RockFish Games, developer of the fast-paced action, space sim EverSpace, is hard at work on the follow up to their critically acclaimed shooter. They recently sent along a prototype build of Everspace 2 to give Gamespace some hands-on time with their latest title. Although the game is still a ways off from releasing its already shaping up to be an amazing ride. So grab that coffee, kick back and enjoy this early look at EverSpace 2. Please note that this is a prototype build and as such everything here is subject to change, explode in a blaze of glory or simply not make the final cut.
Eye Candy With Attitude
Following up on the success of EVERSPACE, the Prototype really spends most of its time demonstrating the areas that the team has improved since their first title. Visuals, combat, controls, navigation, inventory management, have all been refined and cleaned up. In some ways, it feels much like its predecessor mechanically albeit cleaner and smoother to play. However, don’t take this to mean that EVERSPACE 2 is a copy + paste of the original. Far from it.
Beginning with the visuals I have to say that the game looks gorgeous. Thankfully with the Freeze Action option is once again available, I was able to spend way more time than I needed to taking screenshot after screenshot. Everything from Lazer fire to solar lens flairs looks amazing against the vast darkness of space.
The sectors themselves feel alive and full (even for a prototype build) with factions going about their daily business, pirates doing their ‘piratey’ things and me right in the middle following the old adage, ‘if it’s red it’s dead’. Each sector felt explorable with hidden caverns and derelict space stations to investigate; something that I find lacking in most modern Space games. Each also brought with it a host of new things to shoot and loot. Interestingly I found myself lingering much longer in each sector than I did in the first game, looking for every last item, enemy and undiscovered piece of rock.
A Dogfight For The Ages
Combat is a delight and at this point really feels like a refinement of EVERSPACE. Much like its predecessor, EVERSPACE 2 is concerned with creating an excellent dogfighting experience. The game excels at creating those perfect shot moments, be it that last rocket to finish off an enemy, bomb deployment as you’re being pursued through a cavernous asteroid, or leading a ship at just the right place to quickly destroy it. All of these moments come together to create a solid and flowing combat experience.
The prototype offered me three ships to work with, each with their own strengths, weaknesses, and playstyle. Every ship had a unique look and feel, playing differently during combat. If these three are anything to go off of players will really be able to tailor the gameplay experience to their playstyle.
EVERSPACE 2 supports both keyboard/mouse and controller; the latter being my preferred method. I appreciated the ability to map each action to the controller allowing me to completely remap actions to better fit my playstyle. Controls, both controller and KB/M, feel tight and responsive, which simply adds to the already superb combat and maneuvering during dogfights.
The Devil Is In The Details
I wanted to take a moment to highlight a seemingly small but, to me at least, a vastly superior feature to the predecessor. Sector navigation has seen a huge overhaul. What used to be a map screen with a little indicator showing you a few available paths of navigation has been scrapped. In its place is a much more open, and visually appealing navigation system. Holding down ‘Y’ (on the controller) allows you to activate the jump drive and begins the process of navigating sectors.
This essentially kicks you to warp speed (or lightspeed depending on your sci-fi allegiance) and allows you to point your cursor at various sectors. Once you have one targeted holding ‘A’ will set you to autopilot and you’ll begin your journey to that sector. I love two things about this system. First, it feels much more open, is visually a treat to experience and it helps keep you emersed in the experience( I know that’s three things but I don’t math well).
The second thing is that at any point you can hit the ‘X’ button and drop out of warp/light speed and engage in combat or rescue missions that are picked up by your scanners while traveling. It really adds to the feeling of this universe being alive and was honestly one of the best improvements I noted during my tests.
My experience with the EVERSPACE 2 Prototype has been overwhelmingly positive. As much as I love the first one, I cannot wait to spend some serious time in its successor. Everything from the combat to visuals is clean, crisp, and one heck of a ride to experience. Although there isn’t an official release date as of the time of writing, keep an eye out right here at gamespace for updates on EVERSPACE 2 and all your other gaming news.