Everspace 2 is a beautifully crafted massive open world first person space shooter action RPG with tight controls and a lot of fast paced action. ROCKFISH Games, a small independent studio, have overdelivered in their sequel to Everspace. This time, instead of being a roguelike, the game follows more along an ARPG path where you’re exploring a vast open world with easily 50+ hours of content. It is easily worth the price of admission at full price but let’s dig a bit deeper into that.
To be perfectly clear – Everspace 2 is not a roguelike unlike Everspace, although Everspace 2 is much more like an ARPG, i.e., Diablo in space with an open world like Freelancer.
So Much Good Content
Everspace 2 has so many areas to visit that it can be overwhelming and all of them have different aesthetics and vibes. That’s important that the content is good, because a lot of bad content doesn’t do anyone any favors. You can spend about 30 hours on just the story itself and then another 90 trying to get everything done in the game. There are over 100 unique, handcrafted locations across severe star systems, it really is staggering the scale of the game. You can go from everything from gritty space stations to lush planetary settlements and find more new stories and opportunities for adventure.
You’ll find the looter shooter tag on Everspace 2 for good reason. There’s a lot of loot and it’s a lot of fun to play with. Just customizing your fighter is engrossing enough gameplay that the fighting can often take a backseat to perfecting your build within the game. There are so many ways to experiment, it’s just very satisfying.
The loot makes sense and the game mechanics work. The gameplay is tight and that’s the important part. The sound and music are alright as well. Visuals also impress. A lot can be on the screen at once and the UI actually works for it.
The white-knuckle space combat that the Everspace series is known for has been dialed up to 11 in this sequel. Frantic dogfights against swarms of enemy drones, nimble fighters, hulking bombers, and colossal capital ships will get your adrenaline pumping. With an arsenal of kinetic and laser weapons, missiles, mines, and more at your disposal, you have plenty of options to dish out some serious destruction. Time your countermeasures and maneuvers just right to avoid incoming missile locks and beams of fiery death.
The best part is how you can choose how you want to play. You can do lightweight fighters with cloaking that can zoom in and out or heavier long-range bombers and lots of choices in-between. The early game shines best here when the lighter fighters can really handle longer fights, but you’ll have lots of side missions to switch to whatever is your favorite if you’re forced to use something beefier for a bigger mission.
The only downside is that the game does come with a bit of grinding and unlike a Roguelike, not all of that grinding is worth it. You don’t just automatically get stronger; you have to work for it sometimes. You’ll have to go out and just fight and explore and do side missions to level up to the max level of 30 too. Hilariously enough, having to play more of a game as its only major complaint is pretty good.
No glitches were experienced in our playthrough.
In summary, Everspace 2 delivers a top-notch space combat experience brimming with customization, exploration, and a great story. ROCKFISH Games has crafted a worthy sequel that improves upon the original in almost every way. They took a brave step in choosing to move from a roguelike to more of an ARPG and it works.
I would say that if you loved Freelancer or any game similar to it, then Everspace 2 is an absolute must have. If you like collecting loot and shooting and fun space combat, Everspace 2 definitely is going to satisfy. If you want more of the roguelike Everspace 1, then you may want to set expectations that this is different, but also very similar.
As a note, we received a review key from the developer. The review contains feedback from a writer who already purchased the game.