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to infinity, but that’s not it yet



Kerbal Space Program 2, the sequel to the legendary space simulation game, is finally available in early access after years of waiting. Can fans of the original rush to the new Intercept title yet? Here is our opinion.

KSP is one of those niche titles that has attracted a community of hardcore fans. More than ten years after the release of its illustrious predecessor, the imminent arrival of the game therefore made all the Sunday astronauts quiver with impatience, as well as a good bunch of observers intrigued by this new version. This time it’s the good one, the game is accessible to all in an early access sold (all the same) around fifty euros.

Launching KSP 2 for the first time, old timers will immediately feel at home. Overall, the recipe is unchanged. It is always a universe-wide sandbox where the player must assemble various space vehicles (rockets, satellites, rovers, space shuttles…) to allow the Kerbals, a race of adorable little green men, to conquer the cosmos.

Exciting news…

We can already see some indisputable progress compared to the original. Most noticeable is the new physics engine. The rockets seem more stable and consistentespecially when accelerating the simulation — a situation that too often led to the spontaneous self-destruction of the vehicle in KSP 1. It will take time to understand the limits of this new engine, but it is already a a very encouraging sign for the following events.

It is also observed at the level of interface. And that starts with the construction of the machines. For example, the part anchoring system has been completely redesigned. It is now much more intuitive and a bit more responsive, which will make building big ships much easier. The flight interface has also been modernized.

© Intercept Games / Private Division

Also, very important information like delta-v, specific impulse or thrust-to-weight ratio are much easier to access. And if these technical terms don’t mean anything to you, don’t panic! Because unlike the first opus, where players had to fend for themselves to integrate a lot of sometimes quite complex notions, this new opus offers finally a proper tutorial. Perfect to help new players see things more clearly.

The other good news is that the developer hasn’t lowered its standards yet. Scientific realism continues to take center stage in KSP 2, so KSP1 aficionados can pick up right where they left off…well, almost.

…in very early access

Because the least we can say is that KSP 2 has not stolen its title of early access. Optimization, for example, is not yet there. You’re going to need a fairly muscular machine to run the game in good conditions… whereasaesthetically speaking, the result is not necessarily conclusive.

And this is one of the first big disappointments of this early access. Because even if some elements have been improved, we could legitimately expect something much more impressive in terms of graphics; As it stands, this vanilla version is a far cry from competing with a modded version of KSP 1 – and that’s frankly unfortunate.

The redesigned interface will not be unanimous either. It is obvious that she is not not mature yet. Special mentions to the camera which sometimes does as it pleases, to the recalcitrant maneuver markers and to the orbital trajectories which can disappear without warning….

But beyond the visual aspect and the ergonomics, what really fails is the amount of playable content. She is still extremely limited. For example, Campaign mode is missing. You have to be content with a Sandbox mode that is certainly interesting, but without the slightest challenge. Too bad, knowing that the stress of the crash is an integral part of the experience.

Science collection — a major focus of KSP1’s gameplay — has also not been incorporated at this time. So we end up with an experience that really lacks flavor since it is one of the only elements that normally spice up the Sandbox mode.

kerbal space program 2 screenshot of Duna orbiting craft
© Intercept Games / Private Division

And this impression will be all the stronger among veterans who used to play with a host of mods. Whether it’s various tools, graphical improvements or new parts, these were very important to the gaming experience of KSP1. And for now, even if we can already find some embryos of plugins on the official forums, we are still light years away from the huge library of mods of KSP 1, which has been created over the years by an army of dedicated fans. It will therefore be necessary to wait for at least a few more months to find a comparable experience.

Solid foundations and heaps of promise

You will understand, without going so far as to speak of an empty shell, KSP 2 is sorely lacking in substance. It is still only a prototype which will have a hard time justifying its price of 49.99 €.

But on the other hand, KSP first of the name was also rudimentary in its beginnings. It took years to become the superb space sandbox we know today. And it’s a safe bet that KSP 2 will follow a similar trajectory. Because even if there is not much to put in your mouth, the foundations seem solid.

the KSP 2 development roadmap
© Intercept Games / Private Division

The most important thing is that the spirit of KSP1 is still there. The dedication of the developers seems intact, and the basic formula remains unchanged. Add to that a new physics engine that suggests ships that are more complex than ever and an incredibly promising roadmap (integration of science, then colonies, interstellar travel, multiplayer…), and there is plenty to be very excited about. Because unlike the big Battlefield type blockbusters that come out every year, KSP is party to register in the long term; it is therefore certain that the game will improve. The whole question is how long to wait…

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