Space exploration has fueled many video game fantasies. If the ship piloting games are numerous, they are mostly focused on simulation. Everspace 2 takes the opposite view from Elite Dangerous and other Star Citizen by offering an accessible experience. By abandoning the Rogue-Like basics of its predecessor, the title of Rockfish intends to allow the first person to explore the infinity of space. Should you fall for this early access? Well, let's find more about it.
IMPORTANT: About early access testing This Everspace 2 review assesses the strengths and weaknesses of Early Access and does not represent a definitive product yet. This test is valid for its date of 01/22/2020 and will have to be revised as the game evolves, before the test of the final version.
FROM ROGUE-LIKE TO EXPLORATION IS THERE JUST ONE STEP?
Announced at Gamescom 2019, Everspace 2 surprised its world by abandoning the Rogue-like in favor of a freer structure. This bet was risky, as it takes great freedoms with the formula established by the original game. The core of the gameplay remains essentially the same and we can also easily pilot our ship from the cockpit or in third-person view. The left stick controls throttle while the right is dedicated to steering and rotation. The slice buttons are associated with the Y-axis and the arms. Everything is controlled with great ease and it only takes a few minutes to learn to navigate calmly between the carcasses of Destroyers. The same goes for shooting which benefits from generous aiming assistance. Several abilities are assigned to a key combination that only works moderately on the controller. Thus for a tactical boost or an IEM explosion, it will be necessary to simultaneously press a front button and the directional cross, forcing you to fully release the ship's controls. Not being able to control your car while engaging a powerful speed boost is quite incongruous. The activatable objects require manipulations of the same type. Apart from this ergonomic pitfall, Everspace 2 is very pleasant to handle. The effective sound design helps to give velocity to the clashes, which come out with honors. In short, the gameplay foundations of this space shooter are, if not perfect, very solid.
While it takes the structure of traditional open worlds, it is not strictly speaking. The universe is here subdivided into closed areas of varying sizes. To connect them, the player uses, when he wishes, the hyperspace that serves as an airlock and disguised loading time between the different zones. This precise point is not damaging, because the distance scales would of themselves impose hyperspace. Otherwise, the player would take several years to join the different zones. I just regret that the triggering of supraliminal speed triggers a brief loading breaking the immersion. I hope that the upcoming title optimization will smooth out this unsightly transition and make travel smoother. Because apart from this pitfall, the universe of Everspace 2 is particularly pleasant to walk. The various closed areas offer very pretty panoramas snd plus, they give the progression a sustained pace.
A SOLID EXPERIENCE THAT WAITS FOR CONTENT
Everspace 2 is a less immersive and realistic experience than an Elite Dangerous, of course, but its accessibility and its more "fun" proposition will surely make it a title of choice for players put off by the demands of space simulations. If we talk in the future it's because the title of Rockfish is still far from over. Its foundations are solid, but the content is currently rather light. The entire main quest is completed in less than ten hours in a straight line. And if several side quests are offered and many random events dot the player's route, it remains rather light at the applied price ($45 on Steam). To console himself, the budding pilot can always set his sights on the various available ships or experiment with alternative weapons, although to acquire these sesames he must necessarily go through the grind box. These ships have different stats and abilities that can accommodate different play styles, but right now it's all about the one-person hunter. Thus, it is impossible to pilot a large destroyer. We can however customize our faithful steed, but this customization is limited to different paintings, at least for now.
If one is unable to comment on the entire scenario, one can attest to its effectiveness at this stage of the adventure. Without being original, the search for the clone. However, I regret the rather poor staging at the moment which tends to coldly expose the events. Cutscenes, for their part, are for the moment limited to illustrations of sometimes hazardous proportions.
The “cutscenes” are unsightly, but the same cannot be said about the gameplay phases. I was talking about panoramas earlier, they are highlighted by a solid technique. The visual and sound effects manage to effectively transcribe the dynamism of the games. The reflections and rays bounce elegantly off the hull of our ship, in short Everspace 2 make you want to explore. So far I have only regretted a few very minor technical issues. I have been freeze twice while a few more busy areas will have caused a drop in framerate, but nothing dramatic. For early access, the game of Rockfish is also frankly clean. I won't be so enthusiastic about listening to the recessed soundtrack which uses and abuses the clichés of space navigation. Without being unpleasant to the ear, the musical tracks lack a bit of grandiose and personality.
Everspace 2 Review, the conclusion
Everspace 2 is already a solid experience in the space navigation. This early access is primarily intended for players afraid of the austerity of other driving games. Its accessible maneuverability, put at the service of a classic but efficient progression, will seduce the budding pilot left on the sidelines by the advanced simulations. I can't wait for its content to grow, as its more marked out structure than other titles in the genre makes it particularly enjoyable to browse. If you've always been drawn to space exploration, but worried about getting bored on No Man's Sky or getting brushed up on Elite Dangerous, Everspace 2 could very well be for you.
For more information about this brand new video game, I also invite you to visit the Everspace 2 official website for all details. You can also leave a comment below about the game.