UK based indie developer Positech Games have announced that they are working on a sequel to their very well regarded 2009 space strategy/tower defense game Gratuitous Space Battles.
GSB 2 will stay to the unique gameplay formula established by its predecessor, albeit with a number of additions and improvements. Players take on the role of an Admiral of a space armada, and as befitting of that role, play no direct role during the actual gratuitous space battles. Instead, their job is to assemble their fleets prior to the battle and configure their ships’ weaponry, shields, and tactics, a la the classic Rainbow Six games. Once the battle begins, players sit back and watch the battle unfold as their meticulous planning either results in victory or annihilation; a gameplay formula that relies entirely on player intellect and not reflexes.
GSB 2 will bring a new re-written custom engine to elevate the series to new levels of visual splendor, along with an improved GUI. The developers are also making special overtures to gamers with twin 2560 res monitors, allowing the entirety of the space battles to stretch across one’s field of vision.
A placeholder website for the game states that there will be three new classes of ship, such as the dreadnought, a rare and extremely large ship. The other two will be a class of destroyer and a class of gunship.
Positech have also said that there are a number of unrevealed but “big [and] exciting” features that will be shown when the game is displayed at the Eurogamer show at Earl’s Court in London this September.
The original GSB sold a respectable 150,000 copies, and Positech have stressed that the sequel will build on its strengths and be a true PC-centric experience. Designer Cliff Harris wrote on his blog:
As a kid I grew up watching the original Star Wars movies and playing Elite. Space Battles are in my blood and I love them. Game-wise, I *want* to like EVE Online, but I’m sick of being ganked bysome teenage boy and his pals for their amusement. I don’t want the lowliest of the low mining ships that gets one-shot killed. I want a huge, f***-off spacefleet. I want to be Ackbar.
Gratuitous Space Battles 2 will be released on the PC, Linux and Mac sometime between this year and 2015.