The space. Infinite expanses. These are the adventures of the Kerbal Space Program. Hobby astronauts have been shooting their rockets and space shuttles through the Kerbol solar system since 2011. At least if you can really get them off the ground. Because the space simulation is too tough and initially opaque. With Kerbal Space Program 2, the next generation of the sandbox concept is now pending, which primarily wants to be one thing: more accessible. This promise has been over 150,000 Wishlist items on Steam rewarded. The successor has thus fought its way into the top 10 of the most popular games on the platform. We were allowed to play the Early Access version before the release and we’ll tell you whether the successor has what it takes to become the new star in the firmament or whether it hits the ground of the facts.
Unexpectedly comes often
When the first version of the Kerbal Space Program entered Early Access more than ten years ago, no one would have guessed that the space kit would become a surprise hit. Even today, outsiders frown on how this lumbering thing managed to sell over five million units.
The sandbox game doesn’t just let you fly a spaceship into space. Here you run your own space program and before you launch one of the cuddly Kerbals into space, you first have to plug your spaceship together yourself. For this you are given a comprehensive kit made up of a wide variety of space travel components. From command modules to fuel tanks, engines and boosters to wings, stabilizers, decouplers or simply a parachute for landing, everything is there.
The highlight: Kerbal Space Program attaches great importance to correctly simulating the physical conditions. The solar system Kerbol is based on our own. Above all, the home planet of Kerbin largely corresponds to its real, earthly model. This means you can’t just strap a commando unit onto a couple of boosters and go. Instead, you have to consider different circumstances. For example, if you don’t pay attention to the symmetry of your space shuttle, you build a rocket-powered humming top. And those who ignore the basic rocket equation and are too heavy for their built-in drive will not even take off.
Houston, we have a developer problem
Have you not mentally left the end of the day and can at the same time? no Physics degree: Congratulations, the Kerbal Space Program could be something for you. While the game is bone dry and unforgivable for the first few hours of play, it’s at least as rewarding. When, after countless failed attempts, the self-built space shuttle takes off properly for the first time and you leave the atmosphere of your home planet, that is a grandiose moment and the Mission Control in your head lies jubilantly in your arms.
The way there is rocky. Kerbal Space Program is as accessible as a tax return and this is where you want to start with a second part. Before he has even made the leap into Early Access, a real development thriller lies behind him. After Part 1 was a surprise hit, Take Two bought out the licensing rights from developer studio Squad to help with sales and marketing.
Of course, they also wanted to develop a sequel, for which they hired the Star Theory studio. Squad should further refine the first part. In order to have the greatest possible control, Take Two tried to buy the studio, which was rejected. Instead of putting up with it, the developer then took the project away from the developer, founded a new team internally, brazenly recruited employees from the sawed-off studio and then continued the development of Kerbal Space Program 2 itself. After all this, Star Theory had to close its doors.