I have not seen a game in recent memory that had a feeling of being in an N64 era hub world in which players used to travel from the first world to the next. Where you complete one set of missions, and you are sent right back to walk to the next set. Sure, if I look deep enough, I could find such a title, but as of right now, I excited to see Everspace 2 get to something close enough.
In the opening area of the demo, I first set out to fire upon the first set of enemies twirling around a small output. The hovering reticle was a nice visual for aiming and piloting my spaceship. Still, in practice, I never got used to its floaty nature that seemed slow to respond to my mouse inputs despite messing around to the settings. However, when switching to an Xbox One controller felt much better to my preference, so I’m glad to see a developer consider multiple inputs.
Once I got used to it, the controls players will have at their disposal is a nice touch. Free movement in the x, y, and z-axis while not launching at high speeds is exciting, and I’m wondering if it has any creative uses in combat, especially when they can happen at nearly any point while traveling through space.
While on the subject, I mentioned the hub-like world that Everspace 2 has seemed to have created. I noticed that every immediate area that player is in are like pockets of space that players feely move in. If you want to go to another pocket of space, you have to do a “hyperdrive” like action to travel between them. Of course, the player can stop whenever they want in the emptiness of space though that’s mostly to shot some tailgating ship or to turn back and speed off again, much like other titles such as No Man’s Sky.
But what Rockfish has done instead is the pockets of space are points of interest that have side missions or a nearby object that may have items that can upgrade your ship or arsenal. So similar to a hub world, players can seemingly do a few objectives then wrap into another area to continue doing more.
If this is the case, I look forward to seeing if compartmentalizing activities change the way a player can tackle this game or if Everspace still plays like other modern game design structures.
Either way, it’s refreshing to jump around space, doing dog fights in the void. With early access projected for 2020 and full release in 2021, it could be reasonable to see more optimization for keyboard controls and the odd UI twitching during hyper-speed jumps. Perhaps the ability of wrap speed into a large commandership, but I may have to keep my fingers crossed for that last bit.
Everspace 2 is currently in its last few days on Kickstarter, so if the game interests you, check out the page for info and early access dates.
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