Space Pirates And Zombies 2 Announced, Still A Bad Name

By Graham Smith on February 6th, 2014 at 3:00 pm.

This really takes me back to my childhood.

Growing up in Scotland in the early ’90s, people would talk about Space Pirates and Zombies all the time. Which is weird, when you consider that it’s a space exploration game combining combat with a progression curve that was only released in 2012.

Oh well. Now kids can continue to talk about the series for the foreseeable future, as there’s Space Pirates and Zombies 2 has been announced. It has proper 3D now, and there’s an announcement trailer below.


The original game was notable for its dynamic galaxy, in which you encounter other civilizations going about their own business, independent from you. Those factions were generic though, and when the lack of variety was combined with the slow rate of progression, it could be frustrating to play. Or that’s what Quinns felt, anyway.

It looks like Space Pirates and Zombies 2 is about doubling-down on all those old features. The universe is now populated by “two hundred persistent Captains that are able to do everything the player can, including forming dynamic factions, building structures, controlling territory, and going to war.” That sounds pretty exciting.

The core game is still the same, too: fly around, shoot other ships, hoover up their discarded parts to make your own ship better. There ought to be a genre term for that. Scavenging simulator? Binraker simulator? Come to think of it, binraking was another popular discussion topic on Scottish playgrounds…

Read more at the game’s site.

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57 Comments »

  1. Fitzmogwai says:

    I enjoyed the first game, but this news has made me want to dig out my old copy of Homeworld Cataclysm, for proper 3D space zombie-killing.

    • frymaster says:

      I just did the other day. Has to be run in “Windows NT” compatability mode in order to use openGL – on win8 that’s not in the drop-down any more so I had to regedit the compat settings.

      OpenGL is good because THEN you can regedit in a higher resolution for the game.

      • TechnicalBen says:

        In addition to the resolution settings, I remember OpenGL also having modes that add filters to the screen. Though playing in “matrix” mode was not helpful.

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  2. scorcher24 says:

    Cannot wait for it. Blind instabuy. Those guys gonna deliver, no matter what.

  3. dE says:

    Maybe the first one wasn’t the best game ever made, but I really enjoyed it and it’s hard to argue with the amount of post release support it got. Although that said, I never played it as a fleet kinda thing and always focused on one ship instead. The AI always went and blew itself up. Again and again, until I had to grind some more ressources to continue.
    This announcement looks interesting to me. I’ll see where it goes.

  4. RedViv says:

    We need a British version. Captains Under Necromantic Threat.

    • Koozer says:

      Multitudes Of Necromancers Gathering Space.

      • MichaelGC says:

        Privateer Rascals and Thanatoplasms.

        • Koozer says:

          Googling ‘Thanatoplasm’s brings one result (!): your comment (!!!). I feel like I need to erect a monument or something.

        • RedWurm says:

          Belligerent Extra-terrestrial Rapscallion Knavery

    • Sharlie Shaplin says:

      Raiders Engaging Traders And Returned Dead Shenanigans.

  5. Kulantan says:

    True 3d? Well yes, as long as you only want to move on a 2d plane going by the video. I liked the first one, but this one is going to have to do more than do 3d graphics (which look dated and not so good compared to the nice drawn stuff from the first) to convince me that it is a worthwhile improvement.

    • TechnicalBen says:

      Build ships from the wrecked hulls of your opponents. That looks like an interesting mechanic right there. :D

  6. Great Cthulhu says:

    Awesome! Had a lot of fun with the original, so can’t wait for this sequel.

    I’m sorry to see the sprite-based graphics go though. I thought those were lovely.

  7. trjp says:

    The title thing keeps coming back – I just think it shows that a lot of people have no idea how localised their language is both in geographic and historical terms.

    The developers are Canadian so I imagine they have little idea how ‘SPAZ’ was used in the British School system of the 70s and 80s (which is over THIRTY years ago of course)

    Indeed I think they’ve even responded to the middle-class “upset on behalf of someone else” faux-outrage in a rather pleasant fashion, but I cannot find a link to that atm

    UPDATE: – http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showpost.php?p=24567090&postcount=12

    The thread around that contains more offensive shit from the complainants than the likely offenders – frankly ;0

    • Hahaha says:

      It is strange how we haven’t had 5 posts from john about the name I guess he dosen’t care about that though.

      • Cheese Wold says:

        Whoa Summers, you drive like a spaz!

        This kind of thing actually proves the white knight theory. Nobody wants to have sex with the disabled so they don’t get the same rabid defence.

    • magogjack says:

      Actually as a Canadian I can confirm that even in our igloo’s we do in fact both have and have heard of spazs.

      • Fattsanta says:

        Yes indeed, Ive heard the term spaz for as long as ive been in school.

      • sincarne says:

        Yes, but it’s not nearly so offensive to us as it is in the UK.

      • trjp says:

        But is it a term of derogation in Canada? Because it certainly used to be here in the UK

        ‘Spastic’ or ‘Spaz’ were interchangeable when I was a kid – and were used in the entirely nasty sense – so much so that the UK charity “Spastics Society” changed it’s name to ‘Scope’ to escape it’s connotations.

        Time has, of course, moved on and I doubt most schoolkids would have a clue what we were talking about (even if it’s because we use too many vowels and some punctuation!!) :)

        • Kitsunin says:

          If it’s the same in Canada as the US, which I think it is “Spaz” basically just means hyperactive. If you say “that boy is such a spaz” it’s an endearing term meaning he’s hyper and probably a bit random or even crazy (In a good way).
          It really isn’t even the slightest bit offensive here, though way back in the 50s-60s kids would use it to mean “nerd” I think?

          Even the term spastic is only ever used to mean “twitchy” (Though it’s extremely rare), I would assume derived from “spasm” and not wherever the offensive version came from.

    • WrenBoy says:

      Im pretty sure its deliberate. The weakest ship is called the Short Bus.

      http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=short%20bus

    • SouperMattie says:

      However you may feel about the title, surely this was a horribly missed opportunity to call the sequel “Space Pirates And Zombies Too”…

  8. Sian says:

    Oh, I’m looking forward to this. I just hope they don’t pick TotalBiscuit as a narrator again. I like his voice when he critiques or as a commentator, but he’s no voice actor and it showed in the first game.

    • Skiddywinks says:

      What, TB voiced anything in that game? I did enjoy it but it wasn’t quite the game I was hoping for. But I really do not remember TB’s voice in the game.

      • dE says:

        He did the chapter narration. Not his best work, to be honest. But it certainly helped out the Devs a great deal and for that I’m thankful.

    • Skiddywinks says:

      While I did enjoy SPAZ, I felt like it didn’t live up to being as good as I had hoped. Luckily, I have Starsector for that.

      Unluckily, it is no where near complete yet.

  9. scottossington says:

    I looked up what bin raking is, thanks for the larf.

  10. Maxheadroom says:

    Played the original a few times but something about it just didn’t quite gel with me. Looking back I think it may just have been the awful name

    same thing happened with Wargasm

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  12. araczynski says:

    enjoyed the uniqueness of the first one, looking forward to this.

  13. vecordae says:

    Huh! Looks like they took a page from Captain Forever with this one. Hopefully I can get enough reinforced hull to keep all the science from leaking out.

  14. Simon Hawthorne says:

    Erm…why don’t we use the acronym “SPZ”? Does that solve the problem?

  15. TehK says:

    oh, I loved the first one and I’m genuinely hyped now!

  16. SupahSpankeh says:

    Yup, I’m sold.

    Just… no voice acting this time please? I love me an indie game, but indie voice acting is godawful.

    • BrotherCabbage says:

      I enjoyed the chintzy voice acting, honestly. It was silly, and I felt like that fit the tone of it.

  17. SupahSpankeh says:

    Also, how/when can I give these people my money? I wish to do this as soon as possible.

  18. realmenhuntinpacks says:

    ‘Ow queer, just played the original last night for the first time since it came out. Now have a somewhat vertiginous feeling that I can control the universe through my steam library…

  19. LionsPhil says:

    Will it still devolve into endless tedious grind, like the first, leaving you with a bitter realization that you haven’t really been having fun, just engaging in compulsive behaviour and burning precious hours of your finite life as your mind and body stumble inexorably toward meaningless oblivion?

    Because that really made me want to knock a few points off of the review score.

    • Vinraith says:

      Came here to make this exact post myself. It sounds good, it looks good, and various well-meaning people kept telling me it got more interesting and complex. Consequently, SPAZ is one of the few games I’ve ever played for 20 hours that I just hate in retrospect. It was never actually fun, it was just 20 hours of “maybe it gets better, surely it gets better?” I won’t be making that mistake again.

  20. spleendamage says:

    Was the first one good? I don’t think I ever got past the mission or two because the dialogue writing was so poor.

  21. barelyhomosapien says:

    The problem with SPAZ is it exists in a universe where there is starfarer…sorry starsector which has exactly the same feature list (right down to top down sprite based, space combat), but every individual component is superior in it’s alpha state, then SPAZ is finished.

    HOWEVER. If the game delivers on what that video promises, then yeah I’ll be buying the sequel..

  22. nimbulan says:

    I loved SPAZ despite its problems. The gameplay and style was fantastic, though the slow progression and upgrade grinding really detracted from the game. I never felt like the zombie section of the game was very well-balanced either.

    The new 3D graphics in the trailer and the modular ship design look great and as long as they can address the progression issues, I am expecting SPAZ 2 to turn out to be a fantastic game.

  23. BooleanBob says:

    Those people were terrible. You are beautiful, Graham. Words can’t bring you down.

  24. atsumori says:

    I really want this game to be Escape Velocity.

    • Ralphomon says:

      Someone convinced me to play this by saying it was like Escape Velocity. That was a cruel untruth. I then went and played Escape Velocity for a while and felt better about life.

  25. Crabtipus says:

    I enjoyed the first game a ton, and the devs added a lot of free content after the game released, and really listened to the community about balance tweaking.

  26. Stardreamer says:

    I’m loving the switch to 3D graphics! Although we’re still insanely locked to a 2D plane, I see. Naughty Minmax, Bad Minmax!

    Nevertheless, explosions look great, the design is colourful and lively…things look like lots of fun. If Minmax can do something about the grind and slow progression that ruined the first game for me then I’ll certainly be taking a look at this.

  27. Shade399 says:

    FUCK. YES. SOLD.
    Also, hope we get TB as the narrator again. That was cool :)

  28. Dux Ducis Hodiernus says:

    It’s the perfect name.

  29. derbefrier says:

    I enjoyed spaz for a little while but as some pointed out it had its share of issues. I have to admit I was digging this video though and multiplayer wooooo! I remember them saying to expect it in the sequel a long time ago. I am glad to see them deliver. I hope a coop mode makes it in there somewhere too. I will buy it regardless but one can still dream.