We await a precise date for launch (see what I did there?) but the CEO said “Following the huge success Kerbal Space Program has had on PC with players and critics alike, we want to give console players the opportunity to play Kerbal Space Program in this redefined user experience. It has been a long road but finally we are confident of the quality of the game on consoles. An awesome control experience awaits you, as well as easier access to the wonderful world of space exploration, where even exploding is a lot of fun. We invite everyone to enjoy the excitement of flying rockets built by yourself, landing on planets and much more!”
Released to the public (Version 0.7.3) way back in 2011, the game allowed players to construct rockets and blast them towards the stars. The early days limited what could be achieved but Squad worked hard and over the months and years evolved the game into one of the best PC games around. Kerbal Space Program allows you to take control of the space programme of little green creatures called Kerbals and progress from simple one stage rockets to complex and monstrous multi-stage interplanetary vehicles.
The Kerbol System is the planetary system in which KSP takes place. It has Kerbol (their Sun) as the central body which is orbited by 5 planets and 2 dwarf planets. It is modeled on our solar system but with a few obvious differences for gameplay reasons such as scale and distance between the planets. The game’s physics don’t quite recreate real world physics, however players will find themselves learning a lot about how space travel works and develop an appreciation of the achievements of mankinds space exploration.
The game has been praised for its representation of Orbital mechanics and a few agencies like NASA and the ESA have shown a keen interest in the game.
In the PC version we have 3 game modes that we can expect to see in the console release. Sandbox , where everything is available to you and all that stands between you and the stars is your imagination and gravity. Science mode, intended to introduce you to the concept of career mode without overwhelming you. Then there’s the Career mode itself where players will develop their space programme and accept contracts that when successfully completed reward you currency and reputation.
Carrying out experiments will reward you science which you can use to research and develop new technology. There are also standard goals like altitude records and reaching stable orbit etc that also reward the player. Failure is always an option and explosions are often hilarious but when you master it there’s no game I know that is as rewarding.
I’ve put over 400 hours into the PC version and I can’t wait to try and compare the console release to see how it stands up. My main concern is how the game will play on the control pad but I’m confident in the developers working that out and am sure this will be as big a hit on the consoles as it is on PC.
[Words by Rob Pearce]