Putting the Big Bang theory into practice.
For my fellow devotees of beam weapons, crumpling bulkheads and the lyrical phrase LIFE PODS GET TO THE LIFE PODS, there can be no more welcome news than this. Positech Games has announced Gratuitous Space Battles 2, the follow-up to 2009′s underrated space battlefield/playground. Positech owner, Renaissance man, and all around nice guy Cliff “cliffski” Harris has this to say:
I love space battles. I love em to bits. I could sit and watch them on and endless loop. There is so much to them, the feeling of scale, the sound effects, the particles, the cool lasers, the amazing nebula backdrops and the vast vast fleets of ships doing amazing acrobatics. As a kid I grew up watching the original star wars movies and playing Elite. Space Battles are in my blood and I love them. [...]
GSB2 is a continuation of my fantasy of making this come to life. There are various questions answered on the placeholder website here, but let me summarize. GSB2 will be bigger, bolder, better and have more cool effects than you can shake a laser gun at. It will have a truly gratuitous user-interface. it will lovingly embrace the possibilities of twin 2560 res monitors. It will have a super-cool feature I haven’t announced yet. It will be a PC-first game, pure and simple, and it will be in your hands either late 2014 or early 2015.
I call the original GSB underrated not just because I like it more than most people (though most enjoyed it well), but because it did something I’ve never seen before. The game’s full of battles, yes, but you don’t get to participate in them. The strategy all happens before the battle, as you upgrade units, deploy them and issue their marching orders. When you’re done planning you just sit back, push play, and find out how many admiral’s stars you’re really worth.
In many ways it’s a closer representation of real generalship–err, admiralship–than other strategy games, with their omniscient perspective and constant opportunities for intervention. And if you ask me, strategy games are generally better the less they have to do with combat and the more they have to do with planning for it. In the distant epoch when I played tabletop Warhammer, the best parts (and to the game’s credit, those most crucial to the outcome) were army-building and the initial setup. GSB captures those elements like no other.
There aren’t any videos yet of GSB2, but cliffski assures us, “Videos to come in due course. You are going to *really* like the videos.” When they’re out, you’ll see ‘em here–if your retinas haven’t been burned to cinders by lasers, as is wont to happen.