At first glance, Everspace 2 looks like a space sim along the lines of Elite: Dangerous. But as the developers told me – and as I quickly learned after just a few minutes of playing – this is actually Diablo in space. Everspace 2 is a fast-paced game of looting and shooting played from a pilot’s seat, and even now, years from release, it’s shaping up to deliver a compelling loop of sci-fi gunplay and incremental rewards.
In contrast to the roguelike style of the first Everspace, the sequel has a crafted universe for you to explore. It’s split into discrete chunks of open space – one locale might have a mining base and some asteroids, while another features an outlaw base and mess of shipwrecks – and you can hop between these areas by simply orienting your ship at a distant point of interest and hitting the boost button. Assuming you’re not jumped by pirates or hit another random event, you’ll be at the next location after a quick fade-to-white.
The developers tell me this is partly a simple allowance for the game’s modest budget, but it also ensures that you’re able to get into the action quickly, and that’s really what the game’s about. This is more Rogue Squadron than TIE Fighter, so you won’t be redirecting shield energy or anything of that nature. You just point, lead your target a little, and shoot.