Gratuitous Space Battles PC

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Metascore
72

Mixed or average reviews - based on 11 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.7

Mixed or average reviews- based on 76 Ratings

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  • Summary: GSB is the next game from UK developer Positech Games. It's a strategy / management / simulation game that does away with all the base building and delays and gets straight to the meat and potatoes of science-fiction games : The big space battles fought by huge spaceships with tons of laserGSB is the next game from UK developer Positech Games. It's a strategy / management / simulation game that does away with all the base building and delays and gets straight to the meat and potatoes of science-fiction games : The big space battles fought by huge spaceships with tons of laser beams and things going 'zap!', 'ka-boom!' and 'ka-pow!'. In GSB you put your ships together from modular components, arrange them into fleets, give your ships orders of engagement and then hope they emerge victorious from battle (or at least blow to bits in aesthetically pleasing ways).
    gsb screenshot gsb screenshot gsb screenshot. Gratuitous Space Battles aims to bring the over-the-top explodiness back into space games. The game is for everyone who has watched big space armadas battle it out on TV and thought to themselves 'I could have done a much better job as admiral'. This is not a game of real-time arcade twitch reflexes. GSB is about what ships you design, and what you tell them to do. Your individual ship commanders have total autonomy during the chaotic battle that unfolds. This is not a tactical game, it is a strategic one. These gratuitous space battles are not won by plucky heroes with perfect teeth, but by the geeky starship builders who know exactly what ratio of plasma-cannons to engines each ship in the fleet will need. [Positech Games]
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Gratuitous Space Battles: The Outcasts - Official Trailer
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Gratuitous Space Battles isn't for everyone, as its brand of strategy is entirely weighted towards the setup phase - and the execution is almost completely hands-off. Still, the prospect of building your own ships and using your own unique combinations of general strategies and offensive and defensive loadouts is very compelling for anyone who is a sci-fi space battle enthusiast.
  2. PC Zone UK
    84
    A deeply satisfying game, beneath a humble facade. [May 2010, p.92]
  3. In the end, for all its talk of being "gratuitous," Gratuitous Space Battles is actually quite a lean, mean game with a unique premise and singularly charming personality. If you're even marginally interested in seeing heavily armed tin cans tear each other a new hull breach with beam lasers and torpedo missiles, give it a try.
  4. PC Gamer UK
    72
    Imperfect spaceship engineering and asynchronous online dueling combine to deliver a flawed star. [Dec 2009, p.94]
  5. Dec 23, 2010
    70
    I do like Gratuitous Space Battles. I think it's a great concept, beautifully presented. I just wish it would let me like it more.
  6. Gratuitous Space Battles manages to strike a respectable balance between casual gaming and deep, engaging strategy.
  7. PC PowerPlay
    60
    The type of player that will enjoy the gratuitous space battles might well be put off by al the number crunching and preparation involved in just getting an effective fleet together. [Feb 2010, p.63]

See all 11 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 30
  2. Negative: 8 out of 30
  1. Feb 6, 2012
    10
    This game is amazing, and is one of the few amazing games that target a very specific audience, thus if you are in that audience, you willThis game is amazing, and is one of the few amazing games that target a very specific audience, thus if you are in that audience, you will LOVE it, if not, you will not like it. I am happy to find another one-in-a-million games that is actually expirementing in their gameplay (I'm talking about you, hardcore FPS's!). Just be carful to try the demo or watch a video first. I shouldn't need to tell you that much about it, you can tell about it by playing the demo. It's like a natural filter. People who hate it wont look at the demo, and likely won't buy it. however, people who Apriciate True Gaming Art, will look into it! Expand
  2. Jul 11, 2011
    10
    Absolutely brilliant. For the low price I think it an excellent sci-fi strategy game. Simple and exciting the campaign adds depth and allowsAbsolutely brilliant. For the low price I think it an excellent sci-fi strategy game. Simple and exciting the campaign adds depth and allows players to conquer the galaxy in this not too serious space shooter. Expand
  3. JasonH
    Jan 20, 2010
    10
    A graphically stimulating game that relies on my imagination without treating me with as much respect as one would treat a mouse attached to A graphically stimulating game that relies on my imagination without treating me with as much respect as one would treat a mouse attached to an electrode that had to figure out which button to push to get the cheese, and which button not to push if it does not want to be painfully shocked? You gotta be kidding me! A game that rewards you for decisions as opposed to button pushing skills is refreshing, and restores my faith in humanity, frankly. Well done sirs! Expand
  4. BruceB
    Nov 5, 2009
    7
    Fun game initially, fun concept. Easy mode is completed without much thought or strategy needed. The latter two difficulties need much more Fun game initially, fun concept. Easy mode is completed without much thought or strategy needed. The latter two difficulties need much more thought, but it tends to feel repetitive after a while. Lots of graphical and musical polish, with a sense of humor to boot. It's worth getting if you appreciate a Star Trek-styled Tower Defense game. Expand
  5. Feb 4, 2013
    6
    I really wanted to like this game more, but to rate it higher would not be truthful because it doesn't keep drawing me back like games I'dI really wanted to like this game more, but to rate it higher would not be truthful because it doesn't keep drawing me back like games I'd rate higher in the "green" here on metacritic. "Mixed" is a good a description of how I feel about it. The "game" is really more like a tweaker's battle simulation paradise, but I agree with many of the other comments here that it's difficult to to understand during battle what is working or what isn't so a lot of the time I found my guessing what might work when I re-outfit and redeploy my ships. I came to feel like I was often just experimenting and pressing "go" for the battle to see what would happen rather than having solid expectations that what I'd done was an improvement or not. So I'd guess I'd say the game could use a better user feedback mechanism so we'd know what's working or not. I enjoyed the time I put into the game to learn the dynamics (probably about 20 hours at this point), but even as I unlocked more stuff it seemed to increase the amount of tweaking possibilities instead of clarify what I was doing with my ship builds.

    That said, I did like the game, but I'm just not drawn back to at this point which disappoints me. It's an interesting battle simulator w/ nice graphics and humor. Another plus for the game is a good community on the developer's website which is filled with tips for players wishing to improve their builds, tactics, and formations. The game has it's frustrating moments particularly ships getting all jammed up together and my ability to find only limited use for certain entire classes of ships like the frigate. To a degree all the tweaking trying to get usable frigates derailed me from the game because I sortof played myself out trying to find decent uses for the ship and it seems they are limited compared to larger cruisers.

    Be aware also that while new DLC is still being released it can also limit the online aspects of the game for those that don't keep up with the DLC it can be a two edged sword if you just want to try out the base version of the game first.

    So who should get this? If you want a space battle simulator that let's you tweak tweak tweak your fleet this is your game. If this sounds like it could get to be a little bit "samey" over time well, that's my feeling. Fun while it lasted, but it just doesn't draw me back for more tweaking.
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  6. Apr 9, 2012
    5
    In Gratuitous Space Battles, the player is allowed to design ships with various elements, arrange them on a grid prior to battle, and provideIn Gratuitous Space Battles, the player is allowed to design ships with various elements, arrange them on a grid prior to battle, and provide each ship with preset orders. That's it. You are not allowed to participate in anything else. There are many unlockables and such, but this does very little to make the bare bones game enjoyable. There is no storyline, nor a campaign of any description. The game provides the player with so-called scenarios, and all that means is that the developers arranged the enemy ships in a grid. Once again, that's it. There is not much else besides that. You may also unlock a few other races, and each race has about a dozen "scenarios" (if I can even continue to refer to them as such). Each component that could be equipped for each of your ships has different descriptions , but they do not impact the overall performance of the ships in any significant way, nor do they alter the player's overall game play experience. Each and every time you go into battle, is almost a near perfect repetition of the last attempt, with very little variation, if any at all. Each of the races do not provide the player with true alternatives in order for them to actually be considered unique or different from each other. There is absolutely no action, nor climax in any of the battle instances you may go through as you play the game. It is like watching a limited and basic screen saver, over and over again, with very subtle differences each time. Even if you unlock all the hulls/components and implement them in ship design, there is barely any noticeable performance difference in the battles. It is as if nothing changes. In addition, the game does not inform nor hint at the effectiveness of any of the components you will have available to equip your ships. The AI is also comparable to that of a screen saver, in every describable way. There also appears to be no sound effects whatsoever, besides the ever repeating music. A representative from the developer named "cliffski" can be found in the Gratuitous Space Battles Steam forums being arrogant, pompous, and rude towards others who have a negative opinion about the game. At the time of this writing, the developers are asking for $20 for the game, and an additional $37 for six DLCs. There is basically very little content here, for an irregular and exorbitant amount of money. I have never come across such an exaggerated difference between content and pricing prior to this shameful release. This is completely unacceptable and despicable, and developers such as these should not be supported in any way, shape, or form. It is with releases such as Gratuitous Space Battles that we see proof of very low quality and very low content getting worse and worse. This game is comparable to adjusting the settings of a screen saver, then watching it run. There is very little actual game play to be found in Gratuitous Space Battles. If you like screen savers, you may want to give this displeasing, limited, uncreative, and meager attempt at a game a try. I hope you have a CRT monitor so that this glorified and expensive screen saver could actually become useful. Expand
  7. Dec 24, 2012
    0
    I have to give this game a zero for shamelessly putting an ad for one of their other games right on the menu screen. The DLC's are also mostlyI have to give this game a zero for shamelessly putting an ad for one of their other games right on the menu screen. The DLC's are also mostly cosmetic and hardly seem to add anything to the game. In other words just another game where business practices have interfered with game enjoyment. Where would be get if every game had an ad for some other? Oh, also this game is a very good exercise in chaos theory. Expand

See all 30 User Reviews