Space Pirates and Zombies 2 Review

Ever wanted to fly around the galaxy seemingly aimlessly and kill things mercilessly? Then Space Pirates and Zombies 2 has you covered.

Space Pirates and Zombies 2, developed and published by MiniMax Games Ltd, is a scavenger survival game. Though it is set in the same world as the original Space Pirates and Zombies, with the same cast, it is not a direct sequel.

If you have not played the first game, never fear.

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I was admittedly a little apprehensive about playing this title, as I realised it was a sequel. I had not played the first game. But never fret, my friends! You do not need to. Lore found within the various spatial regions will give clarity to everything that happened… and you can always do a little extra digging. (Yes, that means go buy the first game and play it.)

Now, without further ado…

Upon entering the game, you are immediately thrust into battle. You are given instructions on how to fly around, and how to fire, but it’s hopeless. The enemy is too strong! Abandon ship, abort the mission… Oh, look, you’re dead.

I was stunned when this happened. It was an incredible shock. And what was even more shocking… was the fact that Carl, the first person I’d met, my slightly irritating guide… was playing a video game.

That’s right. A video game within a video game. Inception.

The next scene is the true beginning. Battle-hardened veteran Elsa Young enters the scene, and boy is she angry. Do you really blame her, though?

Everyone on the lower decks is dead, Carl!

So, knowing that your crew is at odds with each other, and want to kill one another, it’s time for an in-depth look at the gameplay!

This game is definitely interesting.

I am a lover of sci-fi and explorative games. SPAZ2 gives me that neatly in a little sushi roll and hands it to me for devouring. Devour it I did!

Going off the instructions Carl gave you at the beginning, you explore the first region and begin to branch out. Learning about your mothership as you go along, you can find many different map icons. There’s lore, illegal mining operations, cloning farms, Rez deposits, wreckages, bandit hives, bases, and a plethora of other ships. Not all of these are friends. Be careful.

Rez, also known as Element 126, is possibly the most important element in the game. It’s the reason the world of SPAZ2 exists. Everything in humanity relies on Rez, although in saying that, it’s a double-edged sword. It’s the resource you need to keep the closest eye on.

In regard to the gameplay itself, it’s fairly easy to grasp. Unless you’re me and didn’t actually work out you can fly around freely until about an hour in. But I digress. Unfortunately after a while it does get somewhat repetitive. It’s all about scavenging Rez, scrap, and Goons. Goons are the people you get from cloning farms, essentially your minions. And you can’t have too many of them, otherwise your Rez starts deteriorating quickly. Since you need this for everything from flying around to trading, you must… well… sell your Goons.

Essentially you’re a slave trader.

This game can also be a little monotonous due to aforementioned repetition, because you’re just doing the same thing over and over again. Thankfully the monotony is broken up by the incredible dialogue. Were you expecting sweet, happy-go-lucky people? You’re looking in the wrong game if you were, and that’s a good thing. The rough, hard-done-by attitudes of the characters fit perfectly with the world’s lore, and they make the game infinitely better with their dialogue. It’s dry, witty, and sarcastic; it makes me laugh every time a conversation comes up.

To your battle stations!

The battle system is unique. There are two modes: battle wagon mode, and manual. Battle wagon mode is essentially automatic firing when enemies are within range, while manual mode is… well, you click and point. You can also have multiple smaller ships join you in battle, of many different types with different weapons, which you can switch between. In a firefight, you can also target an enemy or set a regroup point using ‘E’.

I prefer battle wagon mode. In the thick of things, especially when you’re fighting against a large group, the automatic firing allows you to focus on evading harmful fire.

Traversing the galaxy has never been easier.

Outside a fight, exploring is relatively simple. The map is divided into segments large and small, although it is not infinite. You are contained to a relatively large bubble. This is a good thing, otherwise the game would become a mindless slog of exploring and wasting precious resources.

Those colored areas are your factions. They are constantly fighting and allying with each other.

Anything else noteworthy?

Probably the best thing about the game is the mothership customisation. You are confined to certain parts per level, that is true, but you can have an infinite selection of parts. Your mothership will eventually become an amalgamation of random wings, cores, noses, and other bits and bobs. You can use junk parts for these, but it’s advised not to. And the customisation process is relatively simple; using the left control key (on keyboard, anyway), you can eject old parts and tractor new parts to you.

I like the fact that they didn’t just have a click and drag mechanic. It’s more immersive.

The ship customisation screen.

And the other thing is the lore. The inclusion of it cements the characters’ personalities and why they’re like they are, especially in regards to Elsa. Her backstory’s actually quite sad, worth the read.

Spoiler alert: here it is below.

So in summary:

Space Pirates and Zombies 2 is a unique little game. While it can get monotonous and there’s really not a lot of zombie killing, it’s fun if you like scavenging for parts, and the witty, dark humor coupled with the constant bickering of the characters is a great differentiation from a lot of other space exploration games that I’ve played. There’s just something… real about it.

Dark, sarcastic humour
Great story
Decent ship customisation sequence
Battle wagon mode for battles
You get to build your own base, that’s nice
Different factions
Little bit repetitive
Leveling up takes forever

Review Summary

A great little indie game that might be a sequel but can certainly function as a standalone.

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Chelsea McPherson

Chelsea McPherson is a young self-published author with a perchance for writing dark fantasy or fanfiction. When she's not writing or studying she's playing games or reading.

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