Reviewed on PS4
Kerbal Space Program is a rocket crafting, space exploration simulator with multitude of options and features. From building a space craft from scratch, launching rockets into space, conducting experiments, and managing resources KSP puts plenty of tools at your disposal but it forgot the most important one, FUN. There is a lot to do in this game and I found that it was quite overwhelming at times, but no matter how much Kerbal Space Program has to offer there were a few themes that ran pretty common throughout my entire experience.
First would be the learning curve. Tutorials are key in this game. My first few hours were spent trying to build my own custom rocket ship. I turned on the game and bypassed the training missions ready to launch myself to infinity and beyond! Instead I found myself extremely frustrated and utterly confused as to why none of the parts I assembled would make an adequate ship ready to be launched into space. After learning the basics of space craft building I found a nice little folder with pre built rockets ready to go. So the next few hours were spent trying to successfully make it out of the Earth’s atmosphere. Much to my dismay I learned I am not very good at simulators. Although I did really enjoy making it a few thousand meters only to lose control and spiral to my ultimate destruction. But one can only crash to his or her doom so many times before they grow tired of the monotony and are ready to move on. Space is nice, and there is a feeling of accomplishment once I made it to the great beyond, but every step of the road there was just plain boring.
Graphically this game is a joke. I know the point of this game isn’t the graphics, but KSP looks like a straight port of the PC version. All the way down to the mouse cursor. The text is entirely to small and there is quite a bit to read. The sound design is a barren wasteland as well. There really isn’t much going on at all sound wise. So it is hard to become fully immersed in the experience. On top of it’s less that stellar graphics and poor sound design, the game doesn’t run well in certain spots. From loading a new rocket, to launching said rocket, down to disengaging stages of your space craft there are several frame rate glitches and dips.
The controls take some getting use to as well. The curser can be moved by motion control and by the left thumb stick. This grabbed me by surprise a few times bc I thought my controller might have been glitching out on me. Come to find out if you move the DS4 it imitates the mouse from the PC version. During the launch of your missions you have to balance your rocket and the default button mapping is clunky to say the least. Control of your craft takes a ridiculous amount of trial and error and a decent amount of skill.
To it’s credit there is a ton of content in KSP. This is a very deep and educational Space simulator. But I would not say it is a fun game. It’s strengths are the seemingly endless amount of possibilities when it comes to creating your space craft and putting together your team of astronauts. Resource management and flight stability make this game very challenging and the victory of launching a successful mission is very satisfying. But my biggest take away from KSP is the game does not respect my time as a player. It takes hours to learn the most basic of operations and the reward from the trial and error was just not there. I respect this game for being a strong simulator, but did not enjoy my time with Kerbal Space Program.