So I wrote about Everspace 2 during its prototype phase, way back in May of last year. What I got to play then was a solid framework for an action adventure role-playing game in space. Now that Everspace 2 is gearing up for an Early Access release on Steam, I’ve finally had a chance to play through a bit of the story, and check out some of Everspace 2’s large open world—and it’s shaping up to be a great space role-playing game.
Now, you may have noticed I intentionally didn’t call Everspace 2 a sim. It’s definitely not something I would consider sim-like, despite its attention to detail, full first person cockpits, and six degrees of freedom. Everspace 2 is closer to a looter shooter than it is to Elite Dangerous or similar games, though it might be hard to tell the two apart on first glance. But Everspace 2 is about item managements, tiered loot, puzzles, quests—and combat. If you want to fly around space without managing a complicated ship, Everspace 2 is exactly what you’re looking for while still giving you the majesty of space travel.
You should expect lots of opportunity for epic loot, different spaceships, and a multitude of different technologies to upgrade your ship, and even change how it behaves. You will even have a chance to try a bunch of different types of craft, from fast fighters to heavy tanks that can take a pounding. Some of the best loot is found in the hardest situations, and if you want the best you’ll have to fight hard for it in high-risk situations.
Combat in Everspace 2 is fast, and manages to stay away from the jousting style of combat that many space games end up adopting. You can boost, dodge, and wield multiple types of weapons—from an array of missiles, to lasers and autocannons. Combat is fun, arcade-like, but fast and satisfying. Repair on-the-fly with nanobots, and boost damage and shields with other consumable power-ups. There is an array of technologies available that you can use to get the upper hand on your opponents, like EMP blasts, overcharged boosts and more.
I don’t want to get into any story spoilers, but I did play through several hours of the single player campaign. It’s obviously a work in progress, but it looks like it’s going to be quality. The cutscenes are still frames of hand drawn, almost comic book art—but as they’re labelled “work in progress” I’m not sure how much of it is placeholder versus what it will look like post Early Access.
When Everspace 2 hits Steam for the general public on the 18th, it’ll be in Early Access. According to the Steam store page, the plan is for Everspace 2 to be in Early Access for a year to a year and half. There is a long list of planned features including more locations, enemies, a higher player level, more alien creatures, and eventually “30+” hours of content planned for the final release. Though it’s in Early Access, there are still 12+ hours of fully voiced story campaign, according to its product page.
I’m excited for the eventual full release of Everspace 2, though it feels like a surprisingly solid game, even in Early Access. If you want space casual space exploration with role-playing elements, Everspace 2 is already a great option—and with developer Rockfish Games’ commitment to listening to community feedback and planned updates, it will only get better.
Everspace 2 will launch on Steam Early access on January 18th
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