Review: Kerbal Space Program Enhanced Edition

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Kerbal Space Program Enhanced Edition is a fun game with a hideous port to the PS5 that should make you look elsewhere.

Initially released as a demo in 2011, a beta version followed in 2014 before being officially released in 2015, the space flight simulator is now old news. Any readers who have spent some time on gaming-related websites or the likes of Reddit will be long familiar with it.

Construct a suitable spaceship that is able to launch, carry out contracts to earn funds and avoid failure upon launching before enjoying the missions and tasks post-launch.

Honestly it is the kind of game you’ll know if you like or not by looking at the briefest video online. It’s part space-flight simulator, mixed with elements of management sim alongside some quirky presentation. It’s a brief pitch, but an honest one as the game delivers on it.

With nearly four years between its initial demo and its official release it is no surprise this became such a hit in the end, it targets enough bases and is fun to play. There is an enormous amount of content on offer here, this game will keep you occupied for, not hours but quite comfortably, days.

All night long: this game will keep you occupied for a long time

Well, at least it was fun to play, once I’d reordered my entire set up just to play this game. Now, for context before I really dive into this: I sit between three to four meters away from my 42-inch TV while playing games, I sit against the backboard of my bed, I wear glasses but they’re an up to date subscription .

Why is all of this relevant?

Because I couldn’t read the text. My whole setup is about a year old now, and this is the only game to have prompted this issue. There aren’t any options in the game to change the text size or remotely fix this either, and it’s a text-heavy experience so the zoom function on the console was a necessity.

For context: it’s under accessibility options on the settings menu, but when doing this you literally zoom the screen in, which cuts off another part of the screen so it isn’t even a viable solution.

Distant problems: a mission on another planet
Distant problems: a kerbal takes on a mission on another planet

There is no real fix here other than to change your setup for playing video games and it’s a very text-heavy game so personally yes, this was a dealbreaker. The biggest thing when considering whether to buy this game has to be to honestly examine your own setup and note whether it will be worth changing to try and find a comfortable alternative.

I was actually pretty stunned to see a game that has this much positive notoriety fall down on such a basic step.

Trying to wrap up this game review is an exercise in driving myself insane. It is a fun game, with a wonderfully quirky approach and it feels like a cocktail of games that my younger self would not have thought possible, but then it was a chore to play.

This should have been a delightful game that I was relishing the chance to review, but it quickly completely fell apart. If I could get past the text being too small then this would very obviously be a great game, but I can’t.

Make no mistake, the core game here is a good one, it is a clearly well-refined game that delivers on hours of content. In theory, this is an enjoyable game but this PS5 version falls at the first hurdle, which hundreds of games over the past year haven’t, it just isn’t forgivable.

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