Kerbal Space Program Enhanced Edition Review

Gamers, especially the ones hailing from the younger generations, like to complain about anything, and everything gaming related. And if a title, god forbid comes out exclusively on a single platform, then there is a hell to pay. 2017’s LawBreakers and Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds, are the best examples of what happens when title comes to a single console, and not both. However, those who complain about titles such as Cuphead coming only to Xbox One, or Nioh coming only to PlayStation 4, have probably never lived through the so called dark ages of gaming, where vast majority of titles came out only on Steam, and Steam Alone.

Faster Than Light, was released all the way back in 2012, and ever since, console gamers alike, were pleading with the developer to finally release the title on consoles – first on PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360, and then on PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. However, no matter how vocal the group in question was, it was never enough, and FTL – as Faster Than Light is commonly known – is still a PC exclusive to this day. And while such state of affairs saddened many, it has not deprived them of hope completely, and that’s because a plethora of other, previously Steam exclusive titles, has slowly but surely made its way to consoles – just like the recently released Kerbal Space Program Enhanced Edition.

Kerbal Space Program, was initially released back in 2011 through the title’s store front, however, it has taken the developer two years, before the title at hand as appeared on Steam’s Early Access. And it has taken the studio in question, two more years to complete the title, as Kerbal Space Program has officially launched, in its completion, in early 2015. And while it has spent many years in development, which has enhanced the title’s gameplay tenfold, the ever-delayed launch has ultimately taken its toll, as Kerbal Space Program, even after receiving its console exclusive enhancement, looks incredibly dated.

The PlayStation 4 version of the title, regardless of the size of the screen, looks quite simply below-par, even for a quote-on-quote remaster titles. The overall presentation of the title is rather crude, and borderline primitive, and all in-game models look incredibly archaic, and lack any sort of modern polish. And while most will argue that graphics are not the be all end all of a title, they still play an integral part, and can ultimately diminish any enjoyment, or fun factor the game could otherwise possess.

Personally, I can not say a single positive word about Kerbal Space Program’s visuals, especially after coming away from playing it on a 42’’ screen, which has even further exposed the title’s flaws to the light of day. However, I have a lot of good to say about the title’s gameplay, which outshines all the other components of Kerbal Space Program by a country mile. And while it may not be for everybody, it will surely satisfy those with an inch for an overcomplicated, yet rewarding experience, which can be as difficult as you make it out to be.

When it comes to Kerbal Space Program’s gameplay, all that has to be said is that it is a space simulator, which was seemingly designed by Satan himself, and created by a legion of devils, as it is more punishing than all nine levels of hell. Every in-game action, no matter how trivial matters, and it can make the difference between life and death. A turn cm too far to the left, you die. You apply a stabilising wing, cm too far to the right, you crash to earth in a ball of flames.

Kerbal Space Program may come across to some as overly punishing, or complicated. However, the sense of accomplishment which comes after you finally make it into space, and begin to tick off ever new milestones off of your assignment sheet, is like no other. And I dare to say that it is on par with titles such as Dark Souls 3, and The Surge. However, the difference between Dark Souls and Kerbal Space Program is the fact that it will take one up to an hour, at most, to learn the title’s mechanics to a proficient level. Whereas most, will never stop learning about the underlying mechanics of Kerbal Space Program, as its level of complexity, is miles beyond the vast majority of console games.

One of the biggest problems when it comes to the Kerbal Spae Program’s gameplay, is the fact that one cannot just sit and play it, as he/she pleases. As even the most trivial of objectives may take hours out of one’s life. And considering that Kerbal Space Program is an indie game, many may simply decide against picking it up, as most would prefer to invest their time into streamlined, main stream AAA titles, rather than overly complex, and confusing indies. And while many will blame Kerbal Space Program’s overly complex systems for its lack of mass appeal, it has to be underlined that such is not the only one to blame.

Yes, Kerbal Space Program is a little over the top when it comes to its mechanics, just like Asetto Corsa, back in 2017. However, the biggest problem related to Kerbal Space Program’s difficulty stems not from its overly complex mechanics, but rather lacking, and abundant turotial’s and help systems. Instead of brief tutorials, and one line hint boxes, Kerbal Space Program is filled to the brim with laborious training scenarios, and equally tiring hint boxes, which at times can take up to 1/6th of the screen, as vast majority of them features paragraphs, upon paragraphs of text – which is simply unnecessary.

Instead of saying press triangle to do X,Y,Z, Kerbal Space Program prefers to show the player an entire essay on what the triangle button is, what it does, and how to use it. And the clear overcomplication, as stated before, is not just a hindrance, but it is simply problematic. And unfortunately, it persists throughout the title. And as it was underlined above, the vast majority of modern gamers simply doesn’t have enough free time to put up with this.

Kerbal Space Program, will surely find a player base among console gamers, without a shadow of a doubt. However, do not expect it to reach the levels of indie titles such as The Binding of Isaac, Limbo or Spelunky, as it simply lacks the quality, and the mass appeal which those titles possess. Yes, it is a fun game – to an extent – but before one even manages to reach the threshold of ‘fun’ he/she will have already spent hours being frustrated at the title’s stupidly overlong tutorial, shambolic controls, or the painfully punishing difficulty. And in the end, most will feel like the struggle to get there simply wasn’t worth it.

REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to editor@bonusstage.co.uk.

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