Kerbal Space Program (XB1) Review

Justin Celani

In space, no one can hear your frustration.

I’d heard a lot about Kerbal Space Program but admittedly knew nothing about it aside from a bit of building and going into space. I’ve seen some funny videos involving the little guys on the screen, flying into the sun, and more. So with Kerbal launching on consoles I figured I’d give it a try. It’s not as I expected and I’ll let this review speak for itself in saying that, in essence, KSP is not a game, but more of an extremely rough space simulator. Which will be good or bad depending on the player, for me it just left me scratching my head.

PC conversion all the way

The idea of the “game” is simply. Build a ship, fly high into the atmosphere, and hopefully make it to various planets. The fun factor and engaging elements come from trying to accomplish these actions. Where as in some games doing this would be at the push of a button, in KSP, there are a ton of factors that go into just getting the ships into space, let alone to other planets, landing, and making it back in one piece.

kerbalspace_01

MSRP: $39.99
Price I’d Pay: $15.00
Multiplayer: N/A
How long to beat: N/A

It wouldn’t be so bad if the controls had seemingly been a bit more streamlined for consoles but as there is literally a mouse cursor that can be enabled on the screen. There is a huge element of learning that needs to be done with first time players as well. Expecting to just jump in and start a space adventure is a huge mistake as it will lead to frustration and wanting to throw the controller down. The tutorial mode which is long and quite detailed is nice, but also leads to another problem the game has, the font. It’s tiny, there is lots of it, and spending so much time reading at this size might just give players a headache. It’s also time consuming as it’s one of the longest tutorials I’ve ever seen in a game.

Visually the game looks rough, especially on planets and buildings which give way to rough and simple textures. Luckily once getting into space that is a bit alleviated. While there isn’t much going on screen, the computations going on in the background for gravity, weight, and other factors all must have a part with performance. That said, the game doesn’t operate smoothly. While graphically it looks simply, it’s still struggled at times, especially when panning the camera around.

kerbalspace_03

Space is a playground

Kerbal Space Program is just that, a program concerning space and the computations of getting a craft in space and making the trip alive. There is plenty of room for human error and it can also be a bit trial by error, but if it’s a genre that players can appreciate or get into, there isn’t anything quite like it on consoles. That said, it’s a tough to learn, it’s rough around the edges, and there isn’t really an easy way to get accustomed to the game even with the tutorials. Recommend only for the most hardcore of space simulation fans and patience is a must.

My favorite moment: Getting into space was amazing and going from the planet to the upper atmosphere felt satisfying.

Review copy of game provided by publisher.

Good

  • Very in-depth mechanics
  • Impressive space sim

Bad

  • Rough experience
  • Framerate issues
  • Text size
  • Controls
5

Mediocre

Justin Celani
Justin is a long time passionate fan of games, not gaming drama. He loves anything horror related, archaeology inspired adventures, RPG goodness, Dr Pepper, and of course his family. When it comes to crunch time, he is a beast, yet rabies free we promise.
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