Starpoint Gemini 2 Preview – Early Access Space Mining

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So, some of you may have heard that there’s a new free-roaming 3D tactical space RPG on Steam’s early access list, and it’s called Starpoint Gemini 2. I fired this one up to take a look at what the early game has to offer, trying to get a feel not just for what’s there now, but for what could come as the game grows into its own, and whether it’s worth taking the plunge into the alpha.

I’ll put one thing straight from the get-go: I’m not huge on early access games, really; I think that if a developer is taking money, they’re making an assertion that the product is already worth that money. Boasting a $22.99 price tag for early access, Stapoint Geminiputs a pretty high value on itself right out the gate. When you consider that Iceberg Interactive throws in a copy of the first game, itself a $13.99 proposition via Steam, you’re looking at an effective $9 buy-in to get the alpha access; that’s a bit higher than it’d be worth to me, but it’s entirely possible I’m simply not built for the game. I’ll explain.

This is your typical in-game shot; it's very prety, and there's lots of buttons! Most of them even do things!

This is your typical in-game shot; it’s very prety, and there’s lots of buttons! Most of them even do things!

Starpoint Gemini 2 is, as I mentioned, mostly a tactical RPG. You gain experience, levels, and all that; I’m not sure what exactly those do, to be honest, but they’re there. The early access doesn’t seem to include any story quests, though I spotted a freelance mission or two that can be completed. The main part of my toying around, though, was spent mining. By mining, I mean firing my weapons (or waiting for them to recharge) at nearby asteroids, collecting anything they left, and selling those at the nearby dock. I bought a few upgrades, I think, but mostly I was just getting better weapons to mine with. There’s a few hostile ships that’ll come in range to give you a taste of combat, but for the most part, there just doesn’t seem to be a whole lot going on.

I did point my ship out into the ether once, and shut down all systems to divert power to engines. I soared through the galaxy for about a minute before some hostiles came out of cloaking, dropped in on me, and proceeded to demonstrate how much better at combat they were; it took me longer to find them than to be obliterated, even with my weapons upgrades. Suffice it to say, I was soon back to mining, since asteroids don’t seem to shoot back, and a few friendly ships near the rocks you start your game close to offer some additional protection against incoming enemies.

Skills and perks are what I assume are the benefits of leveling up. I never got far enough to verify this, but you do start with a few things to help you along your way.

Skills and perks are what I assume are the benefits of leveling up. I never got far enough to verify this, but you do start with a few things to help you along your way.

So, bottom line? I think there’s a lot of potential wrapped up in Starpoint Gemini 2, but I’m not sure a lot of it shines through this early on. Once there’s a fully-formed plot underneath the pretty good-looking wrapper, there’s definitely a chance for a pretty great final product. In the current state, though, unless you’re really, really into space sims, I don’t think buying into the early access is worth it – though, again, at least they’re kind enough to toss in the game’s prequel as a bonus, and hey, maybe you’re really into very nicely rendered asteroid mining simulations.

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(Writer)

I'm Chaz! I write things in between bouts of gaming with my lovely wife or wonderful kids, or sometimes even just by myself. When I'm not doing that, I'm knee-deep in databases or just out and about with the family.

  • Dave

    I do agree with you on some part, though there’s a lot more to do in game than just mining as you say:) I’ve got over 80 hours already, and am having a blast, as you move to a bigger and stronger ship with better crew onboard, launching fighter wings from carriers, the battles start to look really cool:) Of course, it is an early access game, so it’s not yet completed. The entire early access idea is to help out the developer sot make a better game (sth like kickstarter I guess, so it’s not for everyone). :)

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