Kerbal Space Program 2
Edge|November 2019
A landmark space sim leaves its home solar system behind

Dozens of attempts were made by many Kerbal players before one reached the moon. Heaven knows how many tries it will take to reach another solar system. In development at Planetary Annihilation studio Star Theory following the departure of series creator Squad, Kerbal Space Program 2 raises the stakes like only a NASA-endorsed space sim can. You can now build colonies on other planets, allowing you to shift your launch facilities away from the debris-strewn grasslands of the Kerbal homeworld. You can also build orbital stations, bolting together zero-G dockyards for ships too vast to build on the ground – vessels with the fuel capacity required to travel to another star. Everything looks rather spectacular even in pre-alpha, with more elaborate geometry, textures and lighting than in the 2011 game, and everything is, once again, very fragile. Place a coupling awry and that hand-crafted spacecraft is just an SFX set-piece waiting to happen.

As ever, the goblin-like Kerbals themselves take such mishaps in their stride, grinning idiotically while their rockets teeter over midlaunch. Newcomers to the Kerbal series may find the possibilities more intimidating, but creative director Nate Simpson promises us that, for all its fresh complexities, this will be a more accessible simulation. “We think some of the original game’s hardcore image is undeserved, because the core concepts aren’t actually as impenetrable as they might seem,” he says. “What we’ve learned from iteration around the control process is that a lot of these core concepts can actually be taught very intuitively through animation. When these things are presented visually, they’re a lot easier to digest.”

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