Definitely not one to a-Void
Games that aren’t really games are quite the rage lately. Though it’s debatable as to what may or may not constitute a “game”, titles that fall under the blanket term of “simulation” definitely have their fans, of which I am included. Surprisingly, space-themed simulators are rather rare, which is why I’m pleased that Void Destroyer 2 has flown under my radar.
The game is a mixture of elements of sandbox simulation with some RTS touches. It’s currently maturing in Early Access, and although the game is still in the alpha stage of development, there’s a plethora of content already available, giving us a pretty steady indication of how the final product will eventually take shape.
Void Destroyer 2 places players in the role of a cyborg whose mind is a blank slate and perfectly malleable. Upon becoming familiar with basic training, you’ll be contacting by a figure whose motives aren’t entirely clear. You may choose to follow him or carve out your own little niche in the vast expanse, choosing to be a simple merchant, a mercenary or even the head of a vast interstellar empire.
Regardless of the path you choose, you begin with the simplest of ships and have to work your way up to intergalactic recognition. Players have a choice of missions in which to participate, and these already offer up a grand and very welcome selection of possibilities, though there’s still room for further content and refinement. The missions vary from militaristic search-and-destroy operations to escort tasks. The very mention of “escort” missions may cause most gamers to grimace, but the ones in Void Destroyer 2 are refreshingly fun. Complete enough of these and you’ll earn enough reputation and credit to purchase newer, better ships with which you can tackle the game’s later missions. These are quite tough and in stark contrast to your earlier undertaking, but it doesn’t feel unfair or frustrating.
Of course, you’re not about to tackle the great unknown with only one little ship. Through your wealth and reputation, you’ll soon be commandeering whole fleets of ships, and it’s here that the game focuses on the welcome RTS aspect. It’s also comforting that the key to success in later missions isn’t about building the biggest armada of ships, though it certainly doesn’t hurt. Perhaps the most welcome feature is how the game rewards players who grasp its concepts; grinding and repetitive actions go the way of the dinosaurs once you’re skilled enough.
The game will throw players into three modes: one is their ship itself, where you’ll need to navigate either when you’re engaged in combat or looking to dock or undock. Another is a macro view of the immediate space, where you can control your armada. The third is akin to a grand strategy title, with an overworld view of the great expanse where you may plot your course or try to keep up with proceedings in the local galactic neighborhood. All of them aren’t too difficult to come to terms with, but in each case the user interface needs refinement for a slightly less confusing, more flowing experience.
Void Destroyer 2 is definitely one to keep an eye on. Although still early days and a little rough around the edges, particularly with regards to its interface, it’s showing a lot of promise and looks set to be one of the better sandbox games to come out in recent years. There are of course assorted issues that still need to be ironed out, but if the developers can deal with them, we’ve got a real winner on our hands. You may check it out by navigating to its official Steam page here.