Design and then improve the ultimate mothership. Explore a persistent living galaxy populated by 200 unique captains that can do everything you can do. Survive the zombie infection and then fight them back. Make allies and start your own faction. Build your empire. Also includes Sandbox Mode.
User reviews:
Overall:
Very Positive (497 reviews) - 80% of the 497 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: May 17, 2016

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“Important Note: SPAZ 2 is not a direct sequel to SPAZ 1. It is a new game with brand new gameplay mechanics but is set in the same universe with the same cast. SPAZ 2 is themed around scavenging and survival and the mechanics reflect that. Those looking for a direct SPAZ 1 sequel will not find it here. Those looking to try something new, certainly will find that. :)

We have been working on SPAZ 2 full time for almost 4 years. The single player campaign and sandbox modes are working, but we would like community suggestions for the tuning and for methods to improve the campaign flow. SPAZ 2 is built on an emergent living galaxy with 200 persistent captains, and the two of us here at MinMax just cannot explore all the dark corners of a galaxy on our own. In just the first week, we have already implemented many community suggestions that have made the game even better.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“We estimate between 6 and 12 months, but we won't mark SPAZ 2 as released until we feel that it is a complete game that we can be proud of. We are excited to see what players think of SPAZ 2 and to hear their ideas for improvements.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“A big focus right now will be doing a better job of teaching the player the many gameplay systems, particularly on the Starmap. So the tutorial content now as well as early progression is definitely in an Early Access state. Some people get it right away, but others struggle and we need to work on that.

Right now, the main cast voices are all synthesized. We expect to hire voice acting talent for most of the main cast for final, though if everyone loves the synthesized voices, this may change.

Throughout Early Access we will also be working on localization and will attempt to bring the game to Mac and Linux.

A vs. mode multiplayer. The ship to ship combat side of SPAZ 2 is just begging for multiplayer, and the preliminary work is done. We will spend time coming up with multiplayer modes with the community and a matchmaking solution. We will also likely have to rewrite the current multiplayer back end so expect this to take some time. Please do not purchase for multiplayer until multiplayer is ready.

Achievements and Trading Cards will come on line throughout Early Access.

Tuning, Tuning, Optimization, Tuning.

Stretch goals: VR and local coop. We have done a huge amount of multi layer gfx compositing that MAY make double camera rendering impossible now, but we will investigate solutions near the end of Early Access.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“SPAZ 2 already has an ocean of depth and content. The combat mode and starmap mode are fully functional games in their own right, and all the systems are interacting with one another.

There are over 90 ship and station parts as well as over 30 weapons.

There are 200 persistent and unique AI captains.

The AI captains remember, make friends and enemies, join and leave factions and do just about everything the player can. The AI captains already have over 90 relations events that they can monitor on the starmap.

There is a full levelup perk system that is unlimited at the top end.

There is a lore system that bridges the gap between SPAZ 1 and SPAZ 2.

You can join a faction, build your own, or just remain a filthy neutral.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“The price may be increased on release from early access.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“As with SPAZ 1, the community will be a vital part of the completion process for SPAZ 2. We at MinMax do not have a monopoly on good ideas and had a great experience upgrading SPAZ 1 with community ideas and support.

We have maintained and active forum presence over the last two years while SPAZ 2 has been on the coming soon list. As we have brought new features online, we have discussed them with the community and have gotten their input. Some suggestions have even already made it into the game. We have tried to be as open as possible with our ideas and progress and will continue to do so throughout Early Access and beyond.”
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Recent updates View all (8)

May 24

Current design/implementation goals (May 24 2016)

Hi All,

Well in 4 minutes SPAZ 2 will have been out for a week. It has been a really exciting time and we have gotten a ton of suggestions all week. In that time we have pushed 12 hotfixes to deal with the biggest quality of life issues, but now we also need to spend some time on bigger things that take a little design and implementation time.

To that end, Richard and I had a long meeting yesterday and tried to figure out how best to address player suggestions while still keeping the core design principles of the game intact and true to our original vision. So this is the first set of tasks that has come out of that meeting. It certainly won't be the last, but we thought you would want to know what we will be working on in the near future.

This back to development mode mean the less < 5 minute response times on the forums here will have to stop because I need Richard back, but we will still be reading and replying at about the rate we were leading up to launch, which was quite regularly.

So here's the list:

1. Catalog System:

The goal here is to provide players a less random means to find the parts that they want for their ships without undermining the core looting mechanics and part rarities. So you will be able to search for parts with the weapons you want in a non random way. There will probably be a price attached to this search as well.


2. Working on Clarity Issues:

The tutorial system is getting a facelift to allow us to display more text and we will be increasing the amount of text in those tutorials to help players understand how to play better. We will be combing the forums for the most common stumbling areas in the flow and places players miss opportunities and we will try to make understanding the game systems better.


3. Challenge/Ambient Events:

These are to add some spice to the universe and promote extra player immersion. Instead of adding rock harvesting as part of a combat encounter, thus ending each encounter with the "cleanup grind" so you aren't feeling like you are missing out, instead we will tailor some non combat events that will appear and disappear periodically on the map in different locations. They should be a treat and be quite rewarding when found. This should bring back some of the "being there" people are missing from SPAZ 1. This will also be an ongoing process to build, so 1 will come online, then there will be more over time.


4. The Cheat Menu:

So there is lots of cheat engine use going on, and that is an extra step people should not need to deal with if they are experimenting. At first we will allow Rez, Goons, Scrap, and XP cheats, but the menu will grow over time. We will also disable achievements if you cheat so be warned there.


5. Auto Build/Auto Assembly options:

Some people are not enjoying the construction as much as we do, so we want to streamline it for those people. This means having pre defined spine shaped you can simply select and have your best cores form that shape for you instantly. Another button to snap on all your best parts will also be available. This is a quality of life tool for some people but using it will be in no way required.


6. Starmap Cloaking:

So sometimes you want to get from A to B without being bothered. We want to allow that, but at a large cost. We will be adding a cloak to the starmap that will make your ship invisible. Any action will decloak you and it will have a large rez cost, but it will be there to get you our of a jam. We also plan on it having a substantial recharge time once used. It will be a Carl invention that we unlock at some level and be for the player fleet only.


7. Secondary Objectives:

One of the big problems we are seeing is the word "Grind." It shocked us really because up until release we thought we had a grind free game here, but we realize what the problem is. We teach the player to do a couple simple things early on to make basic money and they focus on that, never branching out... ever. We need to fix this, and here is the plan to do it.

We will start providing objectives with xp incentives to try new things like joining a starbase defense for example to reap huge xp rewards, or to offer tribute to a faction leader to teach how to quickly raise faction wide relations. That sort of thing. It will be a teaching tool to allow people to see more of the nuanced gameplay below the surface that can really boost leveling speed and relations changes. We will of course also be adding fun objectives too, but in the short term we think that it will be a great teaching tool.


8. Bringing back Flying in Reverse:

This is a smaller thing, but we all want it and we want to make sure you know it is being worked on.


Now this isn't the end of the list by any means, but this is what we will be working on first. We think it will give the biggest bang for the buck, and once these changes have been made we would like to see how the community reacts to this new ecosystem to see what the next priority steps will be.

Hotfixes will remain a priority while we work on these new features.

Thanks for coming along for the ride!

24 comments Read more

May 23

Hotfix v0.1.16

- Replaced all cases of Random.insideUnitShpere from code. Just in case the freeze bug had friends.
- Fixed perma blocked resource nodes
- Fixed case that allowed faction to go to war with itself
- Fixed constant beams draining capacitor while game is paused
- Wingmen should no longer appear stuck
- More exciting spelling fixes.

17 comments Read more
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Report bugs and leave feedback for this game on the discussion boards

Reviews

“The combat in this feels very very good you guys. Feels very nice, very fluid.”
Brian Rubin, Space Game Junkie

“Oh Yes, I love the comic relief in the game. Just about everything is oozing with that kind of charm.”
ReformistTM

“MinMax Games has slammed down in front of us the most innovative and exciting experiences I have had the privilege of playing in a long time.”
Deluks Gaming

About This Game

In SPAZ 2 you must survive in an evolving post apocalyptic Galaxy. The zombie threat is defeated, infrastructure has collapsed, fuel is scarce, and scavenging means survival.

Initially the Galaxy contains hundreds of fleets, each trying to survive. AI captains do everything the player can. The player is not special and is not the center of the Galaxy.

As resource scarcity becomes critical, ships come into conflict just to survive. Factions may form for protection or split due to starvation. Old friends must become fodder.

Stronger factions establish and defend territories, set up resource hubs, and establish star bases. Weaker factions may resort to banditry. Each captain is unique, persistent, and shapes the Galaxy.

When factions meet, combat is usually the result. While the strategic side of SPAZ 2 is about exploration, territorial control, and faction building, the action side of SPAZ 2 is about ship construction, tactics, and salvage.

Combat creates damaged ships and dead crew, but it also provides new salvaged parts. All the parts in SPAZ 2 are modular and randomly generated. If you see something you like, break it off an enemy, grab it with your tractor beam, and connect it to your ship. Ship construction can be done live during battles, though sometimes beating an enemy to death with their broken wing is also fun.

Back on the star map, battles will attract other captains looking for salvage. Take your new parts and run. Upgrade, repair, and prepare to fight another day, for darker threats are about to emerge.

Key Features:
  • Two hundred persistent Captains that are able to do everything the player can, including forming dynamic factions, building structures, controlling territory, and going to War.
  • A true living galaxy that is not player centric. It will develop differently each game through the interactions of the agents.
  • Build your own faction from nothing.
  • Randomly generated modular parts. Build the mothership that suits your play style, on the fly, in seconds. Every part has its own unique stats that contribute to the mothership. Every part has its own hull integrity and damage states. Every part is a real, working, ship component.
  • Strategic ship building. The mass, location and shape of parts all matter. If a part blocks a turret, it will not fire. If a ship is too long, it will turn slowly. Too many engines will mean too little power for weapons. Every design choice counts.
  • A fully physics based 3d environment where everything is destructible, takes damage from impacts, can be grabbed and even thrown at enemies with the tractor beam.
  • Natural movement and controls. Movement is on a 2d plane and screen relative, much like an FPS. The combat feels like huge pirate ships battling on an ocean. Focus on tactical positioning and manage system power to unleash hell at the right moment.
  • Epic ship to ship battles. Tear the enemy apart piece by piece over minutes, instead of seconds.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10
    • Processor: 2.6 Ghz Dual Core
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 1GB 3D DirectX 9 Compatible video card
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10
    • Processor: 3.1 Ghz Dual Core
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 2GB 3D DirectX 9 Compatible video card
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Overall:
Very Positive (497 reviews)
Recently Posted
[NCE] McDerp
( 29.8 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: May 25
Not a direct sequel to SPAZ, sorry to dissapoint. The gameplay however once it gets refined has the same feel for battles SPAZ1 had. It's overall a wonderful game and worth a shot if you like space battles with modular ship design!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Tarzan
( 32.0 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: May 25
This game is every bit as amazing as the first as you design your ship around the enemies weakness. I really enjoy the feeling of ship to ship battles. This time it is more personal as you take your flagship into battle. There are a few unpolished features (like the voices, this review was written for Early Access) but as with the first I expect a lot of later additions.

It is so satisfying to blow parts of other ships then attach them to yours and bail out friends in the last minute rush to their battle. Influence territories and beat back the agressive expansionists. Also show up when the zombies are attacking your worst enemy and bail THEM out by killing the zombies. That happy face popping up is so satisfying.

All made by two people. If you like supporting independant developers, this is the place to do it. These guys are very talented.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
stodiaN
( 20.0 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: May 25
I own SPAZ 1 and spend over 100 hours playing it. While SPAZ 2 plays diffrent then the first one i dont really see it as a negative. I got used to battles in 3d really fast and moving over galaxy map (pretty much like mount and blade with instanced battles) is also fine by me. Overall i would say its worth money developers are asking for it and considering there is just 2 of them they really did amazing work getting it to state it is now. They also care about this game and realse hotfixes really fast and promise futher improvments. Honestly if you liked SPAZ 1 i see no reason to ♥♥♥♥ on developers becouse they changed gameplay in a sequel. It is still a great game on its own.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Brazilian Joe
( 5.2 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: May 25
If you haven't played SPAZ it's a very cool top-down shooter with a strategic map and a lot of action, plus a cool, funny backstory.

SPAZ 2 is not just more-of-the-same. Doing away with the limitations of the ancient game engine, it is now fully 3D, though the battles take place in a plane. The backstory from SPAZ is all inside SPAZ 2 in the form of lore messages which can be collected, to bring up new players up to speed with the new game.

The game has even more modular ships thanthe original, and some of the mechanics were changed. It is a different game, with a different engine, but it is relatable to the original and has cool mechanics.

Kudos to develppers for a non-cheating AI and in-game economy, which is a hard feat to pull off! 200 real captains doing the same stuff as you, making the game real.

Being in early access, the devs are polishing the places players are stumbling the most, and expanding the game with more things to do.

So far the single-player experience is good, and I can't wait to see the next updates+features!

Space.
Pirates.
And.
Zombies.


Helpful? Yes No Funny
Spuddy
( 32.0 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: May 25
Gloves are like helmets for your fingers.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Riec
( 78.2 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: May 25
I realy like that Game, 75 houres played right now and i will play a little more.
Finished the game 2 times and now im on the hardest possible scenario so the game itself is not that long but u can play nearly endless.
Theres only one map still now, i hope the make more and of corse much larger.
And i realy miss an Ironman Modus save and load everythink is way to easy.
I hope they bring more options and ways to construct the ships because the most bild of the npc are real stupid because they waste space on the ships.
overall its an 8/10 for me but its still in development so il bet its not the end of the line.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Cyril Figgis
( 39.0 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: May 25
(Purchased on Early Access for $17.99)

I loved SPAZ 1, I had 521 hours in.

Many of us SPAZ 1 players were justifiably disappointed with the change from isometric to 2.5D in SPAZ 2. However, after playing the new interface for awhile I can live with it.

I would recommend this game to anyone, as long as they understand that this is an entirely different game than SPAZ 1, closer to X-2.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
alveolate
( 33.0 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: May 24
as the spiritual successor to SPAZ 1, this game definitely delivers, even if it's in a mostly different style.

the 3D battles are exhilirating and being able to ram ships and fling debris at each other is just awesome! there are some limitations, but the devs are looking at ways to improve on the general formula.

the real-time starmap is also very engaging, and as a drastic change to the SPAZ 1 starmap, i think it is very nicely implemented. similarly, some of the less attractive elements are being looked at by the devs -- specifically the tutorials and campaign quests.

overall, it was a great experience. may have taken a while to get used to how different everything is (imo, the game is only about 10-20% similar to SPAZ 1, and most of that is because the characters were carried over). but i'm glad i took a while to get into the game, and i must say i love it.

if you want more of the same SPAZ 1 experience, i don't blame you. but there are already lots of mods which expanded on the SPAZ 1 experience, so imo i'm glad SPAZ 2 is so different and amazing in its own way. a gentle reminder: the game IS in early access, so i fully expect many more changes -- especially the eventual implementation of multiplayer! the devs have been exceptionally engaged in the forums, so there is a real sense of co-development going on with early adopters. if you want to give your input, i fully recommend buying in now. but if you prefer to play safe and wait for the full release, i'm sure you won't be disappointed either.

10/10 will ram an infected ship again for double K.O.

my hands feel like two balloons.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Nelgoth
( 13.7 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: May 24
Picked this up on the first day it was released and have been playing every spare minute I have had. Very fun space shooter / resource strategy / ship design game. The UI and game mechanics are very well thought out and the game's quipy humor is almost worth the price of admission by itself. I am looking forward to being a part of this game's development and can't wait to see it grow into the finished product.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Nagarak
( 19.4 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: May 24
This game is just great, and it's going to get better !
This is only a pre release and already I have spent countless hours on it.
Passed the first surprise of the change of playstyle between the 2 and the original SPAZ, you discover a whole new game !
SPAZ was a wonderful game, great scenario, great idéeas, powerful characters and unique gameplay.
SPAZ 2 has the same advantages ! A whole new story, a great gameplay and more...
The devs are listening to all the ideas of the community and are planning to include the best of them in the game... What else can we ask for ?
Helpful? Yes No Funny
abanit
( 29.1 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: May 24
Most people should be required to beat the game before posting a review. I enjoyed it very much. It's still early access, so I am hoping there's more content on the way.

Overall a fun time.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Drew442
( 5.6 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: May 24
Read the reviews, bought the game anyway, got hooked. 5 hours in so far. I see this as an evolution of the first SPAZ game. I like both of them. I do enjoy having multiple captains in the game; to me it makes for a more vibrant universe.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Buman[NOM]
( 2.9 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: May 24
Unfortunatly this is not the space pirates and zombies you love.
Everything like the exciting ship hulls, interesting encounters and great visuals are replaced with:
-clunky ship building mechanics that just look terrible no matter what you do
-hardpoint system repalced with a fixed weapon per ship section
-mindless battles
-un inspired story line

I know it is in early access, but they could of gone a long way with building on the great content they had made with spaz 1.
The 2d sprite gameplay of the origonal was fresh change from some other games that put the 3D graphics ahead of gameplay.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Natetron
( 45.5 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: May 24
Short Single player, but otherwise the game is probably the funnest one I played in about 2.5 years.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Alesch
( 25.5 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: May 24
Space! Pirates! Zombies! Numerals!

While some people seem to be upset that SPaZ 2 isn't the same game as SPaZ 1, I am not one of them. I enjoyed SPaZ 1, but this new game is a lot of fun in its own right. A good shorthand to highlight the difference between the two games is that the original SPaZ played a lot like the old Star Control games, while SPaZ 2 feels much more like Mount and Blade in space.

My experience with the game is almost entirely in the Sandbox mode, but that sandbox has been a lot of fun to play around in. The ship customization is surprisingly robust. At a glance it seems incredibly simplistic: just snap blocks together and build your LEGO-style spaceship. After building and rebuilding your ship a few times you will definitely start considering just how to arrange your core blocks to get just one more engine, or just one more gun.

SPaZ 2 is not a hardcore space simulator. It's space is 2.5D, like Rogue Galaxy or Starship Gemini. It's colourful, doesn't take itself very seriously; and like Mount and Blade it is a game that you can play for 10 minutes to fight a single battle, or sink hours at a time into your grand campaign to unite the star captains of the galaxy against the zombie menace.

I do not regret buying this in the slightest.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Quinn
( 81.8 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: May 24
i LOVE LOVE LOVE this game!!! Carl is a Funny Goof, Elsa is,,, different then in the last game, Skid Puff and TURBO DEFENDER 9000 is fused into one (i thought i killed them BOTH in the last game!!), Makenzie is the Old miner from the old tutorial mission from the First game, and jamison is a Poo-Poo faced JERK!!!
Warning: 300% chance of File tampering Detected!!!
CARL!!! anywho,
started game with junk ship
got blown up twice by raiders
got better
joined a fac
created a base
blown up by Zombies.
10000/10 would be blown up by raiders again.
p.s. is there a way to mod this game? if so, how? ;)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
|NRAC| Spike
( 2.0 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: May 24
So I played SPAZ 1 and thought it was pretty good if a bit limited. I am coming to understand how much more complex SPAZ 2 is, while maintaining most of the feel of the first game. The graphics are a Major improvement and I enjoy combat from the new prospective, but I do feel the top down feel did suffer a bit from the transition.

Overall and most importantly it is more fun and less grindy than the first game, and the Devs seem to be onboard with fan suggestions and have had a ton of activity on the forum. I grew to respect the team working on this game playing SPAZ and now play SPAZ 2 I know they are on the way to a new classic in the genre.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
maustercheese
( 8.0 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: May 24
so what is spaz 2 well the awnser to that i can either type it all out here for you or you can just watch a video on spaz 2

now i would provide links for those who are to dam lazy to type in space pirates and zombies 2 into youtube but really if you can't even be bothered to do that then how are you bothered enough to even read this review then?

but really though watching one of the bunch of videos on youtube about spaz 2 can tell you just about everything you need to know about the game now i know this is slightly repeating itself from earlier but you might be suprised at the simple things some ppl can miss or maybe not

now i took the time to watch some videos when i was deciding to get this game or not as i know they are helpful at deciding if said game is for me or not

i also know there is those who probably do not or will even miss most things that were even said in this review and then still come here and bich about it

really though do some looking up on info about this game before you get the game i will save potential disapointment and it is not the game's fault if you did not look up any info about the game before buying it as being a fool is not an excuse
Helpful? Yes No Funny
arikreven
( 3.0 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: May 24
I played SPAZ 1 and enjoyed it greatly, I really had my hopes up for its sequel and while there are a great many improvements overall, I am left with the feeling that MINMAX has made it unduly complicated. SPAZ was a great top down shooter, and had a very amusing storyling and SPAZ 2 still has the possibility to become better, but I can't say that I can recommend SPAZ 2 as it stands.

5/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Willy D. Longpong
( 0.5 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: May 24
The wait is over. Early Access it may be, but the "Story" is entirely playable and EA is just for tuning, tweaking and adding Multiplayer. It's radically different from SPAZ in most things but tone and premise. The devs are of the ultra-cool variety and this will just keep getting better.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 7 days
133 of 159 people (84%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
22.2 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: May 18
I felt the need to expand the review, since there was a lot of complaining going on all over the place, from people that have barely played through a tutorial but presenting themselves as able to properly judge the game. There is also a lot of complaining that it's not SPAZ 1.5.

If you've played SPAZ 1, this part is for you, otherwise you can skip it entirely:
1. All resource collecting is done on strategic map now, without pointless grind and a waste of time. There is also no limit on resources you can carry, which is great news.
Having to watch how ships mine for ten minutes straight was a chore of SPAZ 1 and I never liked it even 1 bit.
All that resource micromanagement never added to the game, since after you've lost a battle or it was hard and led to loss of resources, game STOPPED and you would spend next half an hour collecting resources.
2. Skill trees are gone and replaced with three random skills per level.
Some will say, that skill trees in SPAZ1 were great, when they were actually not.
You had to upgrade a skill to be able to use better tech, and once you knew a cookie cutter build you could easily blast through the game, or got gimped for a looong time if you didn't. Because of this you could never upgrade everything or try everything in one play (and that is an extremely long time). Game could actually punish you for trying wrong and it did.
Skills in SPAZ 2 are extremely helpful and relevant to the player actually making you stronger, and unpredictable pattern doesn't allow a winning level up in each gameplay. With new content, there can be more skills added leading to more variety, without the need to lock them to a path.
3. Blueprints are gone. Finally, for the best.
That was another grinding aspect in SPAZ 1.
There were barely two viable strategies: blow up the station (if you can, huh) to get all blueprints inside, or spend goons to impove relationship and then REZ to buy it (and then get back grinding goons/REZ back).
With ship blueprints, you had to destroy a ship a number of times to get all parts of blueprint to unlock that ship. Incredible chore, cause you either had to be lucky, or repeat a mission to get those blueprints.
In SPAZ 2 an ingame economy and leveling up gets you better and bigger parts. You protect transporters in order to get better tech, and upgrade bases. And of course you loot enemies for it as well, even on the battlefield, which is great.
4. Combat is deeper however you disagree with it. Instead of basically an energy regeneration for everything in the game, you now have separate sources to manage.
Energy battery can protect your shields from getting down with a boost under heavy fire until enemy need to reload.
Boost engines allow you to ram through the enemy or get further away.
Energy battery allows you to keep firing and once depleted you have to reload, which also makes it impossible to boost up shields or regenerate them if they are gone.
Asteroids protects you from heavy bombs and enemy fire, while can also be used with a tractor beam to damage the enemy. There are powerups on the field, REZ "balls" that might spawn some zombies and barrels to blow up.
Battle wagon mode allows to pass weapon controls to AI, which is incredibly useful against small strike crafts, but it uses battery ineffectively which leads to more reloads and decreases survival chances.
5. Mothership is not smaller ships from previous game, those are still here and they're recognizable.

How can one describe SPAZ 2?
Have you played Mount and Blade? Good, cause the idea behind strategical map, factions, captains and other stuff is basically the same.
Economy is real, bases produce stuff, ships transfer stuff, captains trade and fight, zombies infect, bandits mess up. Diplomacy allows for alliances, friendship, bounties and so on. You can even share parts and resources if you need to.
You can start a proper faction and take over eventually, but it's NOT easy even one bit since there are lots of threats that needs your attention.
In combat you manage a number of ship resources to increase performance, and survive as long as possible until you catch an enemy on reload phase when they are most vulnerable, strip off their shields and ram them to death. :) You won't see it in low level fights, but then it gets important.
Ship building is difficult, since parts are hard to find and there's always more you want to install than you can with different strategy involved. In 7 hours I have barely seen any tech at all with 16 level. You can't slap random crap on a ship and win, nope, only in the tutorial.
There is nothing in the game that MAKES you waste time on routine stuff anymore and it's awesome!
You can attach to you ship a torn apart enemy part on the battlefield any time, or reattach something you've lost yourself. You can even throw it in the enemy with a tractor beam.

The game is incredible already, since it has solid well planned foundation and it can only get even better in time with the help of developers and mods. I mentioned it before, that there is only one feature needed - LARGER battles with more ships involved. That is one thing I want to see, something like 10-15 motherships in one intense battle.

For the 18$ it's one of the best purchases I've made, besides the.. M&B.

*Some small fixes..
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59 of 73 people (81%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
43.7 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: May 23
I played through the campaign and several sandbox games, once without zombies, once with zombies after 60 minutes and once with zombies right from the start. Now after finishing the game again on expert difficulty I kinda feel like I've seen everything, and present my verdict.
Even though I'm giving a thumbs down now, I've seen what they did with SPAZ 1, the big bounty hunter update, the deployable turrets, all the neat little tweaks and the holiday events, so I'm hoping that SPAZ 2 will see an equally bright future. While I got quite a few hours of experimentation out of it, and while it certainly isn't a bad game, I can't really recommend it in it's current state. Will add some updates to this in bold letters.


Pros:
-The combat is nice. While not exactly the same as in SPAZ 1, the tractor beam and reload mechanics, as well as the ramming and breaking parts off of enemy vessels make it possible to utilize your skill and still win against objectively stronger enemies.

-The faction system and starbase ownership make for a neat little minigame and provide some emergent gameplay, too. People come to shop for resources and new parts, every faction has it's own economy and by conquering new territory you get access to better and bigger ship parts, too.

-The bounty and relationship system are pretty nice, they provide a good way of controlling the AI captains and allow you to play the game strategically without having to do everything yourself. Then again not everyone might like playing just with little white triangles, numbers and dots on a starmap. Still, it allows you to put your excess money to good use.


-Zombies as a whole can get rather terrifying if you have them around right from the start. As they absorb more captains and territories, they put more and more pressure on the rest of the galaxy and the player, making for a quite unique challenge compared to the first game where nothing really happened unless you progressed through the story.



Cons:

-Customization options are rather low. There seems to be little to no reason to pick anything but shields. Other than for aesthetic reasons, there is no point in building a mothership that is not L-shaped. If you just maximise the number of exposed faces on your cores, you get a lot more bang for your buck.
Strike craft aren't customizable at all and don't even tell you how much damage they do, they don't have any shields, they are little more than fodder whereas your other ships in SPAZ 1 were much more important.

-Until you get your own faction going, it's all pretty grindy. Joining another faction has little to no benefits except for other faction members sometimes coming to your aid, and getting marginally better deals at their stations. Having your own space station while being member of a faction is almost useless since your income gets taxed heavily.

-SPAZ 1 was player-centric and player-driven. The entire map and game revolved around the player and thusly you could pick your own pace with the game, while also having a pretty usual difficulty curve.
In this game here you start as a lowly peasant among hundreds of other captains, and just like in Mount&Blade you are facing an inverted difficulty curve. At first you're weak and poor with everything and everyone being stronger than you. The game world doesn't wait for you, everyone gets even stronger, factions build strength, the zombies are coming and you have to keep up somehow. Once you hit that magical threshold of having your own faction and being stronger than most of the other captains, you can then suddenly faceroll everything.

-The zombies have one downside, though. It's basically just the alpha vs you. Only the zombie leader captures new territories, builds new bases, and most of all, he seems to cheat as he wins every encounter. As soon as you're stronger than him, the zombies are pretty much done for, though. The zombified captains are little more than wild animals, in that they just linger around and look for resources and easy battle opportunities, but they're usually rather weak in comparison and don't actively engage in any conquest activities. As soon as you kill the alpha base, all of the zombies just plop into dust and revert back to their normal captain form.

-There are no side-quests or little missions that you can undertake, except for arena battles. But given that arena battles have you play in a borrowed ship, and that they give rather small rewards, they feel more like a grind than a fun activity. Waiting around for a timer to run down while you harvest resources from the starmap isn't that thrilling either, and you're constantly competing for resources with those 200 other captains and countless bandit squads. If one of them beats you to a node, tough luck but you've gotta wait for it to replenish and wasted your time even trying to get there first. <-Devs want to add mission/event stuff!

-No boarding combat, no cloaking system, goons don't feel like crew but like just another scrap metal resource now. No one gets sucked into space from hull breaches anymore, and you don't get to pull all that lovely rez into your cargohold once you blow up a station or enemy. It's all just numbers now, and feels a little less pirate-y that way. <-Starmap cloaking will be added


-Unlike in SPAZ 1, where I've undertaken hard but rewarding little excursions, then have been completely wiped and hid in a corner to mine rez and rebuild, in SPAZ 2 it's really not worth the effort to stick around if the odds are against you. Since you lose all of your ship parts upon being blasted to bits, it makes rebuilding your stuff an impossible chore. Even if you had millions of scrap to spare, you just wouldn't find the same parts in all that RNG-shop-hell again, without waiting around for hours in front of a shop.
In SPAZ 1 you kept your ship configuration and just had to rebuild it with rez, so you could always join an unwinnable battle, pick some EXP and blueprint parts from it in a pirate-y fashion and then get whooped.
Even if you lost all your ships, you'd usually still have made some overall progress and could use the opportunity to tweak your loadout. The same can't be said for SPAZ 2, where it's pretty much all or nothing. <- There will be a part catalog to quickly find what you're looking for

-Research/lvling is just a randomized "Pick 30% more shields/armor or health" thing. Most of the time you don't even get the choices that you need or want, and it can leave you crippled until you suddenly hit that magical RNG roll and get +30% weapon power that enables you to steamroll everything.


-You won't get to see all the neat crazy weapons and big, beautiful ship parts until one of the factions/your faction has basically conquered half of the map. You only get the better/exotic weapons (mass drivers, fighter bays, etc.) if a starbase is connected to several others that have certain specializations. So for example one type of map sector gives you better engines. You have to capture 4 of those sectors and connect them to one another with starbases in order to get the biggest engines for your faction specialization. Good luck trying to do that with all of the other factions, the zombies and ever increasing starbase build costs. Once you're at the point where you can conquer enough sectors to unlock all the parts, you'll probably not need them anymore.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So all in all, if you loved SPAZ 1 and if you love some of the more strategically oriented Mount & Blade -like game mechanics, give this a try. If you're looking for a tactical, arcade-style game a la SPAZ 1 or Rebel Galaxy, look elsewhere.
Or better yet, just watch the developer streams and videos and decide whether or not you like what you see.
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44 of 54 people (81%) found this review helpful
Recommended
26.1 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: May 19
If you're hoping for combat similar to SPAZ 1, I'm sorry but you're going to be disappointed. While there are some faults with this game, I can easily overlook them for how cheap it is, and how much time I believe I'll be getting out of it. (As a rule of thumb, you should always cut 1/4 the hours of someones gametime out, they can gain time being tabbed out or just accidently leaving the game up.)

Pros:
• Star Map is fantastic, it reminds me of Mount and Blade Warband. There are people everywhere with their own motivations,
• Combat is really neat, but is different from SPAZ 1. Its more broadside pirate-like combat now. Also, being able to ram your way out of a bad situation feels amazing. Your ship parts are VERY important.
• Built in option for hardcore players to reset via lore-friendly means. Many people like punishment, and this allows that.
• Game looks very nice, especially when a multi-party battler takes place.

Cons:
• The default controls feel really bad to a lot of people. However that can be fixed: Options > Gameplay > Relative Controls.
• You can easily outrun high-load missiles, but some NPC's like to just sit inside them and die (Gravity, Zombies, ect.)
• Ship building can become tiring, especially when you want to replace parts deep in your ship, especially sub-cores.
• Weapon and Armour Systems can be hard to understand.
• Strike Craft can feel very useless sometimes.
• Goon farms are useless later-game unless you can manage to get one to fill completely (getting the 100% bouns) Instead of scavenging for goons, I have to chase bandits because they usually give twice as many goons.
• As far as I can tell, bandits don't have different ships. I know they're using junk, but at least add some cores and additional junk to their ships.
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84 of 127 people (66%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
11.2 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: May 20
As of now the game feels much too unfinished. But it's early access so thats to be expected.

There's quite a bit of potential but people coming to this game having played the original SPAZ will be very disappointed. It's its own game by its own right but if you enjoyed features from SPAZ such as the things listed below, don't come into SPAZ 2 looking for them.

-Missions: Gone, outside of the main campaign missions the old system based missions and quests aren't there anymore. No more random jobs listed on the system map. So how do you make money you ask? There are random nodes strewn about the galaxy map that you have to “ransack” for resources. This hurts your relations with the various owners of these nodes, but that’s about as similar as this game will get to its predecessor. Instead of the fun options you had previously, which often involved blowing things up owned by people because other people offered to pay you, now the game feels like it can be played entirely from the galaxy map. You’ll find yourself more annoyed than anything to enter combat.

-Combat: The fast passed combat from the previous game has been replaced with slower, smaller scale (Fights are often 1v1 but sometimes up to 3v3) engagements that feel like they take ages to end. The typical fight is just the two ships firing volleys into each other until someone’s shields go down and then that person dies. Strike craft feel nearly useless half the time, unless their equipped with mini-gun weapons, which allow them to kill every missile in the entire instance until they are killed.

-The Blueprint System: This one hurt the most. No longer are you able to reverse engineer other ships and then make them from your stored resources. Now you either buy parts outright (and then have to lug around, which you're penalized for) or snag them from the wrecks of ships you've destroyed or happened upon. While the system is functional it is very frustrating to be unable to use the games new ship creation mechanic to its full potential, as you have to have the parts readily or else you cannot modifying your vessel. This feels like a very odd decision by the devs. They had a very, very good system in the previous game. And this isn’t nostalgia talking. The blueprint system not only added a very fun incentive for combat but it rewarded you in way where you knew exactly what you were getting. The blueprint method allowed you very open ended and free customization of not only your fleet but even the modules equipped on the ships that make up your fleet. Now, if I want to acquire parts for a vessel I have to buy them, haul them around, clutter up my inventory and then likely sell them when something better comes along, or I just tire of the chore.

-Customization: In the previous game, you could have various weapon loadouts and various fleet compositions that you could modify and adjust to adapt to situations. Even on the fly. This is no longer the case. Now, if you find your missile based combat preference is being countered by a single strike craft shooting down your missiles at an alarming rate (missile rate of fire is so slow jesus), you're only choice is to run. You cannot refit your ships mid battle anymore. Another issue that hampers your creativity is the way parts go together. Noses can only face forward, wings sideways, and engines downwards. This limits ship design heavily. And each of these parts has a weapon attached to them. Which you cannot change. This compounded with the above issues of being unable to make your own parts means half the time you’ll be unsatisfied with your current loadout. With no way to change it as quickly as you would like. You can’t really make a ship specialized without very high effort low reward methods. Needing to stockpile potentially good ship parts for later on feels off. Like this shouldn’t be happening both lore wise and gameplay wise either.

In conclusion, this game has potential. But as of now there are just too many small annoyances with the game that will chip away at your will to put up with them until you find yourself loading saves and quitting more than actually enjoying the game. Hopefully the devs delay the release and make some changes. Because I can’t and won’t recommend this game until some things are improved or overhauled into fun mechanics, which were readily present in the original.

Here's to hope.
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36 of 47 people (77%) found this review helpful
Recommended
14.7 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: May 18
*EDIT:
Since this game is still in Early Access some of its elements will change, and parts of this review will no longer be relevant. Only two days after this games release, much of what really frustrated me about this game has already been hotfixed. That which no longer applies to the current state of SPAZ 2 will remain, but be obfuscated.

Strong Points:

+The galactic map (where >=50% of game time is spent) is graphically simplistic, stylized, and clean.
It’s basically Mount and Blade: Warband, but in space and graphically pleasing.

+Hilarious dialogue and characters

+Both combat perspectives (top down and 3rd person) work well with this game

+In depth weapon configuration
Either automate all of your weaponry, or categorize your weapons into subsets to truly minmax your offensive capabilities.

+Ship customization/modularity
Without a doubt the strongest component of this game. Build a slender corvette with many side cannons, a flat-headed cruiser with an unnecessary amount of engines, or whatever awkward mess you feel like.


Weak Points:

-Leveling upgrades are dull.
+20% HP, +15% armour, +25% recharge rate, etc.

-Arranging parts in the ship builder is a task for the 7th circle of hell.
Ship complexity correlates with how much hair you have left to pull out while trying to make components click where you want them to.

-Engagements are very unpredictable.
From my experience, when you attack a target you rarely proceed to 1v1 that opponent. You rather 1v3 against his allies, 2v2 with your ally versus him and his ally, or 3v1 him down with your allies. It loosely depends on proximity to allies, but often times allies have flown to my aid from off-screen or ignored my situation when they were right beside the battle. Selecting a wingman helps, but wingmen get distracted easily and still won’t 100% reliably follow you into battle.


Stylistic Choices I Dislike:

-Ships always look like block-components banded together with small struts.
While this makes sense in the beginning, when you are literally gluing garbage together, it feels wrong to have an advanced mothership look so cheap and flimsy.

-Enemy HP, Shield, and Armour bars offer very little information.
They are the same between very weak and very strong forces. The bars could have ticks that demark certain values (as in League of Legends or DoTA). It would also make sense to colour code them so they aren’t all the same red mass to keep track of.


Mitigated Issues:

-Resource management was nightmare-inducing.
Early game: you need a lot of scrap, and it is slow to acquire.

Mid game: your star base takes care of any scrap needs, but because of your larger ship, excess goons will rapidly deplete your rez stores. You only ever want around your maximum capacity of goons, but you must constantly spend time working to avoid excess.

Late game: when zombies pollute the entire galaxy, all it takes for your crew to be completely decimated is your shields to drop while fighting an infected enemy. You lose many goons to the slightest infection, and the only consistent method to restock them is pitifully slow.

The easy solution: make goons and rez consistently purchasable at every station.


-Ship infections were too unforgiving.
Goons die not only in the cleaning process, but also because of the infection’s very presence. If you don’t always carry at or above your max crew capacity, the crew won’t be strong enough to clean a serious infection away. You also won’t be able to save up a large enough force over time, since any amount you find will immediately be killed. In other words, it’s game over in the most excruciating way.

EDIT1:
Although you can remove infected parts from your ship to stop the infection from spreading, this tactic only works if your initial infection was minor enough to isolate. In my experience, many ship parts can become infected in one unfavourable incident. The problems are that you can only clean parts while they are attached to your ship, and cleaning parts demands a tremendous cost of crew.
If an infection gets out of hand, it’s such a hassle to deal with that I would rather reload a save file than go through the tedium of putting a brand new, far weaker vessel together, scrounging around for enough goons to use as a blood sacrifice for my old infected rare parts, and eventually reconstructing my powerful ship from the ground up.
The mechanic would be far less frustrating if:
1) Fewer goons evaporate in the cleaning process.
2) You are allowed to pay scrap at star bases to have parts cleaned at no crew expense.
3) The infection takes longer to spread from part to part, and can only infect so much of your ship in a single battle.



Conclusion:

In case it wasn’t already obvious, this game is definitely not a sequel to SPAZ 1 in terms of gameplay. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as SPAZ 2 has a lot of interesting and unique gameplay of its own to offer.

Initially I would recommend SPAZ 2 only to those who are head over heels about space battles and ship customization, but the devs have already mitigated what were the most frustrating aspects of the game. The game still has some problems and annoyances, but now it is by all means an enjoyable game with a hard-working and responsive dev team to boot. My thumb has been flipped.
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39 of 55 people (71%) found this review helpful
Recommended
28.8 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: May 18
While SPAZ 2 is quite a bit different from SPAZ it is absolutely an improvement.

Graphics
It would honestly be difficult not to make an improvement over SPAZ in this area. The game still has a unique visual style but with more 3d and more camera options. Backgrounds are very similar while weapons and ships are more detailed. Simply put I like the way the game looks. If your expecting something amazing or top of the line you need to see a doctor. A $20 indie game isn't the place to look.

Controls
I have been using the default which is camera relative. I have had no issue using this control scheme but it can be counter-intuitive. There is an option for the more standard ship relative controls. Since you primarily control your mother ship and it can get to be very big it can be a bit sluggish. However, simply using the engine boost correctly takes care of most issues.

Gameplay
I like the living universe idea but I do wish it was a bit more living. The game is designed so that while you are not moving on the galaxy map nothing else is moving. It is nice since I can get up whenever without it being a problem but I have also had to basically fly around in circles for no reason while waiting for conditions to be right. For example, you can select a fellow captain in your faction to be your wingman and he/she will fly to you and follow you so that you have help in more difficult battles. Since they don't move while you are not moving I have had to just fly around so that they will move to me.

Battles are rather quick in this game but not as quick as in SPAZ. Originally you could boost your ship up so much relative to the enemies that it wasn't really a battle at all. The biggest problem in SPAZ was combat becoming meaningless since the enemy did not stand a chance. In SPAZ 2 it is a much more even playing field since you don't have the option of taking a specific weapon type and boosting it beyond the levels of sanity. In my experience so far it seems like ramming the enemy is the best way to win and it is very amusing to ram off parts of the enemy ship. There is also a fun feature in that you can use your tractor beam to throw stuff at the bad guys. There are always explosive barrels or astroids around that you can use.

Speaking of the wingman ability. I found it frustrating that having one didn't mean that he would actually make it into the battle. When you start a battle enemies will come to help each other and your allies will come to help you. This is great except that there is a four captain limit. So if you try to pick on one guy and two of his friends are faster than your friends you get to have fun fighting 3v1.

Menus/UI
For the most part I have no complaints. However, on the galaxy map it can be hard to click on the right thing when there are a bunch of ships piled on top of each other. While playing the campaign there are constant interruptions that always seem to happen right when I am trying to click something.

Ship building
I think it's and interesting feature but you are very limited in what you can do and be effective. Turrets can't shoot through your own ship so building a box and putting wings/engines/whatever inside is a terrible idea as they won't be able to shoot most of the time. It seems to me that the best options are either a nearly straight vertical line or a horizontal line. Though really having a ship that is all engines and noses may not be the best bet.

The ship building thing can be difficult to work with. I had constant problems with parts attaching in the wrong places and sometimes not wanting to attach unless I turned off the tractor beam and grabbed it again. I also managed to get parts stuck under the ship many times so I would have to leave the ship builder and reopen it. I was just throwing things around to be fair.

Overall there are some QOL changes that will probably be made while the game is in early access but overall it is a rather good game.
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63 of 98 people (64%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
10.2 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: May 19
A bit disappointed in the direction the game took from the first one. I've put a few hours into Spaz 2 since release and it just doesn't hold my attention like the original did (100+ hours) so I've had to quit playing for now. I think this is primarily due to spending the majority of your game time on the star map (boring) rather than zooming around in your ship the majority of the time like in Spaz 1. Many of the elements that made Spaz 1 exciting and fun to play (to me) are absent in the sequel.

Flying around in your ship and blowing stuff up (even the grindy aspects like harvesting asteroids) was still fun to do. You were in your ship flying around 90% of the time and had relatively minimal interaction with the other GUIs like the star map. This allows the player to bond with their ship(s) and made it much more enjoyable to see your tiny ship and fleet grow over the course of the game. Spaz 2 is the opposite, where you spend maybe 20-30% of your time flying around shooting stuf in a clunky environment, and the other 70% interacting with an interface.

I've always felt that game sequels should be 1/3 old, 1/3 improved, and 1/3 new. Spaz 2 skews that formula and presents an entirely different game vastly different from its predecessor. The simulation on the star map is now the main feature, and zooming around in your ship(s) feels like a tacked on accessory. To that end, I feel the game may appeal to those who like simulation games over those who prefered the more action oriented original.

Despite the impressively hard work that's been put into the game, I can't recommend the title since I don't find it a fun game anymore due to the above reasons. Here's to hoping there's a major overhaul by the time the game exits early access.

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47 of 72 people (65%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Recommended
19.4 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: May 18
Absolutely recommend this game to everyone who loves sandbox+faction+spacecombat+warfare+actionstrategy games!

I just wish people would stop trolling the reviews system and attemtping to kill the game by creating nonsensical reviews such as:

"This is nothing like SPAZ 1 #Cry"
"The gameplay isn't the same as SPAZ 1 #Cry"
"Why do we not have multiplayer yet #Cry"
"I cant figure out how to play or switch to 2D mode #Cry"

To those people: Go Away, this isn't SPAZ 1, it's a completely new game with a new spin on the series.


I however do agree that there needs to be a few changes, thats why this is in early access and the Devs /know that/

They however decided to release the game in early access so you spoiled children could enjoy the game /before it's finished/
So stop ♥♥♥♥♥ing, you /asked/ for this for years, it's here now, so stop trying to kill the game with your self intitled instabilities, instead provide feedback, /real/ feedback, Email them.

-LordRyn
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31 of 45 people (69%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
34.2 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: May 18
Majority of current steam reviews in a nutshell:

Positive: People who enjoyed the game on its own and/or hope for its bright future.
Negative: People who expected SPAZ 2 to be SPAZ 1 with 3D graphics.

----

First off,

I feel bad for the (two) hard working developers that are seeing such effort being blasted by dubious reviews, but this is capitalism flooded by a bunch of naive people. It is clear that the game is not perfect (YET) but is IS NOT supposed to be SPAZ 1. Also, besides being on early access, just as SPAZ 1, SPAZ 2 will be heavily driven by the community.

So I make a public appeal: If you happened to not check out the developer's demo video of the game that came up before the EA launch and was caught off guard when you realized the game was very different from SPAZ 1, then please, ask for a refund and/or remove your thumbs down.

This is very important to them because, although they are only two, as I said, the game was always community-driven and the first one had even great mods in which the developers had given a lot of support to the modders. That's why I see a good future for this game.

The rating should be a balance between the development team, the effort and the game. In the end, all that we paid for was a game that could give us enough hours of fun to pay its price. If you paid for for a Modern SPAZ 1 then it is completely your fault. So, please, don't hurt the development team just because you wanted another game. SPAZ 1 is still out there and very moddable.

----

I really liked the game and I'm still willing to put way more hours into it. What makes me going forward is the ship customization and the will to improve yourself (gunpower, shape, variety, factions etc) which every grind-like game provides. It may not provide this grinding method in the best possible way yet but there is a long road ahead for the developers and the supportive community.

Regarding the future multiplayer, I still hope that it will turn out to have a differently balanced COOP as well instead of just PVP duels.

Regarding the camera and controls: If you want the camera and controls from SPAZ 1 you can actually almost have it by disabling "relative controls" in the gameplay options and using the top-down camera ("C" key by default). The difference is that you can't strafe with your ship (maybe not yet).

The other SPAZ-1-FREE reviews explained a lot about the detailed features, pros and cons which I mostly agree with all of them so I won't repeat myself as I don't have much time right now, I really just wanted to point out that appeal.
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32 of 50 people (64%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
13.8 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: May 20
While this is not a bad game it is a disappointment when compared to its predecessor. The game feels less vibrant and more shallow, the realtime map is ok but adds little to the feel of the game, the modular ship design is good and the graphics are obviously better.

The first game felt more varied, the faction/zombie elements more interesting, I liked the varied ship designs and the perk system better (you wont specialise energy weapons/projectiles/drones/etc in this game) and the game drew you in more.

I the original my ships felt like a small fleet I could upgrade and setup my own way, the new system feels like you have just the one ship with a few optional types of drone buzzing around you.

Maybe when this leaves early access it will have progressed a lot and I can change my review but for now I would not recommend this over the original game (and the original is cheap these days).

Its all a shame really as I looked forward to this game for so long, maybe my expectations were too high?
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19 of 27 people (70%) found this review helpful
Recommended
50.2 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: May 19
What a great game, I haven't played a lot of space games but, this one caught my eye. The brilliant colors, and the game play is a lot of fun. You start out as the little guy in the game, scrounging for parts, trying to get along with everyone . Your goal to build and control your own world. Then all hell breaks loose. .....Lots of fun trying to build the ultimate ship and dominate everything. Not just a one play through game . Great price for a game of this caliber.
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21 of 31 people (68%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
12.7 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: May 19
Well. I was skipping half of my life lately because of this game, i didn`t say i regret it but the game truly feels different from SPAZ 1.
So you will get everything just from this pros and cons:

+New galactic system and moving via it is more interesting and developers put more details in it;
+You can build your ship from a scratch and design everything yourself;
+Plot. I dont finish the game yet, but it will blow away spaz 1 fans for sure! just love it
+Atmosphere. The great SPAZ atmosphere is still here and it is even better. Although allmost all the dialogs are syntecized with computer voice(just because of the Early Access).
+Game is pretty polished for the EA. For all my playthrough game crashed one time because of driver failures(And it`s got fixed on the next day after) . And it is with full campaign which is wow for EA.
+Galaxy is reacting on your every move and you reacting to it too. You saw how some freebooter steals your scrap or rez field - blow the little shait to pieces!
+Price. As allways devs dont have any delussions about the price and its very fare!

-Combat system. I enjoyed spaz 1 dynamic combat system much more that spaz 2. All this thing with design and new weapons and how they work and damage is only now starting to reveal its secrets to me(only when i got to the late game,although it is allready very painfull and costly to change all the ship =( )
-Look of the "support ships" and your ship in generally. So all th ships that you knew is just support ships for your mothership, and i totally disagree with what they do to them...in spaz 1 when you getting your first TUG it looks tremendious. And what about when you see Hook or battleship class ship for the first time! Here? Well it looks like a tetris box titles. Dissapointed.
-And from the previous one you get this - the look of your mothership and its controlls. Mothership dont look "cool" or "beatifull" in any way. i guess thats what you can get from post-apocalyptic world where everything is made from scrap, but still... and i understand that this is no common class ship - its MOTHERSHIP, but the controlls of it is something confusing...
-Battles are no more that big, there is only 4 "players" that can be in battle which is 4 motherships + all the support ships. Yes sometimes its more then enough, but sometimes that feels castrated.

+\- Grinding. Oh yes its still here, though it is a little easier to grind but harder to get good details when you go to the higher tier.
+\- They removed and added a lot of things. Removed assault shuttles which is sad, but added a lot of things like badass flying shurikens,which is mauling and ripping enemy ship apart!

So thats it. Maybe i add something that comes to mind later, but for now its like this...There is still a lot to do, like add some game start options and else and yes the game feels different from the first one, but i still want to support the devs because i just like their work. They do a lot of innovations to spaz and not everyone going to like it of course. I hope and know it will get better as time goes!

Buy the game, try for yourself. its still pretty good for common indi that you can get for 10$. Totally worth the time.
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20 of 30 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
116.0 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: May 19
Here's the short version: this game has been out for three days and I have logged 41 hours in it. Connect the dots.

This game may be Early Access, but it is more complete than a lot of "finished" games these days. It's been in development for almost four years. It could easily be called "done" right now, and a larger studio would probably do exactly that.

But this game is made by two guys, who are active and responsive in the discussion forums, and there have been a half-dozen hotfix updates in the last 50 hours. I grudgingly quit the game to get some sleep late this morning, and when I woke up four hours later there was a new update. They take this seriously. They care about their work, they care about the game, they care about their ART.

Which is why, just like fans of an insanely popular band, everybody seems to be complaining about this game. It is not another album just like their last one. Just like Marilyn Manson released "Holy Wood" and it wasn't enough like "Mechanical Animals" which wasn't enough like "Antichrist Superstar," or Cradle of Filth released "Godspeed on the Devil's Thunder" which wasn't enough like "Thornography" which wasn't enough like "Cruelty and the Beast."

Thing is, all six of those albums changed a corner of the world forever. (Manson has PROBABLY changed a bigger corner of it than Cradle.) And so, too, does SPAZ 2.

Make no mistake: the original SPAZ is a very, very different game. If you want more of that, SPAZ 2 is not where you should look for it, because literally everything is different. And it IS an Early Access game, so there are known issues with things like (at present) the pacing and difficulty and tutorials. "The game really opens up about five hours in," as one of the developers noted, but there is the problem of getting through your first five hours and then there is the problem of the game being... well... outrageously difficult, sometimes. But this is already getting better - by the time you read this, it will be even better.

And oh, what a game it is.

You can tell from the moment you start: it is GORGEOUS. Even if your graphics card is a potato (well, not really, an actual potato doesn't have the right drivers) you'll be able to trade framerate for appearance and the game will merrily chug along at 2fps so you can look at it and say "ooh, pretty." Then you can go into graphics options, jack everything down to the bottom, and your framerate will kick right up to 60 so you can actually play.

Most importantly, IT WILL NOT MAKE YOU RESTART. You can alter all the settings and keep right on going. Plus, in the main menu, there's a big old space battle being rendered as the attract loop, which totally responds to these settings on the fly... so you can see the results immediately, in a common situation where they matter.

This is, in short, the main menu of a game done so right... it makes every other game look wrong.

Which is pretty much the core theme of the whole game, but since it is so different from everything else, it will take several hours to get used to it. The jury was still out for me until I had about twelve hours of playtime. I trusted the devs. I saw the potential. But I was not getting the "holy crap, this is AWESOME" vibe from it yet.

As you can probably guess, I have totally gotten that vibe now.

You start out with a space battle, and then spend twenty minutes racing through a tutorial on basic ship operations, which you will find was incredibly important and you really should have paid attention because sweet mother of crap in a hat is this game complex.

So you'll either go into the "Tutorials" part of the interface and review it, provided you paid enough attention to know where that is, or you'll start over and slow down. Then you'll learn that the tutorial only covers about half the interface because there is an awful lot of it and the tutorial was already way too long. (They're working on this. The community is trying to help. They're actually listening. It will get a lot better.)

The core gameplay basically works like this. You are interacting with a dynamic world on a semi-static map. The regions of space are prearranged and in the same place with the same names every game, but resources are placed randomly within it. And then there are 200 other AI captains on the map.

The machinations of these captains in their attempt to start and grow five political factions will make every single game entirely different. It's ALL emergent. It's all personalities and connections and networks and a far more detailed economy than any game like this has a right to have.

That's the "Space" part. Then you get to the "Pirates" part, where some of the captains don't like you and will try to extort money and resources from you. There's a grace period of about five levels where everyone leaves you alone, but then all bets are off and you'll learn just what complete ♥♥♥♥♥ other people can be.

And then you'll eventually get to the "Zombies" part, which I won't spoil for you because it's supposed to be surprising and make you go "wtf." Suffice to say the infection starts spreading, and you have to get ahead of it. This is not easy right now, and like most community-involved games it will probably end up being "terribly difficult unless you know this secret that makes it unbelievably easy" in the end.

The key thing to remember about this game is that between "complex emergent political systems" and "beautiful intricate space combat," the game is pretty much as simple as it can be... but no simpler. There is no "intermediate" stuff. You will have a hill to climb over, and the view from the top is nothing special. But on the other side of the hill, when you get to the "advanced" gameplay, everything is just amazeballs.

Once you understand combat and the world map enough to know what you're doing, you'll probably feel like the game should be more fun than it is. But you're just getting started. Keep pushing forward.

As a rough guide, right now, level 13 will be the bane of your existence. (They actually tell you this in the intro, kind of.) The first ten levels will be fine. The next couple will be okay. And then you'll start to sigh mightily about how "grindy" the game is. But once you hit level 20, everything will click - as long as you didn't rush there. Remember that first twenty minutes of tutorial you skipped because it was boring? Same thing. It's not boring. You need to know this. You need to do this.

And when you've finished the campaign... there's sandbox mode. The entire campaign storyline is basically a twelve-hour tutorial for sandbox mode, which is the REAL game. But if you tried to play it from the beginning, you would be so incredibly lost.

Put all of this together, and it's like Minmax have been standing over my shoulder conspiring to make the exact game I personally wished someone would make. Which is more or less what they did with the original SPAZ, too. I just want a different, more complex game now. And this is it.

If you just want more SPAZ, play more SPAZ. This is better. A lot better. It's like the difference between Grand Theft Auto 2 and GTA III. Quantum leap. Not the same game. Whole new systems. Whole new ideas.

Changed the world.
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21 of 32 people (66%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
15.4 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: May 21
pros
+real time world is pretty good. Not super fleshed out, but it's there and interesting
+graphics are interesting
+trading and factions are better than in spaz 1, lots of voice acting and characters

cons
-the levelup perk system is much worse than spaz 1's skill tree
It's straight up less interesting and balanced, and it gives less choices.

-ship modification is signficantly worse
I havn't found anything like cloak, intertial engines, frames, or anything like that. You basically choose where to place guns and engines and that's it.

-strike craft system is much less complex and meaningful than in spaz 1
Strike craft also lost depth, you choose a frame and you can't even rebuild craft. It's basically just optional farming for a temporary distraction that's unreliable.

-you can't turn with mouse because ♥♥♥♥ you
No idea why this is the case.

-parts falling off in combat is annoying and random
This might have been interesting with more depth/choice in the movement system, but that's all gone now.

-less scale in battles
No space zombies and less drones leads to many less explosions than normal.

All in all, i'm dissapointed and i'm not sure what the devs worked on for 4 years. I sort of wish we just got a real time world expansion for spaz 1.
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14 of 19 people (74%) found this review helpful
Recommended
7.8 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: May 20
This game is a great game at this price point. If it were $40 I wouldn't recommend it, but it's definitely worth $20. It's not a AAA title. It's not a 2d version of the X series. It's not SPAZ 1. It's its own thing, and that's not bad, but it does take some getting used to if you come in expecting something familiar. Beyond a weird sense of humor and a similar setting, the games have little in common.

Pros:
- Easy to pick up and play. This is almost a con, because parts of the game almost play themselves (the tutorial makes an odd joke about this regarding the combat). Still, I like not having to worry about complex stats or ship builds. I can build a specialized rig if I want to, or I can just slap on the best parts I happen to have around. I'm also terrible at aiming shooters and could never use the cannons in SPAZ 1, so I'm glad those are more automated.
- The AI captains are well implemented. The system could be deeper, but it's as deep as it needs to be for what it is. The player still feels like a special case that has different rules, but it's not too bad.
- The graphics look like a case of glow-sticks broke open and spilled all over space. In this case, it works. It's very easy to tell which ships are hostile and which are friendly. Too often in space shooters it becomes difficult to tell what's going on when things get clumped up. Not so here.
- The AI does a pretty good job of navigating around in combat. Ships with long-range weapons will keep their distance. Ships with short-range weapons will do hit-and-run attacks. AI captains that are outnumbered will try to escape.

Cons: This list is longer, but it's mostly more specific, fiddly stuff that I expect (or at least hope) will get fixed before release.
- It's kinda crashy right now. It's EA, so that's to be expected. Hopefully that gets better on release.
- I wish I had more ability to interact with the AI captains beyond shooting them. For instance, I can't harvest from AI resource nodes without losing reputation, but they will fly up and harvest from mine and my only choice is to attack them, also causing reputation loss. It would be nice if the reputation loss were at least context-sensitive so that if they wrong me first they don't get ♥♥♥♥♥♥ at me for doing something about it.
- Some of the elements on the map and on the status screens are unexplained. I have no idea what any of that stuff on the station information screen means. I can get lots of data about AI captains, but it's not presented in a way that is useful at all - just long lists of events that read more like debug logs than a UI elements.
- There isn't a wide variety of parts, or at least it doesn't seem to matter what the differences are. Sometimes the differences are just confusing. What's the difference between a laser on the top of the wing and a laser of the side of the wing? They are called different things and have different icons, but is the only difference the location?
- The beginning of the game is rough. I got real tired of trying to grind out enough scrap to buy parts on bandits while the entire rest of the universe seemed to have no problem instantly jumping to 30+ threat while I was stuck at 15.
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80 of 142 people (56%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
2.2 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: May 17
Was a huge fan of SPAZ 1, they took a different direction with 2 though - there is less focus on contructing your own fleet and top-down arcade spaceship battles, and more focus on trying to fly a big awkward battleship around while you autotarget anything in a ten foot radius. It's probably fun if you're looking for a third-person-view spaceship battle game, but if you were hoping for the chance to construct your own custom fleets and specialize your tech in any direction other than "level up for +15% weapon damage, OR +20% shields!", then you should give this one a pass.
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19 of 29 people (66%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
28.9 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: May 17
I like this game quite a bit its fun.

How ever even though it does hurt to say this truely is in the Shadow of SPAZ 1. I know this is in Early Access just for bug fixes and adding of speech.

Take a look at some youtube videos before you buy because it very different then SPAZ 1 but still enjoyable.
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22 of 35 people (63%) found this review helpful
Recommended
9.1 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: May 18
The game is actually very fun so far, that is, if you don't walk into it expecting a carbon copy of SPAZ 1.

However, all the qualities that made SPAZ 1's universe interesting and funny are present in SPAZ 2 as well. The lore, the descriptions, the funny conversations and the great art, and also the hilarious voices. I do feel however that some of the detail that went into the ships in SPAZ 1 went a bit lost in their translation to 3D (here you can use them as strike craft/large fighters for your mothership during fights), but it's not too big of a problem.

The combat is fun. Since you're controlling a mothership now instead of strike craft, turning and flying around is a lot slower and requires more thinking ahead. You can obviously get your hands on better parts if you want to improve this. I do wish they will add more traditional top-down controls, where A/D rotates the ship and W/S thrust/brake the ship, right now instead of behaving like that it simply thrusts into the respective direction which is sometimes a bit hard to use when you have something specific in mind (such as ramming a ship). Some of the weapon effects look a bit questionable (machine gun fire looks like a beam).

EDIT: The relative control mode in the gameplay options will make A/D turn your ship and W/S throttle your thrust, just as I wanted above!

The whole captain thing is awesome and seems to add a lot of dynamic to the universe. Some pesky high level captain out there keeps running into me and demanding me to surrender goods, so after the second encounter I decided to put a hefty bounty on him and he told me "thanks for nothing", made me chuckle. Another time I engaged in a fight I could not possibly win, but then suddenly some captain joined me while some other captain joined the other guy as well, it turned into a pretty grand fight we eventually ended up winning. It doesn't come without its flaws though, one example is where you join other captains in fighting bandits: the bandits are usually destroyed before you even get to them, but you still receive positive relations with that captain for doing nothing at all.

I also think that the solution to grinding (by just making resource collection happen "instantly" on the starmap) is great. I do feel that the galaxy is a bit small though compared to how big it could be in SPAZ 1, but maybe this was a necessity due to the way things are simulated (it's really a living and breathing universe), contrary to SPAZ 1 where things basically only happened from sector to sector, it does however somewhat reduce the exploration aspect of the game.

The arena challenges at star bases are also still very fun to do, I do however feel that their SPAZ 1 counterparts were more varied and balanced. Here the balance is a bit of a hit-or-miss, sometimes when going one tier up in the ladder it suddenly becomes impossible to beat compared to the previous one, so you will have to level up a bit and try again later. I think the potential in SPAZ 2 for more strategic/fun challenges is definitely there, but it's not being put to full use from the ones I tried so far.

I have mixed feelings about ship assembly. Don't know whether it will change later in the game, but it is rather really hard to make your ship look good because you often end up buying a mix of different types of parts from different factions. In terms of expansion you also just have two choices: either make your ship longer, or make it wider. Doing anything fancy will be inefficient because you will lose potential mounts for equipment (ideally you get two additional ones for every sub-core you attach, so a line is best, next up is a cross).

EDIT: It seems that getting a lot of scrap becomes easier later on, so getting the right parts becomes much easier in turn as well for making the ship look cool.

The interfaces look very good and polished, especially the lore section is just awesome. The trade menu is very nice, but the part -stats aren't really obvious on first sight and I'm still not sure how I can easily compare differences from my former parts with newer parts (it does seem to show this for strike craft though in their menu). Fortunatly there's also a legend that tells you what icon means what, I just think however that this could still improve, for instance by giving DPS an own icon instead of putting it in the title and other little changes.

There are probably many more things to tell about the game, but best is to try it for yourself, however don't expect exact the same gameplay as in SPAZ 1 because it is definitely different. Game's well worth the price though, pick it up!
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14 of 20 people (70%) found this review helpful
Recommended
31.1 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: May 18
Seeing as how they said from the get-go that this was not a clone of the first game.

I bloody love it! The procedural combat and stuff makes the game dynamic and you can easily lose long-term with the wrong strategies. It's even kinda got a roguelike feel to it, in a casual way.

TL;DR: 8/10 - The game is great but I feel like the starmap is lacking something. I can't even really pinpoint what it's missing. Just feels like something's missing.
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17 of 26 people (65%) found this review helpful
Recommended
9.4 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: May 19
The combat is so fun and fluid i personally love ramming enemy motherships trying to warp away to knock them away from the warp gate. Also the writing is top notch if you enjoyed the first SPAZ then the writing will not dissapoint. The little empire management/factions system is great and works well its very similar to Mount and Blade if you have played that. SPAZ 2 is a nice little gem which im sure will be refined over the next couple of months.
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