Just before the holidays, KSP2 released the 0.2.0.0 patch, dubbed For Science! I have had some time to play with this new patch, and can off the bat say two things: KSP2 feels more like a game with the Exploration mode, and they have managed to do lots of under the hood improvements so even with my old GTX1660Super I get descent framerates.
Sandbox mode is still there if all you want is to build a rocket and fly to Duna, or a jet engine plane and fly between the buildings at Kerbin Space Center. But I felt the lack of purpose in Sandbox, severely impeding how far I explored, or what boundaries I pushed.
Therefor, after the patch I imediately started a new game in the new Exploration mode. This mode is fairly similar to the Science mode in old KSP, but with some differences. Most notable difference is the Science Tech Tree, which now is divided into 4 tiers (I think more tiers will come later). The experiments, science data, and samples are different from the previous game.
To start off, remember to go to the Mission Control to see what missions are in line, track them, and if needed, get the mission briefing. As in the previous game, the first missions will ask you to do some simple tasks, such as launching a simple rocket, do a crew report while flying, etc. The amount of science points earned on these first missions are sufficient to get most of the techs in Tier 1, even before reaching Mun for the first time.
New in For Science! is the requirement to debrief missions before getting the Science Points from the mission. You can of course radio in any Science data, including Crew Observation reports, but Samples have to be returned to base.
After about 100 hours of playing, I am well into tier 2 on the Tech Tree. Missions are challenging me to land in specific locations, but I am limited to the Kerbin system. I have a few satellites in orbit, though I think they have no specific functions at this time. Until now I have discovered the location of a few discoverables as part of missions.
I have already mentioned the Tech Tree. I was feeling a little disapointed with Tier 1, as it was too easy to unlock all the techs. That hit me hard in the face on Tier 2, where I really need to plan the techs ahead as it requires multiple missions to get enough Science Points. Looking at the prices for Tiers 3 and 4 I start to fear For Science! increases the cost too hard for Tier 5 being achievable. Maybe this fear will be calmed when getting missions further out in the Kerbol system.
Mind you the game is still in Early Acces. Even though For Science! have done a ton of improvements, there are still a number of bugs in the game. For me, these bugs havn’t affected gameplay in any way, though there might be bugs I havn’t encountered. For me, the main bugs is lights not turning on, and localized text on run science not showing correctly (English, wow?).
Is KSP2 For Science! worth the money? I can’t conclude this one way or the other. At least For Science! makes it a game again. The value of the game definitely increases. If I didn’t invest in it as Early Access I am not sure if I would buy it yet, as the current game is almost what KSP1 became. The way Tech Tree and Science work makes it enough a different game for me, but you don’t get more content, so unless you have explored the entire Kerbol system in KSP1 there is little new for you. The Kerbin map is somewhat different, and there are brand new discoverables, but thats just about it. Next Roadmap item looks to include making colonies. I believe that will be the point where KSP2 overtake KSP1 on value.
(He/Him) Aun aka Skippern is a long time geek, nerd, and h4x0r. Autodedact programer, map nerd, music lover, tech lover, retro. Former a master mariner, but forced ashore and turned IoT technician.
Skippern is from one planet, consider himself dual nationality, lived in three countries, worked on four continets.