Gratuitous Space Battles made big waves in the strategy game scene back in 2009, and as recently announced in a blog post by Cliff Harris of Positron Games, the beta test for Gratuitous Space Battles 2 is now available for anyone who’s preordered the game. In the past couple of years we’ve seen a lot of disappointment come from open betas and early access for games, but Harris has stated that GSB2 isn’t at all just a framework ready to become an unfinished project or a cash grab. Instead, it’s a fairly complete experience that happens to need bug testing and balancing, but is otherwise just about ready for release aside from some small content additions. According to Cliff’s blog:
Note that this is a proper beta, not some super-early-access proof of concept thing where most of it doesn’t work. In other words, most stuff works! it’s playable. Hopefully its fun! It’s PC-only and English only for now, but that will change come-release. There will of course be bugs, and myriad balance issues. And I will be adding some extra voiceover and a few other bits and pieces. But hopefully this is something you can play and enjoy right now.
A variety of new features have been planned for the sequel, including a custom ship editor, fuel requirements for smaller ships, and an overhauled graphics engine built from scratch for the sequel. The game itself is available for pre-order now from the official website, and feedback from the beta test can be submitted over at the game’s official forums. There’s currently no concrete official release date for the game, but if Harris is accurate in his depiction of the state of the game, I’d wager to guess that it’s pretty safe to hope we can expect it before the end of the year. Expect much more information about Gratuitous Space Battles 2 in the coming months. In the meantime, you can check out the game’s beta trailer here and tell us what you think. Are you a fan of the different route that the first GSB took compared to the standard RTS formula? Do you think