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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.
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!”
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.
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.
The release of the conquest mode for Gratuitous Space Battles caused me to reinstall and lose a couple of weekends plotting and planning. Conquest provided a campaign to sit alongside the standalone bouts of ship wrecking and, lo, it was good. A few months ago, unbeknownst to me, a clever sort who goes by the name Pendra on the Positech forums released a random galaxy generator, providing Endless Consecutive Contextual Gratuitous Space Battles. There was an update to the generator this morning, which Cliffski mentioned in the Twittersphere, and I’ve copied some details into the emptiness below.
Gratuitous Tank Battles returns to the beginnings of the war that has raged for more than two centuries with The Western Front expansion. Eight new maps form the terrain for a new singleplayer campaign, the first half of which limits technology to the metal monstrosities of 1914-45, removing the lasers, mechs and shields of future times. Thankfully, the Tigers, Shermans and other tanks added to the game will find themselves embellished with the weapons of tomorrow, with the second half of the campaign allowing the use of advanced technology. The trailer details the expansion’s contents very well and The Western Front is available now for less than a fiver, with a second copy available at a 50% reduction.
The point of Gratuitous Space Battles was that it was a fleet manager, not an RTS. So while you watched the space battles play out, you didn’t actually influence them – you were the admiral who had designed the ships and decided upon the tactics. And that made the actual battles gratuitous in terms of the gameplay. That, however, is no longer necessarily true. Cliff from Positech has sent word that he’s continued fiddling with the game, and has released a free patch to allow players to get involved with the battle-action. Cliff says: “It’s only an ‘optional’ feature, and only works in single-player offline games, but from patch 1.60 (which is now live, steam copies will be updated soon), the player can select ships and issue movement and fire orders mid battle, and even edit the ‘standing’ orders for ships in the middle of an engagement.” There’s a video, which explains it in a bit more detail, below. (more…)
Cliffski’s game of tank (and mech!) battles now has a demo, as per his strict policy of producing a demo for every game he puts out. You can pick it up from the game’s own site, or from the GTB page on Steam. The demo contains a sample of the game’s two-way tower defence action, where you can choose to build the defences, or to drop waves of soldiers and armour into the trenches of an alternate World War I. It’s worth playing the demo, because this one’s not for everyone, as Tim’s verdict concluded.
Trailer below! (more…)
Cliffski’s complex take on the tower-defence genre has arrived on Steam (and can still of course be purchased directly from the developer) and that event has been celebrate with a bombastic new trailer, which you can see below. Well, I say bombastic, and that’s true of the battle bits, but it is also honest, showing you a quiet bit where Cliff is clicking through the many menus that allow you to endlessly customise the titular tank battles. Anyway, it’s out, and you can read a bit about what Tim Stone made of the game over here. (more…)
Lewie’s away being fitted for birthday hats and I’m all alone in the Savy Tower this weekend. I wasn’t sure what to do with myself. I was racing the bargain-bots down the endless stairs when Lewie appeared to me in a text message. ‘Tony, you should probably find cheap games’ he said – in an impressive hat – so here I am. If you are in London on May 4th, please do come celebrate five years of Savygamer, more details and daily deals are on SavyGamer.co.uk. Hats welcome.
In the bucket today: Syndicate (the fab one), Gratuitous Space Battles, Total War packs, Serious Sam 3 and, oh, all sorts. (more…)