If you’ve had dreams of exploring a large and diverse galaxy with plenty to do, you certainly have your pick of games out there, so what makes Everspace 2 different? This Everspace sequel to the 2017 original combines fun and fast-paced gameplay with gorgeously rendered environments that look stunning in 1440P. The story missions are relatively easy to follow as you take the protagonist Adam through the galaxy, but the real challenge in this game stems from its dogfighting combat and the fact that so many enemies are well-equipped with powerful shields, armor and impressive weaponry.
This space simulation RPG puts many customizable options into your hands, from the look and feel of your spaceship to what weapons you keep equipped at any time. Even with some of the more frustrating moments brought on by the game’s mechanics, Everspace 2 is perfect for those looking to take their time exploring a wide and alluring galaxy.
Customize the Spaceship You’ve Always Wanted
Who doesn’t love customization? In Everspace 2, you’ll find it in spades. The game sets you up with a Sentinel early on, and taking it to a hangar makes it easy to change colors, equip new weapons, and add any upgrades that you may have available. After the first few hours you can even trade in ships for new models, giving you many different options for different tasks and missions. Throughout my time with this game I took a sleek, metallic black shine to my ship with some splashes of red, but you have access to an impressive array of bright and reflective paint finishes to ensure your ship is exactly how you want it to look.
I mentioned weapon customizations earlier, and getting these down early will be key to your success later in the game. I recommend getting a firm handle on Kinetic and Energy damage, and practice switching weapons on the fly to give you the best advantage in battle. I spent most of my time using the Gauss Cannon, making short work of drones and other lightly armored enemies. When my energy ran out for that weapon, I’d switch over the Pulse Laser to finish off any remaining shields and then pulverize the enemy ships with the Homing Missile Launcher. Using a combination of all of the right weapons at the right time will be pertinent to your success, especially while raiding an outlaw stronghold.
Blast Enemy Fighters to Oblivion
Dogfighting is…. challenging, to say the least, and the space battles you’ll encounter throughout this game can have you feeling overwhelmed almost immediately. Not only are your enemies often better equipped than you, but the auto aim the AI uses rarely misses, turning what should be simple objectives into bouts of frustration. However, that’s where the RPG nature of this game comes in handy.
You’re supposed to take your time exploring the galaxy, mining distant asteroids for iron, culver crystals, aetheum crystals, and anything else that may be useful. These can be invested in upgrades, and you can also visit trading posts to purchase upgrades. There’s a huge array of available weapons, so be open to experimenting to see what works best, and always adapt your strategy to what the situation calls for. Without this patience and care, your enemies can quickly and easily gain the upperhand in any battle. Everspace 2 may be lacking in balance early on, but nothing replaces the satisfaction felt when you blast an enemy Viper out of the sky.
The Stunning Beauty of Outer Space
Aesthetically pleasing games are always delightful to look at, and in that regard Everspace 2 offers plenty to keep your eye entertained. Whether you’re flying through an asteroid field, investigating the innards of a shipwreck floating through the cosmos, or even breaking atmosphere and flying over vast planets, you’ll see that there’s little lacking in the environments of this game. Your Cruise and Jump Drives also make long-distance travel a breeze, giving you the opportunity to freely move the camera and enjoy outer space as it races by you.
All that being said, there is something lost in games set in outer space when it comes to environment, and that’s the lack of one. Open-world RPGs are often praised for their use of terrain, from snowy mountains to expansive deserts, and that’s something you miss out on when cruising across the Ceto System. Your points of interest are beautifully designed, sure, but all that space in between is just that. Space. For some this is a great selling point, and there’s certainly no shortage of spaceship sim games out there for you. But when you’re looking to sink incredible amounts of time into a world, it can be both intimidating and unsettling to be drifting endlessly from planet to planet.
Everspace 2 does give you a home hangar on Rhodia II, nestled securely into the side of an asteroid, and there are great locales like the nebulous asteroid fields of Siren’s Sea or mysterious abandoned mining stations. But it’s easy to feel like you’re just passing through without making a meaningful connection with the different places you discover. There are a few exceptions, and the writing in this game is certainly commendable, with character-driven cutscenes that offer a few surprises along the way.
Everspace 2 has a lot to offer for those looking for a beautifully designed space sim, and fans of the original Everspace will surely find fun quality-of-life updates that will make their time commanding their spaceship even more enjoyable. I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface of everything Everspace 2 has to offer, and I look forward to jumping back into my customized spaceship and seeing everything else this game has to offer when the Everspace 2 early access opens on January 18th, 2021.
TechRaptor previewed Everspace 2 on PC with a copy provided by the publisher. Early access will be available on Steam on January 18, 2021.