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Watch Star Citizen shoot up a bunch of defenseless spaceships

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Star Citizen turned a spacefighter into a charcoal briquette on YouTube to show you it's serious about the depth — and persistence — of its damage model. Hang out under hostile laserbeams too long and your vessel will look like someone fried hashbrowns on it.

It's not just the blistering or the burning from garden variety beam cannons or mass-driver weapons. Some armaments are powerful enough to shoot off chunks of a spaceship, too, as seen from 1:03 onward. Star Citizen sets up a couple dummy targets to show what this looks like — and how it affects a ship's movement (assuming it isn't under power.)

Star Citizen is still looking at a full commercial launch in 2016, with beta rollouts of components such as its FPS module between now and then. The game has surpassed $70 million in crowdfunding since it began taking donations in 2012, and expects to top $100 million in crowdfunding before it's all over.

For more, see Polygon's preview of an early access build of the space combat MMO from last month.