Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

'splode-o!

It’s always nice to have a demonstration what a complete fool you are and how poorly you think things through. Humbling. Gratuitous Space Battles offered that experience with huge spacefights where your input ends as soon as the battle begins, and all you can do is watch as the plans you laid, the issues you ordered, and the ships you designed failed spectacularly to deal with the enemy’s far superior plan. Or maybe you were good at it. I don’t know.

Either way, you may get something out of Gratuitous Space Battles 2 [official site], which launched yesterday.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

I ve never much thought about what goes into the little white tablet I swallow when I m hungover, have the sniffles or another bout of Geek s Disease.* It s just chalky magic, right? Well, no: it s the result of millions of dollars, aggressive R&D, production facilities of breathtaking size and precision, ruthless marketeering and impossibly sinister downplaying and mitigation of side effects. While medicine-themed management game Big Pharma doesn t go for pharmaceutical industry s jugular, Goldacre-style, its pills-as-merciless-industry approach is certainly a welcome change from the bland, smiling, comfortable> faces that advertising tells us medicine are all about. … [visit site to read more]

PC Gamer

Cliff "Cliffski" Harris has released a new development video for the upcoming Gratuitous Space Battles 2, showing off new beam weapons, improved fighter behavior, and more realistic damage effects.

It's possible to enjoy this video simply for the majestic destruction it brings to the table, and in that regard the new Gratuitous Space Battles clearly isn't going to deviate far from its predecessor. But it also looks to be considerably improved in a number of ways, such as with the addition of nebula clouds, squadrons of fighters that fly in formation, and capital ship damage that appears to be internal, rather than simply painted on. There will also be more types of "support beams," enabling more complex interactions between capital and support ships.

It was thought back in the summer that Gratuitous Space Battles 2 might come out before the end of the year. With December looming and no release date announced, however, 2015 is looking increasingly likely.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Graham Smith)

Gratuitous Space inspired gratuitous Wikipedia information.

I’ve spent untold hours watching back replays of my own Supreme Commander games, taking the opportunity to slow-down or speed-up time, watch maneuvers by my opponents I missed the first time around, and to marvel at the bombastic laser wars that eventually decide each match.

Gratuitious Space Battles is that whole process as an entire game: you build a fleet, design the ships, and then click go to watch a spectacular hands-off space battle. The sequel seems determined to make those battles more spectacular than ever, as demonstrated by this new trailer. Such pretty lasers and explosions.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Adam Smith)

The conflicts in Gratuitous Space Battles 2 are certainly deserving of the adjective applied in the game’s title but the new video below brings several other descriptives to mind. ‘Colourful’, ‘cunning’, ‘extravagant’, ‘fabulous’ and more besides. Like it’s predecessor, GSB 2 is a game in which players construct fleets, position them and then watch as they do battle. Remember the text crawl that sucked all the excitement out of you like a joy vampire at the beginning of The Phantom Menace? “The taxation of trade routes to outlying starsystems is in dispute”, says Star Wars. GSB says, “BOY HOWDY THE PURPLE SHIPS ARE SHOOTING THE EVER-LIVING CRAP OUT OF THE GREEN SHIPS YOWZERS!”

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

Zap zap!

Gratuitous Space Battles was not a game of masterful tactics. It didn’t allow damn fool gambits. GSB was won or lost long before then. GSB is played in the planning, the design and customisation of a huge space fleet and the careful behaviours you order them to follow. Once your ships are ready to launch, it could run the numbers and say if you won or lost, but that would be somewhat against the name. The eponymous space battles are> gratuitous, with cruisers and fighters and lasers and missiles and drones and so many explosions for you to simply watch.

Expect more explosions, as sequel Gratuitous Space Battles 2 is now officially announced.

… [visit site to read more]

PC Gamer
So gratuitous...
So gratuitous...

Maybe you'd like to play some games this weekend? Maybe you'd like them to be completely free? Maybe you'd also like them to be games you don't own; games that will stop letting you play them on Sunday unless you pay a reduced price to secure their continued use? That's a bizarre set of conditions, but whatever, Steam's got you covered. Both Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and Gratuitous Space Battles are holding Free Weekend trials, giving you unpaid access to two completely different ends of the gaming spectrum.

Gratuitous Space Battles is a sci-fi strategy in which you design spaceships, construct a space-fleet, issue space-orders and then watch as your space-squadron battles it out against an army of spacejerks. In space. It's currently 75%, with the generously stocked Complete Pack costing £3.49.

CoDBlOps 2 is a purgatorial nightmare in which you're forced to endlessly and repetitively kill aggressors, all while smug and indifferent soldiers babble in an alien language of numbers, Zs and Xs, performing depraved rituals like "Noscope" and... Oh wait, it's just a relatively fun arcade FPS. It's 33% off, at £26.79.

Both trials will end at 9pm GMT on Sunday, at which point you'll have to start playing games you actually own or something.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Adam Smith)

I know many of you will be spending the weekend tending to your winter-blasted shoots as you celebrate the feast day of Serenus the Gardener, or perhaps remembering Red Army Day by engaging in tabletop recreations of the Battle of Kiev or, for the more ambitious, Operation Bagration. Commendable pastimes, I’m sure, but if the dusty red blocks that represent Soviet armoured divisions are lost in the attic, or Serenus’ spirit is locked in the frozen turf, then you may be interested to hear that Gratuitous Space Battles is free to play on Steam until Sunday 9PM GMT.

(more…)

Announcement - Valve
Play Gratuitous Space Battles for FREE until Sunday at 1PM Pacific Time. You can also purchase Gratuitous Space Battles at 75% off during this time.

If you already have Steam installed, click here to install or play Gratuitous Space Battles. If you don't have Steam, you can download it here.

Who needs backstory? Who needs resource-gathering? Diplomacy is so last year. Gratuitous Space Battles cuts right to the chase of sci-fi strategy games, and deals with large, completely unjustified space battles between huge opposing space fleets.

Gratuitous Space Battles combines the visual appeal of an RTS, with the addictive unit-placement and design gameplay from tower defense games. In GSB, the player does not control individual ships at all during battle. The ships fight to a pre-determined set of orders and formations given to them by you before the battles.

GSB casts you as supreme space admiral, tasked with the design of individual spaceships, and the composition of your fleet, as well as general orders of engagement. This is not a twitch-based real time arcade game like many an RTS, but a game of careful thought, planning and big-picture strategy. Huge space battles can be won or lost depending on just how cleverly you balanced the needs of defensive shielding and armor against the expensive punch of laser cannons and plasma torpedoes.

PC Gamer
Team Fortress 2


The concept of distributing a game for no cost, once the domain of Facebook app-clones and mobile platforms, has quickly become commonplace in PC gaming. We've all seen clear evidence of such a phenomena, from the lessened emphasis on subscription models in MMOs to the availability of quality multiplayer shooters like Tribes: Ascend from a single download. In a blog post, Positech Games head and Gratuitous Tank Battles creator Chris Harris says the psychology of free gaming boils down to letting players set their own sense of worth before asking for money.

"Free to play works because it doesn’t ask you to value the game until you already feel you own it," he writes. "How much would you pay for Farmville to buy it outright? Maybe $5? But play the game for free for a month, build up your farm, invest it, and then hit a plateau in the game where you really need to buy coins to continue, and suddenly your game is worth a lot more than $5. You value the game you already own very highly, and so buying add-ons for it is just common sense. I suspect this is why DLC works so well and sells so well. You have already made a commitment to valuing the game by investing your time. Only a fool could try to rationalize not spending money on it now."

It's almost as if Harris stumbled upon the secret formula of free-to-play games: foster a sense of ownership to encourage microtransactions and DLC. Item-heavy games such as Team Fortress 2 and PlanetSide 2 let you try out a shiny weapon for a short period before taking it away, but that brief usage could boost the likelihood of a wallet getting pulled out simply because you determined your own measure of worth on the item you fleetingly "owned."

Let's hear your comments. Do you only drop dollars on free-to-play games after you've built up a sense of attachment to them, or are your buying habits more free-form?
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