Everspace 2 – Preview: The Stars Look Very Different Today
The original Everspace was a neat little space shooter/rogue-like that had some nice mechanics and a great sense of personality. It wasn’t the hit that something like Dead Cells was, but it found a loyal and dedicated audience that thoroughly enjoyed the brand of space chaos it offered up. The developers, Rockfish then turned to Kickstarter to fund a sequel. That move was a masterstroke because they were funded in no time at all. Thus Everspace 2 was born and development could begin, but this time around things were going to be different.
I was lucky enough to get my hands on a prototype build for Everspace 2 and those differences were immediately apparent. Instead of the rouge-like structure of the first game, Everspace 2 has moved into full RPG territory. That’s right folks this is a space shooter RPG with all the trimmings. Quests, side quests, upgrades, crafting, NPC’s, the works. Seems like a cool idea right? Well, I can assure you it is. I had a blast in this small chunk of the game, completing quests, hunting outlaws, finding new weapons and exploring new locations. The dogfighting is great, which was to be expected after the first game, but the way the other systems are shaping up is even more impressive. The best way I can describe what I saw is Bioware crossed with Wing Commander. If you can imagine that, you will have a pretty good idea of what to expect.
One of the most exciting features of the game is exploration. In the first title, you played on a linear, randomly generated path but in Everspace 2 there is, what appears to be, a whole galaxy to explore at your whim. In this build I was able to explore one solar system, travelling between locations in the system in a way that reminded me of No Man’s Sky (though nowhere near as laborious). From what I can gather, this points to Everspace 2 being a massive game to explore, with the version I played having no less than 6 locations to visit, each location fleshed out with baddies, traders, quests and mining opportunities.
Speaking of quests, what I saw in the prototype were simple things. Stuff like fixing 3 air leaks on a space station or rescuing a scientist from some space pirates. That being said, I can hardly expect in a demo like this to come across deep story missions, so I am not surprised by the quest types. All of the quests had full written dialogue and I have a feeling that come launch day, these quests will be fully voiced. I can’t wait to see what the developers can bring in this arena because the idea of a Space Shooter RPG is an appealing one and I hope that Rockfish can take that concept and flesh it out to its full potential.
The areas I explored in this demo are very similar to what is in the first game. Outer space with planets in the background, space junk floating around and the occasional space station to visit. The good news is that the full game is promising in-atmosphere exploration so players will be able to visit planets themselves, creating a wide range of new environments to fly around. This promises to add a lot of variety to the game and help relieve the boredom that a space backdrop can sometimes induce.
In all, my short taster of Everspace 2 left me wanting more. I have questions about how well the story will work and if the questing will get repetitive, but I think Rockfish are certainly on the right track to make something special. The old Xwing fan in me is excited to see the return of space shooters and from what I can tell, Everspace 2 is looking to lead this new wave by bringing elements from other genres and incorporating them with the traditional laser dogfighting that the genre is known for and that is something I can’t wait to see when the full game is released in 2021.
Everspace 2 Prototype was played on PC with code kindly supplied by Evolve PR. If you would like to see the game in action, check out the Everspace 2 Player 2 Plays video below.