Among the rare genres of the gaming industry, space-shooter is often the one to come out at the top. However, an even rarer is a space shooter game that manages to seamlessly incorporate elements of role-playing.
This is where Everspace 2 comes into the picture. After a big gap of 20 years (that proves just how difficult it is to build a satisfying space shooter!), we get our hands on the latest space simulation video game: Everspace 2.
Since its release, the game has amassed positive reviews, both from critics and players alike. Essentially a diablo in space, this space simulation game is an aesthetic blend of RPG and true space odyssey that features a whole lot of gameplay styles for players to adopt.
But is it worth your time? To find out the answer, in this article, we take an in-depth review of the game. Now, without any further ado, let us begin!
Release Date and Platforms
Developed by Rockfish Games, an indie game development studio, Everspace 2 was launched on April 6, 2023.
Presently, this space simulation is only available to play on PC via Steam. While versions for the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and Steam Deck are planned to be released soon, Everspace 2 will not launch on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Everspace 2 Game Review
After 2003’s Freelancer, Everspace 2 is the space shooter-looter game players have been craving for so long. Though there have been many space-shooter entries along the way that tempted to imitate Freelancer, however, in one way or the other, they were just not up to par.
Single Player Title
Unlike many modern games, Everspace 2 is a stubbornly full-blown single-player campaign that lays heavy emphasis on deep space exploration. The game is set in an open world full of hidden secrets and dangerous perils. Although it is an indie game (indie games are noted for their shorter game completion times), Everspace 2 delivers 80+ hours’ worth of engaging content for completionists.
Although Everspace 2 is a successor to the original Everspace, in no way it is similar to its predecessor in terms of gameplay. Most notably, the roguelike elements are completely wiped out and there is no permadeath. Also, where each level in the original Everspace was procedurally generated, Everspace 2 takes a vastly different approach. It follows a main story quest, coupled with tons of side quests, that takes players into a deep space open-world environments brimming with a lot of distinct activities.
However, where Everspace 2 is completely different from its successor in terms of gameplay, it is a direct sequel to it in terms of storyline. You assume the role of one of the military clone pilots, Adam Roslin, burdened with the memories of every death that came before and are on the run from the military that he once served.
Combat Gameplay and Space Exploration
As far as the Everspace 2 combat gameplay is concerned, the dev team behind the space simulation game has proved to be a masterclass in designing engaging 3d space battles. Even after hundreds of space dogfights, in no way do the game’s battle mechanics seem redundant.
There are a lot of ship classes available which, in turn, paves the way for top-notch space battles. As such, there are three ship classes: Light, Medium, and Heavy. Each class has three further sub-classes, all of which are unique in their traits. Moreover, ships in Everspace 2 can equip any of an array of modules like boosters, armor, and shields, of which there are variants that meaningfully change your combat style. Then there are 10 primary weapons as well as a bevy of missiles, mines, and rockets to use as secondary armaments. And just like that, there are many other items as well that players can tweak and upgrade as per their preferences.
The RPG elements of this space shooter are seamlessly integrated with its arcade-style space dogfights that result in a wide diversity of playstyles. Flying around is smooth and feels satisfying. When switched to a first-person view, Everspace 2 delivers a seemingly true space piloting experience.
The vast majority of missions in this game fall into two categories: “go somewhere and engage in combat” or “fight enemies to retrieve something.” The remainder of the gameplay is spent traveling between ports, docking, completing mundane tasks, and listening to lengthy dialogue. Another aspect of the game involves solving environmental puzzles, such as discovering hidden hatches, completing timed challenges, or searching through debris for specific items required to unlock loot. While these elements can be enjoyable at first, they become repetitive and tedious in the later stages of the game, as the same debris and space stations are revisited repeatedly.
Visuals, Cutscenes, and Voice Acting
Everspace 2 is an indie game but ditches many of the attributes normally associated with indie games. One striking point of this space simulation game is its stunning visuals. Admittedly, Rockfish didn’t have an AAA-like budget to develop the game. But still, the ship models, environments, and textures, are indeed AAA quality.
However, some of the impacts of its limited budget are also visible. It is primarily noticeable in cutscenes which are rendered graphically in 2D novel style. It is understandable though, AAA quality 3D cutscenes can easily cost a million dollars per minute. Given Rockfish’s limited budget, opting for rich-quality 2D cutscenes than low-quality 3D CGI was indeed a smart move.
Moreover, the voice acting is also remarkable in the game, particularly for Dax. The protagonist’s voice, however, is somewhat low quality. It feels like he is suffering from a sinus infection.
Controller Support and Other Features
Since Everspace 2 was developed to be a multi-platform title, it does feature controller support, one that is very good! This is because, for the most part, indie games suck at controller support.
And because it is an indie game with a limited budget, there is neither VR support nor ray-tracing. Moreover, DLSS 2.0 is also supported as are other flight sticks and HOTAS controllers.
Recommended System Requirements
- OS: Windows 10 64-bit
- Processor: Intel Core i7-4770K
- RAM: 16 GB
- Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 (8 GB)
- Storage: 35 GB
Conclusively, Everspace 2 is a meticulously designed space adventure that stands out as one of the finest examples of its genre. The game’s focus on combat over heavy simulation elements makes it ideal for quick, intense sessions as well as longer playthroughs. With an emphasis on looting, shooting, and role-playing through space, Everspace 2 is a satisfying and endlessly enjoyable experience.
What do you think? Share your thoughts with us and let us know in the comments below!