“Everspace 2” played: Dynamic dogfights in space

Finally core space combat action again, with fast circles, flashing ultimate abilities and a fully-fledged story: With this maxim, the Hamburg studio Rockfish Games wants to serve all those who enjoy dogfights in the style of the classic “Freelancer”. “Everspace 2” leaves Early Access on April 6th and does a few things differently than its predecessor. The roguelite subclass flies out of the game. It is replaced by a much larger “Looter Shooter” in open space, which follows the story of protagonist Adam Roslin.

The story of his escape from the war-ravaged “Demilitarized Zone” (DMZ) intrigued me right away – even as a newcomer to the series and despite the simple implementation in still images. The initially unclear motives of Adam’s new acquaintance Dex also create tension. His lucrative assignment could provide Adam with a way out of the Zone and becomes the starting point for fast-paced space action. The controls are primarily designed for mouse and keyboard, but I also quickly internalized the intuitive controller assignment. Lateral jets make the upgradeable ships pleasantly manoeuvrable.

Upgrades and options make Everspace 2’s arcade controls even more intuitive. (Image: heise online)

Beam weapons alternately slice through shields, armor, and hulls with varying ranges and damage values. To top it off, the charged ultimate ability transforms space into an inferno of spasmodic lightning and explosions. The various outposts, planets, biomes and lakes also have their charms. The smooth, almost error-free result from the Unreal Engine 4 is impressive, especially for indie standards. I was playing 1080p on Epic on a GeForce 2080 Ti.

In terms of content, too, the balance seems to be right. From the moment you get started, it’s clear that plenty of enticing resources, side missions, and abandoned goods await in risky areas and ghost ships off the path. For example, I can stock up on rockets and build my fleet the way I like, even if I haven’t yet figured out all the intricacies of upgrades, crafting, blueprints, and looting. This also includes trading on outposts with goods that are more or less in demand, as well as buying complete ships. On request, the equipment from the previous owner can also be added. In the officially around 70 hours of play, friends of action role-playing games like “Diablo 4” should get their money’s worth.

Especially when carefully exploring the wrecks, a cozy feeling of discovery reminiscent of “Subnautica” quickly sets in – including spherical synth sounds. Instead of just dulling through the path markers, it is always a matter of finding loopholes within search areas, activating damaged technology or hacking. A convoy that has slipped through the portal, for example, stores its cargo between movable laser barriers. Using an old approach, I can at least temporarily stop them, allowing me to dash in and out of danger quickly to loot. But instead of the medical cargo they were hoping for, they uncover a secret that could draw Adam into a much larger conflict.

There is no shortage of small arguments either. When relaxed exploring remote wrecks and collecting precious metals, the outlaw swarms of scouts and drones sometimes get too intrusive. Again and again they turn up uninvited to challenge me to an armed dance between the celestial bodies. Apart from that, the variety is right. On the hunt for a thief, an Elite Viper and its stolen cargo first hide behind boulders in Rhodia orbit before engaging in combat. Elsewhere, the enemies attack me or I encounter an emergency call for healing nanobots when jumping through space.

Later, I help Dex figure out who or what knocked out his important jammers. Sometimes it’s such mundane things as rampant alien weeds that are simply “plucked out” by force of arms. Different fractions should also bring life to the story, which by the way has been extended by around 30 hours of play in the full version. So far, however, I have not experienced such eccentric alien encounters as in Daedalic’s “The Long Journey Home”. On the other hand, the classic traversal of space with spaceships appears much more fluid and homogeneous here. In contrast to “No Man’s Sky” there is unfortunately no seamless change between space and planetary orbit, but a short loading screen when changing.

Congratulations to Rockfish Games! The Hamburg indie studio has apparently worked out a well-rounded mixture of fast space combat, open exploration and loot shooters in Early Access. Moving away from the roguelite principle was a good decision. Between dogfights, leveling up and pimping the equipment, the story about clone Adam gives the game a common thread. Those who place more value on an authentic simulation will be better served in titles like “Elite: Dangerous” and maybe one day in “Star Citizen”. However, as an arcade fan I already had a lot of fun with the fluid battles of “Everspace 2” with its handy controls.

“Everspace 2” will be released on April 6, 2023 for Windows at a price of 50 euros. Implementations for PS5 and Xbox Series X/S will follow in the summer.


To home page

Related Posts

Hot News


usefull links

robis robis robis