Some games only spend a year or so in Early Access before they’re ready. Others have been there for a decade and might never release. In the case of EVERSPACE 2, it sat in Early Access for almost 3 years, but the space combat sim is finally ready for its big release. According to my Steam wishlist, I added the original EVERSPACE to it in 2017.
It sat there for 6 years until I got the opportunity to review the sequel upon its release. In the meantime, I had a hell of a time with Chorus, the space sim I’ve wanted ever since I was a kid plugging away at Star Fox 64. So, does EVERSPACE 2 deliver now that it’s primed and ready to have its full release?
EVERSPACE 2 is all about its space combat, space travel, and consistently upgrading your ship to make it the fastest, most deadly fighter in the universe. There are tons of tutorials as the game slowly but surely throws all of its systems and upgrades at you, but developer Rockfish does a bang-up job of explaining everything in great detail. I never once felt lost in what any one thing does, even if there’s a lot to juggle at any given time.
The heads-up display also gives you all the information you’ll need to survive without being too cumbersome, and I never felt lost, even in missions where I wasn’t given a direct waypoint. The sense of exploration is ample and encouraged as you make your way through an insane amount of areas and acquire all kinds of loot along the way.
The story within EVERSPACE 2 is a pretty standard affair, but it’s presented in a way that lets you freely explore a diversion while jumping to your next destination, without losing its sense of urgency. At first, you’re locked into just a few planet spaces to complete missions in, but once the game opens up, it’s clear that your $49.99 investment is going to carry its weight as the game will take dozens of hours for completionists to sift through. Thankfully, EVERSPACE 2‘s gameplay loop is so addictive that those hours will fly by, thanks to a strong variety of mission types, plenty of polish, and no shortage of upgrades to experiment with.
EVERSPACE 2 takes a more deliberate, nuanced pace to its combat. When I played CHORUS, I was chasing down enemies, drifting about, and reaching breakneck speeds on the regular. In EVERSPACE 2, you’ll be hammering down enemies that are staring straight at you and not making any effort to lose you. The sense of chase is non-existent and it’s more of a “stand your ground” kind of fight. It’s still enjoyable, but it also feels like you aren’t using your arsenal unless you’re up against the toughest of odds.
Nevertheless, it’s still a pleasure sifting through upgrades, tricking out your ship, and progressing through a satisfactory story. One Steam review states this is “the Diablo of space” and that’s a pretty fitting moniker for EVERSPACE 2. This should be right up the alley of anyone interested in immersing themselves in a space combat sim for the foreseeable future, as this game has no shortage of content. This Kickstarter success story is one for the ages and will be in the conversation of the best space flight games ever.