GamingGame ReviewsPC / Mac

Everspace 2 (PC) review

At its heart, Everspace 2 is an arcade shooter – and I’m perfectly fine with that.

Originally funded by a crowd-funding campaign, Everspace 2 has just come out of a two year early access phase. It describes itself as “a fast-paced single-player space shooter with deep exploration, tons of loot and classic RPG elements.” Well, it’s all of those things wrapped up in a space faring package that will scratch that space combat itch that’s been bugging you for so long.

With it’s fast-paced space combat, loot collecting and RPG elements where you can upgrade and modify your ships. Everspace 2 gave me strong vibes of my time playing Freelancer, a 2003 space exploration game that provided a mix of space combat and trading. So far it’s only availabe on PC but it’s coming to console later this year.

Players fill the boots of clone pilot Adam Roslin, with the game taking place several years after the first one (you don’t need to know what happened to play this). Being a clone means Roslin needs to “fly underneath the radar” of the colonial fleet. Which means he’ll have to use his wits and subterfuge to complete missions. There are about eight planets so far to explore, each with a variety of locations to visit, and expect that to increase over time.

Get to the CPU details.

For those technically minded readers, I started playing Everspace 2 on a PC with a Core i5 10600K and an AMD RX580 graphics card – it looked gorgeous and played extremely well, with the occasional stutter you’d expect from an ageing GPU. I also played it on an an Intel Core i711700B CPU paired with an nVidia RTX3070 Ti – and it played flawlessly and looked gorgeous. It seems Everspace 2 is pretty scalable, even if you’ve got an older GPU.

While you can stick to the main mission, which was interesting enough to keep me engaged, there are myriads of side missions in other galaxies and on planets. These give Roslin the chance to earn credits for upgrades and, ultimately, purchase newer and more powerful space ships. There is frankly so much to do here that you’ll be exploring galaxies, looting planets and taking on outlaw craft until the cows come home!

The narrative is moved forward by comic book-style panels rather than cut scenes. While I wasn’t sure about the style at first, it grew on me after a while and it’s kind of charming that developer Rockfish has gone for this type of transition to tell the story.

What about the Space Visuals?

Graphically, the game is full of vibrant colours and vivbid explosions that fill the screen with bursts of orange and yellow. It really is a visual feast for the eyes, with vivid colours popping out as you speed past gigantic ringed planets and multi-coloured nebula.

The star of Everspace 2, though, is definitely the space combat and its tight arcade-style flying where you’ll be locking onto enemy bandits and taking out enemy encampments, all the while trying not to be distracted by the gorgeous planets and nebula in the background. Enemy ships will evaporate in a ball of fiery flame, dropping loot that you can suck up and use to upgrade your craft or sell at trading posts.

This charming space shooter is all about frantic, fast-paced dog fighting, firing rockets and lasers, and exploring enemy bases and planets as you complete quests and find out more about what you’re actually doing. Controls, too, work nicely and while, yes, you can use a gamepad with this, personally mouse and keyboard is the best option here. Allowing you a level of precision aiming that you just can’t get with a controller.

Everspace 2 does exactly what it says on the tin.

Everspace 2 does have some quiet, not so engaging moments, but this is a proud-in-your-face arcade-style space shooter that looks absolutely spectacular and should be on the radar of any wannabe space jockey.