After five years in development and two years in Early Access, the space shooter EVERSPACE 2 is finally on its way to release, giving players a massive story-driven campaign across six star systems and over 120 locations. We tell in the review how it is able to conquer deep space.
- Developer: ROCKFISH Games
- Publisher: ROCKFISH Games
- Release Date: April 6, 2023
The protagonist of EVERSPACE 2 is Adam Roslin, a clone and pilot who is trying to earn extra money and break out of the Zone, a neutral demilitarized territory created after the war of mankind with the alien race Okkar. The zone is rich in resources, but also riddled with relics of past battles and filled with bandit factions that raid mining ships.
During an ordinary mission to escort the miners, a skirmish with pirates ensues, and Adam is captured. There he meets a lieutenant of the Colonial Fleet and teams up with him: first to escape, and then to complete a large-scale mission, participation in which will allow the hero to leave the Zone.
The game pleases with a good script and detailed lore, the plot is not to say that it captures, but it is interesting to follow it. Gradually, new allies join the partners, and the characters of the characters are revealed over time. It is noticeable that the authors saved on cut-scenes, preferring hand-drawn intros with poor animation to full-fledged videos (which are also here, but in small quantities), but this is the only aspect of EVERSPACE 2 where budget is felt – otherwise the project looks no worse than AAA titles .
The space landscapes were especially successful for the developers. Here in each star system there is at least one beautiful object against which battles will unfold, whether it be a giant planet with rings encircling it or an ancient battlefield with the skeletons of long-destroyed cruisers. Sometimes they are allowed to fly directly over the surface of the planets, look inside an asteroid or a huge transporter.
In the open world, you can freely move between locations; hyperspace travel gives you the ability to jump across star systems, and while flying to your destination, you will continually discover new areas of interest – mainly after you catch an unknown signal that could hide anything from an abandoned ship with valuable loot before the ambush of marauders.
Thus, in addition to completing story missions, there is something to do in EVERSPACE 2: merchants willingly give out additional quests, and interesting activities lie in secluded corners of the galaxy.
Meanwhile, almost every mission in the game leads to gunfights. In this regard, the project is a reference example of an arcade space sim: with an extremely responsive and convenient control model, an impressive set of weapons and auxiliary modules.
Leaping on the rampage here is not recommended, and even on standard difficulty, a skirmish with superior enemy forces will quickly turn into a failure. You need to act carefully: use the environment, set up ambushes, switch types of weapons depending on the identified vulnerabilities of the enemy. Some opponents are immune to certain attacks, for example, energy or acid, others are better to destroy with long-range weapons, others should be approached at close range – an individual approach is welcome.
Pretty soon after the start of the campaign, you will get the opportunity to change the base ship to another one. There are options for every taste: from nimble and maneuverable scouts and attack aircraft to heavily armored and clumsy bombers and gunners. Each of the ships has three degrees of protection: a shield that absorbs kinetic damage, armor that protects against energy damage, and a hull, a “health bar” that begins to deplete after the destruction of shields and armor.
Accordingly, the weapon deals kinetic and energy damage, and, depending on the additional properties, can gradually destroy the armor and hull of the ship, as if with acid, or disable its energy systems with the help of an EMP pulse. Each gun has an effective range setting, so both “shotguns” and “sniper rifles” are available here. There are guns here that are weak and fast-firing, powerful and slow – in general, suitable for a variety of play styles. You can attach two or three guns to the ship and freely switch between them during the battle.
And that’s not all: the starship is equipped with an energy core, skin, sensor and other elements that directly affect its characteristics, such as speed and acceleration, enemy detection range, durability, and so on. Consumables are installed in separate cells, upon activation of which, for example, you can increase the protection of the ship for a short time or restore the hull.
Devices are also available to the pilot – something like active skills from RPG, when activated, you can release a powerful electromagnetic pulse, teleport a short distance, reflect incoming damage back at an opponent, and so on. But there are also traits – passive bonuses, like recharging the shield after killing an enemy or reducing the cost of repairs: the pilot receives them when he reaches certain levels of pumping, and they are given to him by allies that join the team, and traits can be improved by investing resources in them.
As you understand, the scope for creating builds here is as wide as possible. Whether you want a nimble and fast boat, a balanced variant or a flying fortress, EVERSPACE 2 will give you the opportunity to do it. Of course, you will have to tinker, choosing and pumping weapons, extracting resources and scouring the trading floors in search of the best prices, but it’s worth it. The economy in the game, by the way, is also worthy of praise: the model is not too complicated, but at least takes into account the demand for different groups of goods in different star systems, based on which you can speculate, buy cheaper here and sell more expensive there.
EVERSPACE 2 offers a good balance of difficulty, intense firefights against the background of breathtaking space landscapes, deep pumping and customization of ships, a fun storyline and an interesting economy. And at the same time, the game maintains the atmosphere of immersion in a space western, captivates with meditative flights between star systems and captivates with its soundtrack. If you were looking for a good action game about space, arcade but challenging, then you have already found it.
- Interesting scenario
- Beautiful space scenery
- Thrilling arcade shootouts
- Pumping and customization of ships
- Modest cut-scenes
- Simulation fans may lack depth