Exploring space has fueled many video game fantasies. When the ship pilot games are numerous, they mainly focus on the simulation. Everspace 2 takes the opposite view of Elite Dangerous and other Star Citizens and offers an accessible experience. By foregoing the basics of its predecessor’s rogue-like, the title Rockfish is designed to enable the first person to explore the infinity of space. Should you fall for this early access?
IMPORTANT: About early access testing
This Everspace 2 test evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of Early Access and does not constitute a final product test. This test is valid for the date of January 22nd, 2020 and must be revised during the course of the game before testing the final version.
Is it just a short step from rogue-like to exploration?
Everspace 2, announced at Gamescom 2019, surprised its world by abandoning the rogue-like in favor of a freer structure. This bet was risky because it required great freedom with the formula set by the original game. The core of the gameplay remains essentially the same and it is therefore easy to control our ship from the cockpit or from the perspective of a third person. The left stick controls the throttle, while the right is dedicated to steering and turning. The slice buttons are assigned to the Y-axis and the arms. Everything is controlled with ease and it only takes a few minutes to learn to calmly navigate between the corpses of destroyers. The same applies to shooting, which benefits from a generous aiming aid.. Several capabilities are assigned to a key combination that only works moderately on the controller. So for a tactical thrust or an IEM explosion, you have to press a front button and the directional pad at the same time, forcing you to fully release the ship’s controls.
This heart of the gameplay is placed at the service of a classic structure for which an open world has been touched over the last ten years. The pilot navigates between different space stations to accept primary and secondary targets. He therefore receives items and experience points to increase his strength, improve his base and face future threats. We could summarize the Everspace 2 experience as follows: “Explore, Shooter, Looter”. In fact, the player regularly retrieves new equipment with a variable rarity rate and can thus equip his ship with reactors or weapons of his choice. There are also regular puzzle phases that reward the player from hiding to loot. In principle, these puzzles are relatively simple and are no less pleasant to solve. We then have to plug gas leaks at a station, power a generator, follow a crash simulation to get data … The player can also dwell on the crafting system to assemble new equipment by helping each other out of plans here and received there.
If it takes on the structure of the traditional open world, then it is not strictly speaking. Here the universe is divided into closed areas of different sizes. To connect them, the player uses hyperspace, if he wants, which acts as an airlock and disguises the loading time between the different zones. This precise point is not deleterious as the distance dials themselves would impose hyperspace. Otherwise, it would take the player several years to join the various zones. We simply regret that triggering the hyper-criminal speed creates a brief exposure that disrupts the immersion. We hope that the upcoming title optimization will erase that ugly transition and make travel smoother. That danger aside, the universe of Everspace 2 is particularly pleasant to walk around. The various closed areas offer very nice panoramas. In addition, they give progress a sustainable pace. No 10-minute journeys or landings, which require approval and complex processing, are required here.
A solid experience just waiting for content
Everspace 2 is, of course, a less immersive and realistic experience than an Elite Dangerous, but its accessibility and “funnier” offering certainly make it a title of choice for gamers who are put off by the demands of space simulations. If we speak in the future, it will be because the title Rockfish is far from finished. The basics are solid, but the content is on the light side right now. The entire main quest is completed in a straight line in less than ten hours. And when several side quests are offered and a lot of random events determine the route of the player, at the applied price ($ 37.99 on Steam) it remains pretty easy. For comfort, the budding pilot can always keep an eye on the various ships available or experiment with alternative weapons. In order to acquire this sesame, however, it must necessarily go through the grinding box. These ships have different stats and abilities that can accommodate different play styles, but for now it’s only a one-person fighter. So it is impossible to pilot a large destroyer. We can customize our trusty steed, however, but this customization is limited to different paintings, at least for now.
If we are unable to comment on the entire scenario, we can confirm its effectiveness at this stage of the adventure. Without being original, the search for the Adam clone has the merit of addressing some interesting science fiction concepts. So we can draw a smile when Adam’s buddy Dax tries to explain Kayak’s interest to him, and we can appreciate the questions they ask as they discover our avatar’s previous body. However, we regret the rather poor production at the moment, which tends to coldly expose the events.
The “cutscenes” are unsightly, but the same is not true for the game phases. We talked earlier about panoramas that are highlighted by a solid technique. The visual and acoustic effects manage to effectively transcribe the dynamics of the games. In short, the reflections and rays elegantly bounce off the hull of our ship Everspace 2 makes you want to explore. So far we have only regretted a few very minor technical issues. We got frozen twice while a few more loaded areas caused the frame rate to drop, but nothing dramatic. So for an early access, the Rockfish game is honestly clean. We won’t be so excited when we hear the soundtrack in retreat, which uses and abuses the clichés of space navigation. Without being uncomfortable to the ear, the pieces of music lack a bit of grandiosity and personality.
- A pleasant and very easily accessible handling
- Effective clashes
- A classic structure that offers a rhythmic adventure
- Technically flawless (especially for early access)
- Some very nice panoramas
- A successful gender shift
– –Negative points
- Some ergonomic aberrations on the joystick (forces that force you to let go of the two sticks)
- Bad content at the time of early access, especially at the applied price
- The halftone narrative
- The loading time for each pass in hyperspace interferes with immersion
- Currently no VF
Everspace 2 is already a solid experience in space navigation. This early access is aimed primarily at players who are afraid of the austerity measures of other driving games. Its accessible maneuverability, which serves a classic but efficient progress, will seduce the budding pilot, who is left behind by the sharp simulations on the edge of the field. We can’t wait for its content to grow as its clearer structure than that of other titles in the genre makes it particularly easy to navigate. If you’ve always been interested in space exploration but worried about getting bored on No Man’s Sky or brushing up on Elite Dangerous, Everspace 2 could be for you.
January 24, 2021 at 2:10:54 pm
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