Though it won't be ready for a full release until next year, Stardock is willing to have players smash up each other's fleets in the Star Control: Origins 'Super-Melee' beta next month.
Access to the beta, including its Ship Crafter section, is locked behind a pre-order or the full game. View it as an incentive or a reward for players who've been waiting long enough already. Either way, you're getting something you can play before getting even more. It's not a bad deal.
Focusing on what comes first, the Star Control: Origins Super-Melee Beta pits players against AI-controlled opponents or, for those looking for a real fight, ranked and unranked multiplayer. Each player constructs a fleet of ships, each with unique powers, before going head-to-head. With the Ship Crafted available, too, it's possible to control the exterior design in more ways than simply swapping out guns and engines.
Once Star Control: Origins releases proper, players will be thrust into the year 2086 - a year that still feels too early for the human race to be waging war across the galaxy. In this case, the aliens have started it, so whether it's too early or not is beside the point. We don't have much choice. Locking onto a signal from earth, extraterrestrials are on their way to wipe us out. Though you're piloting the planet's most advanced starship, you'll still tweak it to your liking throughout the campaign.
Star Control: Origins can be picked up through Steam or Stardock directly. If you're more into a lack of DRM, it's available on GOGtoo. For $5 more than the $24.99 asking price, you can grab Star Control: The Ur-Quan Masters and Star Control: Kessari Quadrant too.