I love space. I seriously love everything about space, and the idea of being able to explore it is pretty awesome. That’s why I’ve always had a soft-spot for space simulation games. The only problem is that usually they are too difficult to play to be any fun.

When I was given the opportunity to play Starpoint Gemini 2, I was pretty excited. At the same time, I was worried that it would be the same as so many others before it… unapproachable and needlessly difficult. Thankfully, that doesn’t appear to be the case at all. I spent a couple hours with the Early Access build of the game, and came away impressed.

StarpointGemini2 - Taxi Mission

There’s several different mission types. This one has me transporting someone to a space station.

While the game is still a work in progress, it already looks fantastic. I know I know, graphics aren’t the most important element to a game but for space sims, they go a long way to improving the immersion factor. Starpoint Gemini 2 looks awesome, and to be honest, it feels awesome too. The controls are approachable and the context menus make sense. I found myself flying around doing missions in no time, which is a considerable step forward in comparison to other games I’ve played in the past. I know there’s an underlying complexity to the game I haven’t really experienced yet, but for now, just cruising and fighting some baddies was good enough for me.

While the look and feel of the game are great, there is still a lot of work to be done on the combat mechanics. On more than one occasion, I found myself unable to fire my missles (heavy weapons) although I know I was locked on and had a lot of ammo. I was in a 3v1 battle and I found myself literally floating-fodder as for some reason my heavy weapons wouldn’t fire and my secondary laser beam was already out of battery power. The combat just doesn’t feel right yet. I couldn’t tell if I was hitting an enemy with my laser, or if I was even in range. Not only that, but I ran out of battery power (ammo) so fast I barely put a dent in the enemy ships. Honestly, maybe I was doing something wrong; I don’t know. One thing is for sure, the game’s combat has to be engaging if it wishes to engage gamers for long periods of time.

StarpointGemini2 - Planet

Damn, space is beautiful.

Starpoint Gemini 2 is on Early Access and is currently on sale for 33% off. If you’re a space-sim nut, this is definitely a game worth checking out. Its design is much more approachable than most traditional space sims, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it evolves over the coming months.

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