What is Squadron 42?
Squadron 42 is the single player game that takes place in the Star Citizen universe and occurs prior to your entry into the persistent Star Citizen universe. It is meant as the spiritual successor to Wing Commander.
The game is being developed at Foundry 42, the Manchester, England studio of Cloud Imperium Games.
The single player campaign will introduce the player to the Star Citizen universe, but playing the solo game is not a prerequisite for playing the MMO. For players that want to skip SQ42, they can begin the MMO with no negative effects.
In the first episode you enlist with the United Empire of Earth (UEE) Navy as a rookie pilot in the war against the Vanduul. As you battle the Vanduul, you eventually get accepted into the legendary 42nd Squadron aka Squadron 42, a volunteer unit assigned to the Bengal Carrier UEES Paul Steed.
Made up of a ragtag bunch of misfit pilots that seek out battle with the enemy when others run, they are constantly in the hottest battles, and often outnumbered. They’re famous for their ability to come out on top regardless of the odds.
The Squadron is part of the UEE’s 2nd Fleet and has taken part in many of history’s most pivotal battles. One of the times that the 42nd Squadron turned the tides of a battle was during the Second Tevarin War at the Battle of Centauri in 2610.
In this battle, the Tevarin Warlord Corath’Thal suffered a catastrophic defeat at the hands of the Squadron. Rather than be defeated, the remaining Tevarin fighters dove toward the surface of Elysium IV, dropping their heat shields and burned up in the atmosphere. This scene was made famous in the painting “Tears of the Sun.”
What will be Included in the Game?
SQ42 is set to be released in three episodes. Episode 2 is slated to be called Behind Enemy Lines and episode 3 has not been named yet. Each one will be playable as a standalone game unto itself, but will be a continuation of the story.
The release date is set to be some time before the release of Star Citizen. The latest news from CIG is the game won’t be out until at least early 2018.
Squadron 42 Gameplay
The first episode is expected to be 20+ hours of gameplay with 28 chapters and around 70 individual missions. These missions will involve all forms of ships, from fighters to dreadnoughts and involve dogfighting in both space and in the atmosphere of planets. Flying won’t be the only type of gameplay however, there will be FPS gameplay involving both stealth and brute force missions.
One of the most anticipated features of the game is its story. Using a cast of A-list actors, there are more than 340 speaking roles enhanced with state of the art facial scanning and motion capture. Overall, the story covers more than 20 hours of performance capture and 1255 pages of dialogue.
Groundbreaking AI and environment technology are set to put the game far past its competitors. The subsumption AI is fully systemic, follows 24-hr schedules, has more than 1000 subroutines and seamlessly goes about taking care of secondary objectives.
As you complete the single player campaign, you enter the persistent Star Citizen universe. Depending on how you did in your play through, you may have earned some cash and even citizenship. It’s also believed that you will start with enhanced reputation with the UEE military and may have access to military ships.
The Cast of Squadron 42
Featuring actors like Mark Hamill, Gary Oldman and Gillian Anderson, to name a few, the game’s cast reads like a full blown Hollywood movie.
Admiral Ernst Bishop
Gary Oldman play Admiral Ernst Bishop, brilliant military tactician who is single handedly out maneuvering the Vanduul. Compared to Alexander the Great, Hannibal and Patton, Ernst Bishop is a lifelong soldier with a history of pulling of amazing victories.
He got that reputation by being willing to accept risks that others won’t. By looking at a battleship as just a weapons system, rather than a ship with 500 people on board, he uses each asset on the battlefield without being hindered by worrying about the potential loss of life that his orders may bring. This has always been his secret to continue winning.
This trailer from CitizenCon is the first time we see Admiral Bishop in action as he addresses the Senate.
Squadron 42 Trailer
Steve “Old Man” Colton
Mark Hamill plays Steve Colton, a legend in the UEE Navy. Old Man has flown every type of ship out there, taken part in every kind of mission and seen nearly everything there is to see. This makes him an amazing teacher to new pilots. His teaching style is harsh, but his results can’t be argued with.
Steven Colton rubbed enough people the wrong way to effectively halt what could have been an amazing career. Through it all, he firmly believes that the UEE Navy is right, and he’ll do just about anything to forward its cause.
The first video to feature Lt Cdr Colton was this Squadron 42 teaser from the Anniversary Livestream back in 2015. In this clip, “Old Man” is seen training new recruits in his Gladius fighter.
Squadron 42 Teaser Video
Captain Rachel MacLaren
Gillian Anderson plays Captain Rachel Maclaren, the daughter of Admiral Bishop.
Behind the Scenes – Gillian Anderson
John Rhys-Davies (who also played in Wing Commander 3 and 4) plays Randall Graves, a pilot who served with the Old Man in the 118th Squadron. By the time we meet him, he’s been hired as head of security on a space station.
Behind the Scenes – John Rhys-Davies
Andy Serkis (best known for playing Gollum in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy) brings his ability to play non-human characters to the game by playing Thul’Óqquray, the main antagonist.
Behind the Scenes – Andy Serkis
Squadron 42 Release Date
The release date for SQ42 has been pushed back several times already. We’re scheduled to hear more about Squadron 42’s development at this year’s holiday live stream in December. CIG plans to discuss the further development of the game at this time, so it looks like we won’t see the game this year.
How to Purchase Squadron 42
There are currently two ways to purchase the game. The first place you can purchase the game is the Squadron 42 Stand Alone Pledge for $45, but we don’t recommend purchasing it this way. It’s much better to purchase one of the Star Citizen Starter Packages with SQ42 for $60. Once it’s completed it will be available for download from the Robert’s Space Industries website.
You can determine which package will be best for you by reading our Star Citizen New Player Guide.
Check out our transmissions page for more Star Citizen and Squadron 42 Guides, Ship Reviews, and Information.