The last time I got Everspace 2 was PAX East, and the game was still quite early in production. Nonetheless, what I started playing was a small slice of a pretty promising space shooter. At that time, I was free in some pockets of space occupied by some asteroids, some missions, some outlaws, and a docking station to repair and refuel whenever needed. I was given a rein. It was a simple little loop of activity, but the sharp combat and deep customization offered was already incredibly fascinating.
With the game preparing for the early access release in January (delayed to avoid the release of Cyberpunk 2077), the bones of this ambitious open world arcade shooter have even more flesh.
Previously Everspace was a roguelike action game where you navigated through tight spaces and participated in similar battles when you raced to the end of the run. Everspace 2 incorporates its core combat and gameplay to slot into a large, story-driven open-world experience that rarely does the same thing twice. While playing the recent closed beta, I’ve found all sorts of objective and jump drive markers that lead to different tasks and missions.
Many of these are tied to the main story of the game, presenting named characters and story beats to add to my investment. In one example, I acted as a muscle and was asked to escort the crew of an asteroid miner to the territory of an outlaw. However, their leaders were eventually deprived of the rigors that his crew had to do and took them to an abandoned space facility to go to AWOL and start a new life. I did. Except he didn’t inform them of this, I was offered the option of giving up my mission and letting them escape, or killing him and escorting miners to their facility. It was.
I chose to end the life of the exhausted captain, but it was never an easy choice. Much of Everspace 2 just stirs things up and enjoys cool crazy space adventures, so the dark moments of a human drama like this can help make the experience more memorable.
Of course, it’s hard to underestimate how fun it is to shoot bad guys and asteroids. Everspace 2’s combat and control are tighter than ever, and the game’s visuals have improved dramatically since last play.
Everspace 2 starts with a fairly simple toolkit and a basic ship, but as you progress, you can expand and customize your weapon in numerous ways. Get new ship parts, new weapons, assist tools, special combat abilities and more. Combat abilities are especially interesting because they allow you to unleash unique traits that completely change their function.
There is no penalty for dying other than reloading the checkpoint, but if you need to repair and replenish ammo after combat, you will run out of cash quickly, so it is important to balance your combat efforts if you can afford it. Is some fun new equipment.
There have been some other impressive arcade space shooters in the last few years, but they didn’t feel exactly the same size as Everspace 2. The world is huge, the activities are diverse, and the customization is amazing. For games that are heading for Early Access in just a few months, I feel that they are already full of addictive content. Early Access will be a hit later this year, so I’m looking forward to seeing what else will be added to the game.