Kerbal Space Program 2 Early Access Preview – Rocket Science

Kerbal Space Program 2 is the sequel to the cult classic released in 2011, and it’s finally out today. As in, now! As someone who doesn’t dabble too much in simulator games, much less space simulator games, I had consciously kept myself away from this game, despite rave reviews across the board.

That said, I had a chance to try out Kerbal Space Program 2 ahead of its early access release on February 24 (today). After much appreciation of other recently released simulator games like Two Point Campus, I thought that it would be interesting to see what the fuss about this game is really about.

I didn’t expect to go back to school. Sort of.

For a newcomer like me, the simplest way I can describe Kerbal Space Program 2 is that you’ll be building a rocket to take to space and beyond. It sounds easy and fun, kind of like a high school science experiment without the bells and whistles, only this time, the game actually includes the bells and whistles.

Hopping into the game, I was overwhelmed and intimidated. Seeing all of these moving parts and getting to tinker around with some stuff I have never even heard of before was pretty mind-blowing, and my initial reaction was really that of a question I asked myself – Can I really do this?

Well, if I can, then you can too, but not before a very detailed tutorial session that explains the base concepts of building a rocket, taking it to orbit, and so on. I really appreciated this onboarding session, or what we from the game development industry call a FTUE (First Time User Experience), as not only did it explain things in a basic but interesting approach, but also offered a hands-on that allowed me to actually build and launch a rocket.

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From explaining the stages of each rocket, to decoupling stages, to launching and even achieving a proper orbit around the earth, the Kerbal Space Program 2’s tutorial is very well made, allowing new users such as myself to easily play and understand the game. As detailed as some other parts of the game were, the tutorial was nothing to scoff at and it really is a fantastic touch.

Other things that really caught my interest while playing it were the upgraded visuals, upbeat music, and sleek user interface that was very clean and easy to look at. It’s been a number of years since the first game, and possibly taking a lot of user feedback into account, I can definitely appreciate these nice flourishes that make the game easy on the eyes and ears.

After messing around with the game, I did a bit of reading into the game, as Kerbal Space Program 2 definitely had me interested. It turns out, this game has had a MAJOR influence on a lot of things in its periphery. Some Youtubers rose to popularity thanks to the game, I’ve read stories on how the first game inspired them to take up an Aerospace course, even as far as NASA collaborating with the developers. The cultural impact was huge!

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I could see why. Kerbal Space Program 2 was immensely detailed, and as someone who was trying it out for the first time, there was a lot of information to digest and even more trial-and-error portions that had me crashing enough rockets to get Elon Musk bankrupt.

Building a rocket requires the proper parts, with each having unique characteristics – heavier parts will require more power to launch, more fuel makes your ship heavier, and so on. There’s a certain balance you’ll have to figure out that could be frustrating at times, but the satisfaction of launching one for the first time is unparalleled.

Here are some of the things you’ll be able to control when launching a rocket: adjust the trajectory, adjust its orbit, eject unusable stages with no more fuel, control thrust, and much more. That’s for launching alone. In Kerbal Space Program 2, you’ll also get to land on various bodies in space, but that’s a discussion for another time.

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Overall, Kerbal Space Program 2 is an extremely detailed space simulator that, if you’ve got any interest at all in interstellar travel or anything of that sort, will surely satisfy. There’s enough content here to keep anyone busy for hours on end, and with a feature-heavy roadmap that could take quite a while to realize, the trek to space will be long and fruitful.

Kerbal Space Program 2 is something that fans have long waited for and will surely enjoy, but this is the type of game that won’t change the minds of a lot of players. That said, if one does choose to take that small step, there’s an unbelievably deep game waiting to be explored.

Kerbal Space Program 2 is now available in Early Access on Steam and Epic Games.

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