Making History adds a string of missions modelled after the space race. The mission-builder tool Making History adds has the ability to send messages to you, that is clear from the way you are fed updated objectives — they appear as text popups in your main window — so it would have been possible for the developers to also send a message with the controls you need to complete each task in a mission. It was the result of a hundred inelegant solutions to unforeseen problems. These are easy rockets to build but between construction and launch I am often losing 30 to 40 minutes of play at a time. It's easy to see Kerbal Space Program as being about engineering and design. It can be a bit of a grind, as you're encouraged to spend slightly too long repeating experiments in order to progress through to proper space exploration.
Physics, on the other hand, is a real and observable thing. Nevertheless, it held steady through the launch ritual: keeping straight through the initial 10,000 meter ascent, the smooth transition to a suborbital arc and the controlled burn at the 70,000 meter apoapsis, first to orbit, then out of Kerbin's influence and into an encounter with Mun. Often it is that: a game of tweaking a ship's centre of mass, of increasing stability, or of using the orbital map to perform a controlled burn to a distant destination. There's a resource system that requires you to generate money, reputation and science. It's a rare and wonderful game, and deserves the strongest possible recommendation. From there, the solar system is yours for the taking.
I'm among those that have played this game for thousands of hours, and I can still find interesting things to do. It's just a pack of new parts and rocket textures, none of which I needed. In all, it's a solid update, but it doesn't really convey any sense of what it is that makes the game so good. The game holds up a mirror to our own endeavours in space, and does so with a reasonable level of physics simulation; various aspects of the game being simulated to a greater or lesser degree so as not to detract too much from the fun factor. At some point I did everything I wanted to do, or at least everything I had the rough and unpolished skills to do. I appreciate that it probably needs to be that way in order to have the depth it does, but it means most people are going to take one look at it, maybe press a few buttons, and leave.
The node editor is convoluted and over-complicated. Do you need to buy Making History to experience that? You start off launching very simple rockets with an initial aim of reaching orbit. In a more serious game, the mistakes and failures would feel tragic, or worse, purely theoretical. Hopefully, the community around the game will fill the mod pages with tightly-scripted missions that show people how dramatic Kerbal Space Program can be. The successful rocket was ramshackle and ugly. As to the underlying quality of the title, even though the baked-in missions are inspiring and well-designed, how the fanbase for Kerbal eventually uses the mission creator will be the deciding factor.
There are multiple different parts in multiple different categories, but you can make a functional rocket with just a few basic bits. Through the use of permanent orbital stations and tankers, it's possible to create a series of refuelling pit stops for you to dock at along the way. I could list some other problems. It makes sense that there's a Kerbal stranded in orbit—and that, years later, he's still wearing a big, shit-eating grin. The core of Kerbal Space Program is still fantastic. He's still up there, waiting for me to launch a rescue mission.
A few are useful, but most are just alternatives to existing parts, and the rest were mostly available through mods already. What do you want to do? You can even state whichparts they are allowed to use. There are a lot of amazing and accurate rockets out there for you to try. At your disposal is a collection of parts, which must be assembled to create a functional craft. Did you forget to even fit a parachute, forcing you to watch helplessly as your astronaut suffers the inevitability of gravity? There are new missions types, more ship parts, female Kerbal astronauts, revised graphical effects, and a new 'Engineer Report' panel that advises about obvious errors in a ship's construction. With each launch, and each subsequent mistake, you're forced to re-evaluate and respond. Move it towards a previously placed part and it will snap into place.
Its logic is grounded and real, and thus consistent and always fair. There's a moon, and then planets—each far enough away that visiting the next is a significant step up in difficulty. Most of all, though, it's brilliant because it holds a mirror up to one of humanity's greatest achievements, and only does so when you have the greatest possible appreciation for the skill, dedication and courage involved. If you do yearn for more structure, there's also a career mode. It doesn't require a lot of math or science to start, but you will learn orbital mechanics and such along the way.
They're clumsy, bumbling tinkerers—rated in-game for their courage and stupidity. Later on, you'll be tasked to create more ambitious missions to fly to, land on, and, hopefully, return from, the Mun and then on to the other planets of the Kerbol solar system. The better you do, the more points you score—and you can then easily compare your results against others. It is, however, a slightly smoother and easier start. Every single task the mission throws up leads to me Alt-Tabbing out of the game and searching for the information I need to do the job.