“All I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by” This quote was first uttered by John Masefield but I more like the fact that is was borrowed by who is arguably the greatest Captain ever…James Tiberus Kirk. I look at every space game as my great opportunity to finally be a space ship captain and explore galaxies and save lives. So I was quite excited when Little Green Men Games’ Starpoint Gemini 2 came across my desk for review. I have to say that this is one of the best space-based sims that I have played in quite some time.
I think my favorite thing about Starpoint Gemini 2 is the fact that is a very chill experience. Unlike the hardcore space Sims like Eve Online, Starpoint Gemini 2 is extremely accessible. While it offers a lot of the same tasks as other games such as mining asteroids, or trading with space stations or strange aliens, it does so with a truly carefree attitude. You don’t feel rushed or pressured to find a large group to join in order to be successful. In fact A lot of my time within in Starpoint Gemini 2 was spent exploring all of the nooks and crannies of the various galaxies. Of course I was out looking for pirates to ambush but at times would get side tracked in opening a wormhole or flying through a pretty nebula.
Along with a rather robust campaign mode, SG2 comes with a free-roam mode that lets you pick an avatar portrait along with a class specialization focusing on multi-ship command, gunnery or engineering focus. The great thing is that the entire map is unlocked for you from the start. So you are free to go where ever you please. If you pick the campaign option, however, you play as the remnant of the Gemini League, fighting your way to freedom and vengeance. The story is really just a way to introduce the games various systems and functions to the player. And with its uneven voice acting and set-piece encounters, the crafted story of the Gemini League doesn’t feel like the main attraction. But just like in the free-roam mode, you have the freedom to go where ever you please in the campaign.
The combat in the game takes place in various regions of the galaxy, you will find yourself in asteroid fields or even in orbit of a planet. Much like MMO’s each enemy has a indicator which will help you gauge your overall success in fighting it. While some space shooters are all about the attack, SH2 requires you to balance three main systems to successfully win each battle; shields, weapons, and your engines. You have two types of weapons which are divided between light and heavy. Your light weapons use battery strength to fire, where as your heavy weapons use ammunition. Think phasers vs photon torpedoes from Star Trek. The game offers an autofire that is quite valuable when trying to manage other areas of your ship such as the shields, or prioritizing repairs. The game also has various skills that you can level up as you progress that will help you with speed buffs, or better repair bots.
Graphically the game is quite a looker. Even on my older Nvidia GTX 650 I was still able to crank the settings up to Ultra and saw little to/no issue. There was some freezes that I ran into a few times but I am almost certain that those were due to hiccups with the campaign and not the graphics in the game. The game is also active in the Steam Workshop for those that enjoy modding, and there are quite a few mods out right now that tweak or affect various areas of gameplay or presentation. I for one am holding out for an Enterprise mod.
All in all I really enjoyed my time with Starpoint Gemini 2, the combat was fun, and the exploration was excellent. I thoroughly enjoyed the pace of the game which allowed me to really live out my fantasy of what it would be like to work and explore among the stars. While there are hiccups just as there are with any open world game, there aren’t enough of them to detract from the overall beauty of the game itself. If you are looking for your next great space sim, look no further than Starpoint Gemani 2.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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