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Review: Everspace 2


Posted on August 22, 2023 by Henry

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  • 8.5/10
    Total Score - 8.5/10
8.5/10

Summary

This is a sequel that has truly outdone itself. While some fans may prefer the original rogue-like experience, this iteration delivers unparalleled performance and next-level immersion.

Developer – ROCKFISH Games

Publisher – ROCKFISH Games

Platforms – PC, Xbox Series S|X, PlayStation 5 (reviewed)

Review copy given by publisher

Rockfish Games’ space bound roguelike Everspace came out back in 2017, with its sequel Everspace 2 releasing back on PC roughly 4 months ago. Now the game is finally launching on next-gen consoles after a successful PC release. What you might not have known is that the developers made the interesting decision to transition the second game from another roguelike into a full fledged looter shooter role playing game. At its very core, Everspace 2 is a single player space shooter where you pilot your very own ship to participate in hectic dog fights and explore the galaxy.

Progression is story-driven and mission-based, introducing you to a wide cast of characters and locales. You play as a clone pilot known as Adam Roslin, set on a journey to discover the truth about his past after he is kidnapped by some space pirates. The game wastes no time setting the context and throws you right into the thick of Cluster 34, teaching you the basic controls along the way. Most of your beginning few hours are spent camping out in a demilitarized zone at an old abandoned space station owned by a newly formed ally named Dax. Frequent static image comic style cutscenes are utilized to lore dump and progress the narrative, but it almost seems like corners were cut because there’s an absolute lack of real-time animated cutscenes.

We all know that a game of this genre has combat at the forefront, and it does not disappoint here. Your ship is equipped with a primary weapon that consists of lasers and a cannon that can be switched between on the fly. The ship is also armed with limited homing missiles that feel absolutely badass when you lock onto a target. The actual dogfighting portions are a blast, and the UI intuitively deploys indicators on where the enemies are or how far away you are. As you push on further into the narrative, you’ll also get your hands on different types of ships, coming in at light, medium, and heavy, allowing for different perks and ultimate abilities. Outside of combat you can expect to solve simple puzzles, build relationships, and explore the universe.

This is a big game. You can put well over 100 hours into the game if you’re looking to snag the platinum and do everything there is to do. The world is truly your oyster here because you can go wherever you want, whenever you want. After all, this game is set in a technically advanced society where traveling through hyperspace is an afterthought. Want to take up recon missions or clean up some pesky space outlaws? You can do it all! There are around a total of 8 planetary systems with several subregions within each for you to explore to your heart’s content.

Everspace 2 also takes heavy inspiration from Diablo, because there is a ton of loot to pick up, and more ways than I can count in terms of customizing your ship. It’s a tinkerer’s dream because you can deck out your ship to the minute detail, from booster engines and scanners to rocket cannons and laser beams. It’s the desire to further upgrade your ship that drives the gameplay loop forward. Throw in a robust crafting system and an array of shops to purchase all sorts of gear and gadgets and you got yourself a fleshed out game right there.

That being said, things do get a tad bit repetitive after a while, especially after the first 10 or so hours. Once you are acquainted with the exact systems that make up the gameplay, there isn’t much variety and you’re pretty much doing the same things over and over again. I guess this sort of criticism comes with the genre of the game because most looter shooters suffer from this as well. The game does offer 5 difficulty modes, ranging from very easy to very hard, that can be tweaked at any time. So if you’re up for the challenge, then crank up the difficulty! And don’t worry, there are no trophies or achievements locked behind difficulty levels.

I had some trouble with the control scheme at first, given I’m not the most well versed when it comes to space shooters, but I was able to get used to flying relatively fast. Everspace 2 features 6 degrees of freedom, allowing for absolutely tight controls in 3 dimensional space. Though I won’t be doing any of the fancy maneuvers, just know that you can perform some game changing split second dodges and rolls! The game offers 2 schemes, one for players used to space shooters, and one for players used to first person shooters.

Even before the game was released on PS5, I noticed how visually beautiful the PC release was. Now that it’s working its magic on the next-gen hardware and my 4K television screen, Everspace 2 looks absolutely gorgeous. From the moment you embark on your journey through the galaxy, you’re immediately struck by the game’s stunning visuals. There’s a level of detail and artistry that transports players to a universe brimming with life and wonder. The lighting effects, particle physics, and overall attention to detail make every moment spent in space a visual delight.

Everspace 2 on the PlayStation 5 takes full advantage of the hardware’s capabilities, resulting in ultra fast load times and excellent graphical fidelity. Load times are virtually non-existent, and the game maintains a consistent 60 frames per second, even during intense space dogfights. The attention to detail in both the visual and audio aspects of the game ensures that players are fully immersed in the cosmos, free from distractions that might otherwise break the spell. The game also takes advantage of the DualSense controller’s haptic feedback whenever you fire your guns, providing you cues on when your ammo supply is depleted.

There’s no doubt that Everspace 2 is an extraordinary achievement that redefines space gaming, as it successfully captures the ambition of space exploration with a captivating open-world RPG framework. This is a sequel that has truly outdone itself. While some fans may prefer the original rogue-like experience, this iteration delivers unparalleled performance and next-level immersion.

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