Space Pirates and Zombies 2 (PC) Review

By Eric 03.12.2017

Review for Space Pirates and Zombies 2 on PC

Space Pirates and Zombies 2 occupies a very odd position. At its core it is a mix of light 4X components mixed with a tactical shooter. It's very strange, with the only other similar games in the genre such as Nexus: The Jupiter Incident and Homeworld. Ranging from a strategic map of acquiring resources, this will then switch into a battle mode where you must shoot other enemies using the ship you've made. Both parts are competent, but the mix is likely to turn some off.

Unlike, say, 90% of 4X titles that in one way or another draw inspiration from Master of Orion 2, this draws from the other 10%. To most succinctly describe this would be a mix of Distant Worlds Universe and a mix of Nexus: The Jupiter Incident and Homeworld. If you loved those you will also love this one, and if they were forgettable or a turn-off this game will feel completely the same.

This is played in a sandbox galaxy after a plague has wiped out most people. It is a dog-eat-dog world, and most people you come across will be looking to kill you and take your stuff. This strategic part plays very much like Distant Worlds Universe, with random ships coming and going everywhere. On the map there are various resource nodes, things like metal or population. They increase every moment and they can either be ransacked as you pass by, or if you wait until they are full, it will produce a 2x bonus. This was an interesting choice to help fuel the 'pirate' feel to it all.

When combat occurs this switches to a 3D view (though the ship still stays on a 2D plane), one in which the player must actually drive the ship around and fire. For those who have experienced games like Homeworld, this will not be much of a surprise. For those who do not want to actually fly ships around, though, this will be the kiss of death for them.

Screenshot for Space Pirates and Zombies 2 on PC

Combat works, all things considered, and the graphics are surprisingly good. Depending on the stats of the ship, weapon arcs matter, shield strength decreases, missiles reload, and so on. It is cool to see the ship you create actually be in battle. The problem is it all kind of becomes repetitive, as the best thing to do is simply shoot at whatever is getting close. This action component will put off the pure strategy players, as it requires as least a moderate amount of skill in flying or shooter type video games.

This strange mix between the strategy and the combat continues into other portions. From the title, and the oddly Technicolor choice of lettering, the game apparently styles itself as a more child-friendly option. Actually playing it, this is clearly not the case. The story is surprisingly dark about resource exploitation and a mechanical virus that takes over ships. This was pleasantly surprising, and it is unfortunate the title in general would not indicate this.

This odd mix continues in many other capacities, such as how there are various weapons like chainsaws to equip on the ship, and how the enemies explode in blood. Furthermore, population is called 'goons' and it expected that they will die working the bowels of the ship. All this seems very b-movie-esque, which is fine, but then there will be random lore dropped that feels as compelling as a more "serious" 4X. In the end, this weird back and forth leaves you confused…

Screenshot for Space Pirates and Zombies 2 on PC

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

There is nothing majorly wrong with any single part of Space Pirates and Zombies 2, but the inconsistency drags it down. From an actual good/dark story, to oddly ham-fisted "zombie" references, it is not clear what direction this title wants to go, and both two sections leave more to be desired as they only are purely average. The lore is interesting, and it is unfortunate this does not dive into it more, which is like the game in general: everything works, but it leaves the player wishing there was more.

Developer

MinMax Games

Publisher

MinMax Games

Genre

Strategy

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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