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Everspace 2 Review (In-Progress)

Platforms: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Series S, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Mac operating systems

Developer: ROCKFISH Games

Initial release date: 2021

Genres: Shooter game, Role-playing video game, Adventure game, Indie game

Publisher: ROCKFISH Games

Series: Everspace

Engine: Unreal Engine 4

"Review Copy Provided By ROCKFISH Games"

Everspace 2, developed by German game creators Rockfish, marks a departure from its predecessor, Everspace, which debuted in 2017. Ditching the roguelike elements that made its predecessor distinctive, Everspace 2 veers towards a more conventional design. Death, instead of being a pivotal part of the gameplay loop, now merely prompts a reload of the last checkpoint. This alteration allows players a redo without punishing them too harshly, fostering a more forgiving gaming atmosphere. The game's structure borrows from Rockfish's past work, namely the Galaxy on Fire series. These influences manifest through the inclusion of third-person space shooting, interstellar travel, combat, trading, and the appearance of enigmatic portals. A testament to the diligent efforts of its developers, Everspace 2 captivates with its impressive visuals, meticulous details, and polished presentation. The technical aspect of the game shines, incorporating features such as support for DLSS 2.0 and compatibility with various flight sticks and HOTAS controllers. Despite the game's high-quality graphics and complex mechanics, the system requirements remain fairly moderate, appealing to a broad spectrum of players. However, the game is yet to optimize for Steam Deck, a task currently lower on the developers' priority list.

Everspace 2 offers a treasure trove of loot, which players can procure through a variety of means including combating pirates, unlocking cargo containers, or by scouring floating debris. In-game currency is crucial for players wishing to expand their arsenal of ships and upgrades, purchasable from ship dealers. These upgrades vary from new weaponry, secondary attacks, to modifications that elevate the damage output, incapacitate shields, or provide bonus experience points.

The game cleverly integrates a leveling system that influences the strength of adversaries and the usability of equipment, thus keeping the players on their toes. Complementing this is a crafting system that allows for the removal of level caps on gear, making progression more dynamic. Everspace 2 does not skimp on diversity either, boasting arcade-style ship handling with full 3D maneuverability. This feature is a boon during intense combat situations and complex navigation tasks. Despite being single-player, Everspace 2 remains rich in content. It offers an array of intriguing locales, puzzles, and experiences waiting to be discovered by the player. These experiences span from manipulating debris and mechanisms to exploring asteroid caverns that mimic the feel of underwater environments. It's in these instances where the game's 3D movement truly excels, adding layers of excitement and challenge to the gameplay.

Everspace 2 demonstrates a mastery of space-adventure game design, shining brightly in its genre. Although space-themed games have seen less representation of late, Everspace 2 manages to reclaim its spot with a focus on combat and an approachable gameplay style. The game appeals to a wide range of players, offering a balance that caters to casual gamers seeking a quick thrill and more dedicated players wanting to immerse themselves in extended play sessions.

To add to its allure, Everspace 2 features numerous side missions that promise an engaging loot-and-shoot space exploration experience that could extend to as much as 90 hours. With its blend of immersive gameplay, stunning visuals, and captivating content, Everspace 2 establishes itself as an excellent choice in its genre.

Everspace 2 offers an enthralling space adventure defined by stunning visuals, intriguing gameplay, and a treasure trove of loot. With a forgiving design where death merely reloads the last checkpoint, it beckons players to a vast cosmos of third-person space shooting, interstellar travel, and enigmatic puzzles. The game stands out with its immersive leveling and crafting systems, thrilling 3D maneuverability, and an array of upgradeable spaceships. While Everspace 2 is a single-player journey, it promises up to 90 hours of captivating space exploration, making it a stellar choice for both casual thrill-seekers and dedicated gamers. Even as space-themed games become less prevalent, Everspace 2 revives the genre with its intense combat, accessible gameplay, and wealth of side missions.

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