Gratuitous Space Battles No Longer Fully Gratuitous

By Jim Rossignol on September 17th, 2012 at 9:00 am.

The point of Gratuitous Space Battles was that it was a fleet manager, not an RTS. So while you watched the space battles play out, you didn’t actually influence them – you were the admiral who had designed the ships and decided upon the tactics. And that made the actual battles gratuitous in terms of the gameplay. That, however, is no longer necessarily true. Cliff from Positech has sent word that he’s continued fiddling with the game, and has released a free patch to allow players to get involved with the battle-action. Cliff says: “It’s only an ‘optional’ feature, and only works in single-player offline games, but from patch 1.60 (which is now live, steam copies will be updated soon), the player can select ships and issue movement and fire orders mid battle, and even edit the ‘standing’ orders for ships in the middle of an engagement.” There’s a video, which explains it in a bit more detail, below.


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  1. Alexandros says:

    Yay, great work cliffski! I always thought that I would have to wait for a GSB sequel in order to be able to directly control the ships, the fact that it’s available now with a patch is absolutely brilliant.

  2. Hunchback says:

    This looks like a fun game, wonder how did it pass under my radar…

  3. MD says:

    I always thought they were ‘gratuitous’ in the sense that they had no narrative justification. I haven’t played the game though. Is there a backstory?

  4. Carra says:

    I like the concept but I never really got into this game. It all felt a bit too passive. This patch might mix it up a bit.

  5. bob. says:

    I want more updates for Gratuitous TANK Battles! Am I the only one who likes that one a lot more?

  6. drewski says:

    One of my friends was into this for a while. I didn’t, and don’t, get it.

  7. mckertis says:

    If he ever makes component placing actually matter – maybe i’ll play it.

  8. Cytrom says:

    Not as epic as i expected it to be…

    Can someone recommend me a high quality / big budget space game (shooter, rts or sim all apply) from recent years (2008 and up if possible)?

  9. The Infamous Woodchuck says:

    Its great that cliffski implements some sort of a control for the ships ingame, that’ll certainly space things up. About time too, the lack of control for the ships is pushing the community on the verge of going supernovae..

  10. TechnicalBen says:

    Cool! I might get back into this. Today the Ciffsky Marmite has landed on “love”. :D

    I’ve just had flash backs to Star Trek Fleet Command (loved that game) and I recon this could beat it now!

  11. Ateius says:

    Nice little update. I haven’t played GSB in ages, but now that I can direct swooping frigate flanking maneuvers, I’ll have to give it another go.

  12. Grantfred says:

    I’m not sure we’re talking about the same game….. The one I have is locked on expert and no tactics. Just put the ships in and watch them explode. And by watch them explode, I meant watch your ships explode. Instantly.

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