Star Atlas, the Solana powered 4x space strategy game, continues its streak of impressive visuals with the release of a new video featuring 48 seconds of footage captured in the Unreal 5 Engine. But is this latest video proof that Star Atlas is real, or just vapor meant to power the sale of high-priced NFTs?
The video, featuring a ship landing in a hanger, is no doubt beautiful. Clocking in under 50 seconds, you could easily mistake this high quality footage of a futuristic ship docking on an alien landscape for a short clip from a high budget SyFy show. But as commenters are quick to point out, this video does not show true gameplay:
Since when constitutes an in-engine cinematic as gameplay? This doesn’t say anything about the game at all. A benchmarking software camera flythrough is more interesting than this.
There might be more than this but for all we know this could be a pre-rendered scene and the only piece of the game world that exists. I don’t understand how people get exited about this at this stage.ATLAS on Youtube
With 39 upvotes, ATLAS questions if this is simply the only piece of the game that exists so far. We’ve seen a beautiful trailer, and now this beautiful render of a ship docking, but nothing in terms of actual gameplay.
Over on Twitter, the announcement tweet has over 200k views. But despite the views and likes, there are still users questioning the footage, with the official Star Atlas account responding “That is not a cinematic.” User Thisguy theorizes that Star Atlas is just an extravagant rug pull.
Like many crypto game projects, Star Atlas has seen significant business success even without a playable game. Its $ATLAS token, one of two tokens circulating to date, has a market cap over $235 million at time of writing. On its marketplace, it sells high priced spaceship NFTs like the Fimbul ECOS Bombarella with an initial price of $30,000. With this much money circulating in the ecosystem, and over 140k users on the Star Atlas Discord server, players are clearly hype for the game.
But with big promises in its whitepaper, massive price tags for its NFTs, and scarce details about what, exactly, Star Atlas is, this Unreal Engine 5 footage does little to quell the fear some players have that Star Atlas is little more than very pretty vaporware. Players who are hype are justified in being hype. Players who fear a rug pull are justified in fearing a rug pull. Given the grand AAA MMORPG + VR ambitions put forward by the Star Atlas team, it will likely take years for the promised game to materialize. As we monitor over time, it will be interesting to see if the community maintains its momentum for the long haul or gets bored and abandons the project for more tangible crypto games.