Starpoint Gemini 2 Review
Starpoint Gemini 2 is a RPG tactical space sim that offers both a campaign-driven experience and an endless free-roam mode, all wrapped up in a shiny shell.
Developed by Little Green Men Games, Starpoint Gemini 2 is the successor to the original title, Starpoint Gemini, that was released in 2012. Judging by reviews alone (note: I haven’t played the original), Starpoint Gemini 2 is a significantly positive step in the right direction for the series.
Starpoint Gemini 2 puts the player in command of their own starship, fully customizable and ready to explore the galaxy at large. Upon game launch, budding captains are presented with the option of playing through the campaign or navigating the cosmos at will in the free-roam mode.
Fans of classic titles such as Freelancer and Wing Commander: Privateer, or even modern MMOs like Star Trek Online, should find these options appealing — especially the free-roam mode. The game’s campaign has a decent storyline with varied mission types, but it becomes clear early on that the free-roam mode is the real pièce de résistance in Starpoint Gemini 2.
Whether managing a bustling intergalactic mining & salvage operation, or terrorizing the star lanes with a unique brand of piracy, players have a wide range of opportunities in how they choose to captain their ship. Admittedly, it may not be as glamorous as the preceding statement makes it sound, but Starpoint Gemini 2 does offer several options that create an immersive experience for the player.
The game boasts 50 different factions each vying for control — including governments, corporations and good ol’ fashioned outlaws. Each has unique designs and influences on the game that, while not majorly altering gameplay. provide a sense of depth to the player experience. Add to that a plethora of unique player ship designs (fully customizable with a good selection of systems and weaponry) and a system that is responsive to player decisions (albeit in a basic good/evil way), and Starpoint Gemini 2 packs a hefty punch in this department.
Starpoint Gemini 2 bills itself as having a direct control system that allows for complete immersion, utilizing advanced physics to create a sense of ship flight. A difficult task indeed and one that SG2 doesn’t quite master. Navigation of the ship often feels clunky and takes some practice to get down.
Coupled with a mostly unhelpful tutorial (that appears when you least need or want to read the information contained), the 3-D control system is one of the game’s biggest drawbacks. While it does make manual combat encounters more challenging, it becomes somewhat of a nuisance when traversing from one point to another on the extremely large game map. Figuring out the basics of movement (i.e. anchoring at the planet, rather than crashing into it) can take a while and isn’t always very clear/intuitive.
Graphically and auditorily, Starpoint Gemini 2 is neither here nor there. Adequate for the atmosphere and style of the game, but lacking in anything that would make the game stand out in this regard. Occasionally, text or distant objects will be a little on the blurry side, indicative that, while not overly distracting to gameplay, the game lacks some of the polish it should have, especially in full release.
The price point for the title (currently $34.99 on Steam) is somewhat steep for what is currently offered, but is not entirely unreasonable for fans of the genre searching for a open-ended space simulator with a handful of RPG elements. Throughout the early access stage of the game on Steam, the developers took onboard the advice and constructive criticism of players, much of which saw its way into the final release. With that in mind, players can likely expect to see continuing updates, fixes and possible expansions to Starpoint Gemini 2 in the future. This may persuade some players to bite the bullet on the cost, in exchange for future returns on their investment in the form of entertaining, engaging gameplay.
All in all, Starpoint Gemini 2 is an enjoyable title reminiscent of space-sims of the past. Its main draw – open-ended exploration – is executed well and will certainly give players several hours of solid entertainment, whether fans of the genre or not. With some minor tweaks and fixes to presentation, along with the potential the title has for future expansions to missions and maps, Starpoint Gemini 2 is certainly worth a look.