As a long-time fan of the original Kerbal Space Program, I was excited to get my hands on Kerbal Space Program 2, the highly anticipated sequel that has been in development for over two years. Does it live up to the hype? or does it blow up in spectacular fashion? let’s find out.
AT A GLANCE
DEVELOPER: Intercept Games
PUBLISHER: Private Division
EARLY ACCESS RELEASE DATE: 24 Feb, 2023
If you haven’t heard about Kerbal Space Program, the game allows players to design and construct their own spacecraft using a variety of parts and then launch them into space to explore the Kerbal Solar System. The game’s unique physics engine simulates the challenges of real-life space travel, requiring players to carefully manage resources such as fuel, electricity, and oxygen while navigating the harsh environment of space.
The gameplay of Kerbal Space Program is focused on a combination of creativity, problem-solving, and skillful piloting. Players must carefully plan their missions, taking into account factors such as gravitational pull, atmospheric drag, and planetary alignment, in order to successfully reach their destination. The game’s open-ended nature allows players to explore and discover the vast expanse of the Kerbal Solar System at their own pace, with no set goals or objectives.
Despite its steep learning curve and challenging gameplay, Kerbal Space Program has garnered a devoted fanbase for its innovative approach to space simulation and its emphasis on player creativity and experimentation. With a vast array of parts and customization options, the game offers endless possibilities for players to design and launch their own spacecraft and explore the mysteries of space.
Kerbal Space Program 2 retains the foundation of the original game while vastly improving in a lot of areas. With new next-generation tools and technology, players can construct powerful spacecraft, navigate expansive celestial bodies, and explore cosmic mysteries. The game offers several new features, including colonies, systematic resource gathering, and interstellar travel, each presenting its own unique set of challenges. The game’s updates will introduce new engines, parts, fuel, and more, enabling new feats of space exploration within and beyond the original Kerbolar System.
There are a few tweaks and additions and sometimes a lack of gameplay elements that were present in the first game, but the overall experience is the same.
Kerbal Space Program has always had a distinctive art style that sets it apart from other simulation games, and the graphics in Kerbal Space Program 2 are a significant improvement over the original game. The attention to detail in the new parts and environments is impressive, and it makes exploring the Kerbal Solar System a more immersive experience. The game still retains the colorful and cartoonish visuals, with a whimsical aesthetic that belies the complexity of the gameplay. The Kerbals themselves, the game’s fictional spacefaring race, are still the adorable little green creatures with bulbous eyes and wobbly limbs.
In addition to the Kerbals, the game’s spaceships, rockets, and planetary environments are also stylized in a way that makes them visually appealing and memorable. The rockets are constructed from a variety of modular parts that can be combined in endless configurations, allowing players to create their own unique designs. The game’s planets and moons are also rendered in vibrant colors and have distinct features that make them easily recognizable.
Another major improvement in Kerbal Space Program 2 is the addition of multiplayer gameplay. Players can now work together to build and launch spacecraft, explore new worlds, and complete missions. This opens up a whole new level of gameplay possibilities, allowing players to collaborate and share their experiences with each other.
I particularly like the new parts customization options, which allow players to really fine-tune their rockets and spacecraft. There’s also a lot of depth to the game, with a variety of different missions and objectives to complete. Whether you’re a casual player who just wants to mess around in sandbox mode or a more serious player who wants to tackle complex space missions, there’s something for everyone in Kerbal Space Program 2.
One of the biggest improvements in KSP2 aside from the updated graphics is the sound. The fully orchestrated score and realistic rocket engine audio add to the immersive experience of building and launching your own spacecraft.
Additionally, the merged workshop and trip planner features make designing and planning missions more convenient. The addition of a parts manager window and the ability to customize wings using sliders makes building spacecraft even more enjoyable. The merger of the vertical assembly building and spaceplane hangar is a welcome improvement, as it allows for easier assembly of complex crafts.
But, let’s address the elephant in the room. Yes, Kerbal Space Program 2 has its fair share of bugs, glitches, and performance issues. The game is in early access, after all, so it’s to be expected. However, some players have found the bugs to be too much to handle. Several players have reported corrupted save files, falling through graphics, recovery issues, fuel transfer issues, and a convoluted UI system. The addition of tutorials for new players is a plus, but the lack of a career mode may turn off some players.
There are also optimization issues that prevent the game from running smoothly on high-end computers. Players have reported low frame rates when flying larger ships, which can hinder gameplay and immersion. Thankfully optimization is something that can be improved over time, and it’s still largely playable with the recommended specs, but people with lower-end systems will face lower framerates than desirable.
Having played Kerbal Space Program 2 for quite a few hours now, I can attest to its incredible depth and complexity. The feeling of building your own rockets and successfully launching them into space is unparalleled. The game has come a long way since its predecessor, with improved graphics and sound, a more user-friendly interface, and a better tutorial system to help new players navigate the complexities of space travel.
Based on the community posts by the devs, it seems that they are already hard at work in fixing most of the issues that the community is facing, so I can’t wait to experience Kerbal Space Program 2 once it’s seen more improvements and gameplay additions.