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Rockfish Games

Everspace 2 Review – A Challenging Space Flight With Room to Grow

Everspace 2 is a challenging sci-fi shooter with difficult puzzles, but RPG elements are hindered by awkward visuals.

Having the chance to dive deep into a space adventure is always thrilling, from games in the Star Wars universe to epic adventures as the captain of a spaceship in any Star Trek title. Everspace 2 takes the elements of popular space genres and puts a fresh spin on them, offering grueling combat and challenging controls that require players to dive deep into mastering their ship while exploring the wider universe.

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Space battles require skill and finesse

Rockfish Games
Image from Rockfish Games

Everspace 2, a follow-up to Rockfish Games’ original Everspace, again sees players out among the stars solving puzzles, crafting, and tackling fast-paced battles. However, the game’s RPG elements mix high-definition spaceflight with 2D illustrated cutscenes for a quirky narrative effect that occasionally feels off-putting.

Right from the tutorial, players diving into Everspace 2 are in for complex combat. Ship controls require a combination of movement keys, dodging, rolling, and strafing while also managing multiple weapons. While swinging a ship around to tackle an enemy flying close behind is satisfying and fun, this can also become overwhelming when attempting to deal with dozens of enemy ships. Toss in the puzzles that need to be solved to move from plot point to plot point and players will quickly feel like James T. Kirk juggling Tribbles.

It should be noted that players will likely want to adjust their mouse sensitivity when playing Everspace 2, as the base settings can be overly responsive when attempting to steer. This can cause the ship to spin at the lightest touch and also induce motion sickness for those who are sensitive to swinging visuals and sudden changes in direction.

Despite this, the vast expanse of space is shown to players is stunning detail. Asteroids and planets are mottled and pocked with interesting minerals and gasses, and the spaceships themselves all have unique designs and details that make them stand out in the hash lighting every environment. The space flight in undeniably beautiful.

A Clone and his trusty crew

Rockfish Games
Image from Rockfish Games

In Everspace 2, players take on the role of a military Clone. While playing as a set character can make for an interesting story, it is disappointing not to have any say in character appearance, or even the gender of the playable character. The lack of choice likely has to do with the 2D stop-motion animatics that act as cutscenes.

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These cutscenes while illustrated nicely, never seem to properly fit against the high-definition images and 3D models players enjoy when traveling around in their spaceships. Additionally, the fluid voice acting over the frame-by-frame animations is jarring and sometimes difficult to follow. These scenes, mixed with the inability to ever leave the ship and control the main playable character, is especially disappointing from an RPG standpoint.

Because of this, Everspace 2 may not be a good fit for those who enjoy games like Mass Effect of Destiny. I constantly found myself wishing I could disembark my ship to explore planets, or even walk around the base. Spending most of the game’s story stuck in a spaceship wasn’t an immersive or positive way to get into the narrative.

Space puzzles with lots of fetching

Rockfish Games
Image from Rockfish Games

Players will spend a good deal of time solving puzzles in Everspace 2. From the initial requirements to reboot machinery to searching for crafting items for repairing the main base, completing objectives can take a good deal of time.

While searching the many different locations found within the universe of Everspace 2 can scratch the itch for space exploration, the quests can quickly become tedious, with little to break up the long stretches of flight, battle, and crafting.

Despite this, there is a wealth of content to play through, with many different types of challenges across the map to unlock. This offers a bit of narrative freedom, and does allow players to put down a frustrating puzzle and come back to it if they want to explore some other detail they bumped into while searching for crafting earlier.

Verdict

Everspace 2 is a great game for those who enjoy space exploration and complex battle systems. The skill required during combat is fulfilling when done right, and punishingly brutal when not properly executed. However, those looking for an immersive story to slide into may want to consider a more RPG-drive title, as the narrative of Everspace 2 sometimes feels lacking or unpolished. It is a great way to lose track of time while piloting a ship, but not likely to replace any of the standouts in the genre.

Final Score:

6 / 10

+Excellent space-flight visuals and combat system
+Interesting and challenging battles that require skill
Awkward cutscenes that don’t fit gameplay
Lack of character customization and interaction
Puzzles that can feel like fetch quests

Gamepur team received a PC code for the purpose of this review.


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Laura Gray
Laura Gray is an avid Pokemon, Dungeons & Dragons, and farming sim enthusiast. They spend their time chasing their toddler, playing casual Pokemon TCG matches, and destroying the kitchen with cooking projects. Laura's previous work can be seen at Screen Rant and Dexerto,