Everspace 2 launched into Steam Early Access on the 18th of January 2021 with a completely different direction from the first game. Gone are the linear roguelike gameplay elements and instead we now have a far more focused open-world title delivering a solid single player experience.
While still in Early Access, the current build of Everspace 2 will easily entertain you for upwards of 25 hours. There’s plenty of story content on offer and the game is definitely worth checking out even though it’s not the final product.
Diving into Everspace 2, players will take on the role of a ship pilot on a mission to investigate a mining operation. Things escalate and you’re attacked by outlaws. Before you know it you’re on the run and go into hiding. Everspace 2 introduces you to other characters known as Companions. These companions impart special perks to you and there’s plenty of potential here for the game’s eventual final release.
Everspace 2 has quite a large range of customization options available to you as the player. Players can upgrade their ship’s weaponry, shields, boosters, and armour. You can also pick special abilities such as emp bursts or speed boosts. Your ship also has an “ULT” which is effectively a super power that is incredibly useful in battle. The level of customization on offer in Everspace 2 far surpasses its predecessor and this is still just an Early Access build of the game.
Gameplay in Everspace 2 plays out quite differently to it’s predecessor. Players will now have main missions and side missions to complete. They will also have access to an extremely large open-world part of the galaxy. You can freely cruise around with your jump drive and fly between planets and space stations within specific sectors and it’s very reminiscent of Elite Dangerous. Just far more scaled down.
Once in a more confined space, such as at a key mission point which could be a station or planet’s orbit, you can still freely fly around in a large environment at both normal and higher cruise speeds. Combat takes place in these environments. If you encounter enemy ships, they are automatically highlighted with red if hostile. You can also encounter abandoned space stations or asteroids which can be mined by shooting at the various ore or crystal deposits on them.
Circling back to combat with hostels, this is the best part of the game. Combat is extremely fluid and just feels so good. Playing with a mouse and keyboard or with a controller is great and the controls, including the ship’s handling, is superb. We recommend playing with a controller though since this felt slightly more enjoyable however it does come down to personal preference. Players will dogfight in space with enemy ships and you’ll have to pull off some fancy manoeuvers if you really want to survive against tougher foes.
There’s an immense amount of satisfaction to be had from chasing down enemy ships and drones and firing off missiles or mines at them. Using weapons such as railguns, flak cannons and pulse lasers adds a lot of variety to the game and the level of customization with regards to weaponry is incredibly welcome. We’re hoping that Rockfish Games continue to add varied weapon types to the game and continuously improve on the customization on offer in Everspace 2.
The soundtrack in Everspace 2 is excellent too with lots of catchy tunes that play, especially the track that plays while you’re cruising around a solar system. Surprisingly, Everspace 2 also features some excellent voice acting. Your main characters, NPCs and your companions are all well voice acted, which is great for a game like this.
Graphically, Everspace 2 is a visual feast for the eyes. Space looks great, especially planets and asteroids. The flashy effects from battles such as smoke trails are also incredibly breathtaking and firing off your ship’s weapons and seeing giant explosions in space is quite a spectacle. The environmental design and graphics team at Rockfish games have done an excellent job throughout.
Overall, Everspace 2 is a highly recommended Early Access title. There’s so much on offer here it puts actual full release titles to shame. We literally cannot wait for future release builds to come out and show us even more Everspace 2. Rockfish Games, please keep up the great work. This is a must-buy if you’re a fan of space adventure loot-shooter titles.
This first look is based on the PC version of the game which can be purchased here for £31.99.
- Developer: ROCKFISH Games
- Publisher: ROCKFISH Games
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC
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