Space Pirates & Zombies Expands For Naught

By Craig Pearson on March 9th, 2012 at 1:00 pm.

Developed by Orlando Bloom
If you own top-down Freelancer-esque (ish) game Space Pirates and Zombies and were about to carve an ice-statue that signifies your inner turmoil at the lack of the game’s Bounty Hunter faction… stop! Put down the chainsaw and step away from your copy of Ice Sculpting the Modern Way. You’d have never have forgiven yourself and the art world would have mocked you mercilessly if they knew you’d started that without checking RPS, because I’m about to tell you about the free SP&Z’s Bounty Hunter expansion pack. Save that ice swan for some other internal strife.

The free expansion to the fulsome space-faring action game docks on March 19th, and adds the Bounty Hunter faction to the universe, a global faction whose Strongholds (megabases) will inhabit about 1/6 of the stars the random generation spits out. The hunters are only active in their home stars and neighboring system. They’re both hirelings and hunters, available for money to help you, but if you cause trouble you will receive a bounty and have to fight them off when you’re on your missions.

But those amoral jerks aren’t the only addition: incoming is arena fights, laddered space battles for the particularly skilled ship-to-ship fighter. There’s also ten new ships, so you can fight those battles in shiny new ship clothes.

It means this video of the game is now a bit out of date, but just imagine it with more things. Can you do that for me?

The full notes are here, and it’s only £7. There’s a demo, and some Quinns-notes if you need more convincing.

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21 Comments »

  1. mentor07825 says:

    I love the game. I threw about 40 hours into the game without ever realising it.

  2. Dana says:

    Great game, Freelancer lite. Get it. Might as well reinstall it myself, especially since its using Steam cloud, so I can carry on from my last save :d

  3. Ninja Foodstuff says:

    I go through phases of loving/hating this game. The concept is great, but it just gets so.. tedious sometimes. For me at least, it becomes about getting to the systems with new blueprints for sale, until I’m surrounded by locked gates that are all 5-10 levels higher than I am, losing every frigging resource I had, and then grinding my way back up again.

    Maybe this new content will help alleviate some of that.

    EDIT: Also I guess if it was possible to escalate to having a massive fleet by the end-game (a la Starfarer) that would provide more of an incentive to play it.

    • eks says:

      The new content is basically considered “extreme hard mode”. The bounty hunters are apparently content for those that are looking for more of a challenge. I don’t get your complaint though, you can adjust the galaxy size when you start a game. Perhaps they should be more clear that larger = “easier” and smaller = “harder”.

      I finished my first run through not long ago with a normal sized galaxy and I didn’t have to “grind” at all. I spent the first couple of chapters basically going from gate to gate, which I enjoyed. Did missions when I felt like a change, but rarely.

      I agree about the end-game. I don’t want to spoil but the last chapter is pretty tedious. You are punished for doing what you have been encouraged to do up to that point (exploring) and yeah, you still only get one huge ship and a few smaller ones.

      Still, great game. I easily sunk 40 hours into it and wanted to play it again on a harder difficulty, but have other games in my backlog to play.

      • MadMatty says:

        Im like OP, but youre both right.

        Would be nice to label large universe=easy
        i knew this beforehand, as similar stuff happens in AI War, but exactly how much this affects difficulty, you cannot say before getting well into the game.
        Its a decent game allround tho, reminds me of Starscape, which is pretty good.

  4. Subatomic says:

    Great game, a bit grindy at times, but still loads of fun. The post-launch support from the developers is nothing short of spectacular considering they’re only two guys. They added many features in previous patches (like new components and specialist NPCs), and now a free expansion on top of that…

    Sadly I think the game suffered a bit from not being available on Steam at launch (because Valve, in its infinite wisdom rejected the game the first time around), thanks to the “no steam = no sale” crowd.

  5. Jubaal says:

    It is a pretty fun game. I just wish you could play it co-op. I’d love to zip around in this with a few buddies.

  6. bushwacki says:

    I wish there were more games like SPAZ

  7. cloudkiller says:

    I played the crap out of this game and loved it. Sure there was a bit of grinding, but no where near the amount other games require. My only complaint would be about the variety of missions in the game. I like games that force you to use certain configurations for select missions. Although the game touches on this, I always fantasized about a quest chain that puts a hero in a beat up little ship and has him fight his way through a zombie-infested space to collect a crew that will help upgrade his ship just enough to survive. At the end of the quest chain, the hero escapes and this unlocks a new ship available in the main story arc. How cool would that be?

    • MadMatty says:

      Agreed, it could use a lot more missions, and some imaginative ones would be great.

  8. torchedEARTH says:

    To be fair, the ice sculpture would have melted so it wouldn’t have mocked you for long.

    Although…how would I know what was melted ice sculpture and what was my tears of self loathing despair? Damn, I never think these things through.

  9. InternetBatman says:

    This was a really fun little game. I’m glad they’re adding more content.

  10. Martel says:

    I love this game, and I love the developers even more. I have found that playing the game in smaller chunks really helps reduce the tedium. At first I played it for like 4 hours straight and got a bit worn out, but now I play it more like something I can hop into for a little bit, save, and hop out.

  11. Snack says:

    I miss my Homeworld 4, Reliiiiicccc!!11111

  12. Strangeblades says:

    *speechless*

    Free? FREE?!

    *more speechless speech*

    Only one-third into my six-month game buy ban and already I have more free expansions, free games, free-to-play games than I can handle. Bring it on SPAZ.

  13. Fumarole says:

    The last sentence is worded in such a way as to suggest the expansion costs seven of your funny monies and not the game itself.

  14. Baines says:

    I might have to go back to it. It was fun while it lasted, but it did get a bit grindy.

    Unfortunately, it had almost no replay value. You do everything the first time through. If you try to be completionist, you do everything about 50 to 100 times too much. (I couldn’t be bothered to liberate the enter center galaxy simply because it was so boring, time consuming with no entertainment value after the first couple of liberations were performed.)

    I think the game needed something more dynamic. Something that felt like the game was playing back at you, at least for a second/future replay.

    It also needed better statistics reports when building ships. Other than searching the web for performance statistics spreadsheets, I’m not sure how you are supposed to judge whether you’d be better with any particular weapon booster or another weapon. You have to actually construct a ship to see whether or not you have enough power output to fire all your weapons, and pretty much have to take it into battle to see if you have enough power to operate inside battle conditions.

  15. alms says:

    Hats off to the devs for this free expansion! I’m not probably going to play it, since the base game is already too confusing for my taste, but that didn’t stop me from buying it :)

  16. MD says:

    I see you’re making a point of calling it SP&Z instead of SPAZ, which is sort of nice of you, but really I think people should be aware that the developers are deliberately going for a bit of ‘lol retards’ ‘humour’. For example, the starting ship is called the ‘Short Bus’.