it is very rare to feel like this about a game. The first time I did was with Half Life, the second one with Half Life 2 and sometime in between with the first iteration of Max Payne.
Of course I take pleasure from gaming a lot of different types of games, since I started playing in the long gone Zx spectrum 48K.
Star Citizen is a space simulation where you have to do the same stuff as in many other games: mine, ferret cargo or people between a bunch of different planets, pew pew or simply go shopping in a major city.
Why is this game different then? it is the way you have to do it.
It is science fiction, with a big degree of believability so the suspension of disbelief is very strong in this title.
You don’t extend powers, you don’t learn new stuff in game, you don’t have access to some more powerful personal weapons and gear that no one else can get, (Everything is available to everyone, as long as you have ingame currency or real life Dóla!
You learn in real life the procedures to mine, to fly ships, land in tight spots, or even enter caves with your ship. You learn what is the best weapon combination for your type of game play, and you fail. You fail a lot. As you would in real life.
What, for me feels different is the way you fail.
You fail to drink water because you have your helmet on, you fail to use an elevator because you…ahg… thats a bug, you fail to land on planet X because you have run missions in planet Y, and now there is a totally different atmosphere, and gravity forces pulling you down.
Or, you simply fail because when landing, you failed to see the ditch because of the snow storm… and when you discover you cannot reenter your ship from the only door it has, instead of being pissed at the game, you are pissed at you for failing on something so obvious…
But then, you just look around, and see the most beautiful sunrise you have ever seen… due to environmental physics based on planet data, rotation and the sun positioning, and not some scripted animation. And you just lie there, in perfect disbelief, as it reminds you of how once you were skiing in Andorra, and everything looked exactly like that.
IF a game makes you remember something from real life… It must be a good game.