Space Pirates and Zombies 2 – Review
Follow Genre: Space Combat
Developer: MinMax Games Ltd.
Publisher: MinMax Games Ltd.
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Space Pirates and Zombies 2 – Review

Site Score
7.2
Good: Great sense of humor
Bad: Prepare to grind
User Score
8.5
(2 votes)
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Rating: 8.5/10 (2 votes cast)

With Space Pirates and Zombies 2: a spacecraft building, flight simulating, campaigning mean machine Minimax Games are definitely on the right path! Whoever loved playing with LEGO or other building toys when they were young, should be interested in this review. If you own a VR machine (HTC Vive or Oculus Rift), you should also keep an eye out – As this game supports VR. Nonetheless, this review doesn’t include the VR features, so you’ll have to find those out for yourselves. Lastly, if you are a gamer who loves supporting smaller studios, come on over and have a look and see for yourself if this game is for you!

Pirates and Zombies 2 TitleStory

During the colonization of the Alpha Centauri system, mankind discovers Rezin – a transmutable element which unlocked a new era of technical advancement, especially space travels. As mankind never learns from their mistakes, we got greedy. We farmed Rezin until the point the United Terran Alliance (UTA) was founded to enforce galactic laws, stop diseases from spreading and ration the use of Rez. The access to the Warp Gates (gates which allowed interplanetary travel in a fraction of time) was controlled by the UTA and slowly every planet was brought to heel.

The outer worlds in our universe were not very welcoming of the UTA and openly rebelled their arrival, which led to the creation of Titan Gates – these gates shut the outer worlds, together with their rebellious population and all the interplanetary diseases out of the safe zone which was closely controlled by the UTA. As time progressed, the Rez supplies thinned which triggered an exodus of miners looking for more of this precious element. Their journey led them to the planetary core where they found the origin of Rez. In this core, a dark and insidious being resides which used this element to lure unsuspecting civilizations into its trap which were then hunted down and destroyed. This being used Rez to infect whoever and whatever was unfortunate enough to encounter it and turned them into mindless drones which were sent out with only one goal: multiply. This led to entire planets being annihilated by either the plague or the UTA, in a feeble attempt to stop this disease from spreading.

Pirates and Zombies 2 Elsa YoungUnfortunately, evil always finds a way and eventually every planet was drawn into the battle for existence of mankind… The fight was long, the losses were great but eventually we persevered! Humanity was once again free to ignore the lessons from the past and start fighting amongst themselves all over again! Which brings us to the present day: mankind found a way to travel through the universe by using Rez as fuel (seeing the UTA destroyed all the Warp gates during the war) and the remaining protectors of mankind (those that did not turn into raiders or joined one of the many factions out there) are still tirelessly out there looking for any signs of the plague. Those protectors? They’re a bunch of dysfunctional, bickering, hateful lot and you have the luck of accompanying them on their journey.

Graphics

This game looks very nice for a VR game but feels somewhat lacking for a Steam release. The explosions, the missiles, everything on the screen is very flashy and colorful – unfortunately it just doesn’t feel overwhelming. The game doesn’t require a powerhouse computer to run smoothly and the display settings allow some degree of tinkering.

Pirates and Zombies 2 Dogfight 1That being said, the fighter jets that assist or harass you look detailed when they fly past and when you are stuck in force fields of one of the more powerful bombs it will feel as you are actually there, being shaken around like a freshly mixed cocktail.

Sound

The music in general is very fitting, it brings across a sense of urgency – of something just looming past the next planet, in the next region. The main screen and campaign map are placed in the right atmosphere thanks to the soundtrack. However, when it comes to the battle sequences there is something missing. The battle themes are too quiet, too calming – they sound more like something you would hear when entering a city in an RPG than during an epic space based dogfight.

Lastly the voice acting in the campaign mode really lifts your experience to another level, every character sounds unique and has their quirks but having the option to turn on subtitles during combat or interaction with other characters is not available.

Gameplay

Space Pirates and Zombies 2 is a modular spacecraft building, third person flight simulator with a 2D campaign map. Having the freedom to create your own spacecraft, with its own specialization and setup, is fresh and inviting. The power level of the different modules you can use is quite unclear so you will end up spending time and credits on trial and error until you find the fit for you.

Pirates and Zombies 2 TradingThe RPG part of the game takes place on the campaign map (star map) which you interact with from a top down 2D perspective. The campaign map allows the player to choose his own path: which zones to explore and build a Starbase in, which captains to attack/befriend and other actions you are able to execute. You are also given extra tasks you can complete for scraps and experience, but these tasks have no impact on the storyline. The storyline missions are scarce and can be boiled down to objectives – befriend a pilot, join a faction, fight a space battle and so on.

Whenever you level up, you have the choice out of three upgrades and occasionally you additionally will receive the free upgrade that allows you to use more Cores so you are able to expand your ship. These upgrades provide stackable bonuses, some of them feel a lot more useful than others.

Whenever you encounter an enemy, you are taken towards a private battlefield where you and your opponents and/or allies will fight for victory. A dogfight, on average, will be finished in 5 minutes. These fights are fast paced and come down to whoever can maneuver the best and can take the most punishment. You control your space craft, Strike Crafts (upgradable small crafts which will assist you) and, depending on the setup of your spacecraft, any defensive or offensive fighter jets you have at your disposal while you can bring a Wingman along who will do its own thing.

Pirates and Zombies 2 Campaign mapThe private battlefields however are limited in size as you clearly feel the boundaries of your playing area while the backgrounds are static. They also feel empty, apart from the asteroid fields and the power ups/bombs you can pull towards you or throw at your enemies, and you never get the feeling you are fighting in outer space.

Overall the game is enjoyable, albeit without multiplayer possibilities, which becomes repetitive after a while and where you will never have the feeling that dying punishes you (as you are able to reload your last save if a battle doesn’t go your way) so you don’t feel obligated to play safe or to think about your decisions.

Conclusion

SPAZ2, all in all is a fairly good game, even though it’s clear that the developers fleshed out the VR features, rather than the rest of the game. While the game offers a fair amount of content, with a forgiving difficulty curve, it does get repetitive after a while. Nonetheless, the characters, lore and global feel are pretty much perfect, especially in combination with the surprising plot twists, the tongue-in-cheek humor, and the sleek and intuitive AI.

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Rating: 8.5/10 (2 votes cast)
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Space Pirates and Zombies 2 - Review, 8.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Spinoisje
Spinoisje


Oldskool gamer with a passion for strategy and RPG games. Interested in indie games/small developers (anything without lootboxes and other pay to win drama deserves a pat on the back). "Peace through power"

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