Everspace 2 is one of the most impressive Early Access games I’ve ever seen. It’s polished, it’s fun, and it’s somehow scratching itches for both a new Rogue Squadron and Diablo. The only clue that it’s not actually finished yet is the fact that I know the story is going to cut off at some point well before its intended climax.
Everspace 2 keeps the simple arcadey flight controls from the previous game, but expands everything else. Instead of the procedurally generated, roguelike-style stages of the first game, Everspace 2 sets you free to explore massive, handcrafted levels spread out across a series of star systems. And it’s underpinned by a classic gameplay loop: kill enemies, get new weapons and ship components, kill tougher enemies.
In 2015, developer Rockfish Games wanted to move beyond its mobile roots to create a space combat game with a triple-A publisher, but things didn’t quite work out. “They pulled the plug,” studio co-founder and CEO Michael Schade tells us, “we suppose, because of No Man’s Sky. The whole space combat thing became too competitive, so we had to start all over again.”