interact with a Floyd Liner for free, which includes opening ramps, elevators, and doors, and even fly around the Showroom in it. The same is true for those lucky or savvy enough to own a Calico MedTech. All other ships can be accessed by their owners but interiors and exteriors will not be fully rendered.
If you have been interested in Star Atlas then now is the time to check it out, so you'll be ready when the next release comes out. It will be SAGE, a strategy mini-game that will replace SCORE, which should come out in Q1 or Q2 of 2023.