Space Pirates and Zombies: little things mean a lot

, | Game diaries

So there I was, getting my ships repaired and ready for the next fight my little fleet would face when all of a sudden, THIS asshole pops up. What’s he want? Apparently the little scamp is impatient and wants ME to get back into the fight freaking ASAP while he sits all comfy and cozy back on the mothership. He buddy, I got your system map right here…

This is just one example of all the little things that Space Pirates and Zombies is littered with. Tons of little touches that add flare and zest to the game, wherein you can tell the programmers really put a lot of care and thought into things that might go unnoticed elsewhere. In this, my final entry, I’ll look at some of those tiny, little yet awesome things, as well as wrap up my look at the game as a whole. Join me, won’t you?

After the jump, killing is relaxing…

Space Pirates and Zombies has a ton of content, or so I think (some don’t agree, but I think they’re looking for a different game than what’s offered here). It reminds me of Star Control 2 — at least a light version of it — in many ways, such as the exploration, the real time combat, and the humor. This game has a lot of little touches of humor that really ingratiate me to it.

For example, when a new or existing game is being loaded, rather than simply use a simple percentage meter — though they do use one when first loading the actual game itself — they start with “Igniting Stars” followed by things like “Colonizing Space” and finishing with “Crumbling Society”. It’s a little thing, sure, but it always gets a chuckle out of me.

Much of the humor comes from the sound effects though, and this game has plenty of funny chatter, mostly from your own cohorts. The game also has very satisfying sound effects, from explosions and weapons fire to tractor beams. For example, I recently failed a mission and wasn’t happy about it, so I took to shooting at all of the little escape pods and guys in spacesuits floating around. The satisfying splat sounds associated with shooting spacesuited goons was very…relaxing.

The graphics also, in my opinion, have very nice little flourishes that one doesn’t always see in an indie title. Weapons have a satisfying look to them, especially beam weapons (lord do I love me some beam weapons), but cannons and missiles also have very appealing graphics. One thing I love are the way ships explode, which is with a very satisfying blast as if you can see dozens of little pieces explode from the inside in a chain reaction, kind of like confetti:

I also honestly love the way certain ships look. The ships in Space Pirates and Zombies are all over the map, but none, to me so far, look as odd as the Right Hook, shown below:

When I finally acquired one of these things, I had a hard time flying it because it’s just so…off kilter from what one would be used to.

So all week I’ve gushed and gushed about Space Pirates and Zombies, and while I hope you’ve enjoyed it, I’m aware the game isn’t for everyone. If you’re interested in the game, there are some caveats you should be aware of before you dive in. First, it’s a beta, so of course there are technical and balance issues still being worked on. I’ve had to restart the game several times because it loaded too slowly, for example. It’s also reported to not even run on certain people’s systems.

That being said, I’ll be playing Space Pirates and Zombies long after this diary is over. With all of the content the game has (and more spoken of if the game sells well, which it apparently is), this is one game that will be on my hard drive for a long time, along with Freespace 2, Freelancer, Tie Fighter and other awesome space games.

Click here for the previous Space Pirates and Zombies entry.

Brian Rubin is currently an underemployed freelance search engine optimization consultant sharing an apartment with two cats in sunny Los Angeles. You can read more of his inane rants at VonGeekenstein.