Everspace 2 review

by on April 4, 2023
Release Date

April 4, 2023


I’ll admit before I start that the first Everspace title passed me by. I’ve not been gaming on PC for many years after a decade-long break from the platform, and I just never got around to it. By all accounts it’s a popular title, but one that indie developer ROCKFISH Games is keen to improve on in the sequel. Everspace 2 is bigger, brighter, bolder, ditching the roguelite template to focus on the last remaining clone pilot, Adam Roslin. Die now, and they can’t just 3D print a new meat wagon. It’s back to the loading screen with you.

More than that, though, Everspace 2 is a more story-driven campaign. It’s a lot of things, actually. It’s a looter shooter, too, only in spaceships. And it’s a dogfighting game that sees you battle over different terrain, on different worlds and moons across the galaxy.

It begins with protagonist Adam undertaking a dangerous job with his friend Ben. They’re to escort a mining operation into Outlaw-controlled space, something which goes almost immediately arse-up. The result is a badly wounded Ben and Adam incarcerated by his former masters, led by a guy who appears to be cosplaying a Destiny Hunter with a narc on. Thrown into a cell with a rebel pilot named Dax, Adam is soon escaping along with a still-injured Ben and his new ally.

Everspace 2 review

Bunkering down in Dax’s abandoned space station, it soon becomes clear that there’s much more to Adam’s fellow escapee than meets the eye. His base is in disrepair and his former team are dead or scattered, but he might be Adam’s only shot at getting out of the DMZ and living a quiet life somewhere without fear of execution or imprisonment.

From this base you’ll head out into the stars on recon missions, scavenging runs, daring heists and desperate dogfights. You can go more or less wherever you want thanks to your jump-drive, but if you want to cross systems you’ll need to activate huge Jump-gates. There’s no shortage of activities out in the DMZ either, from routing Outlaws to responding to distress calls, solving mini environmental puzzles, or just looting everything that floats past you. The devs cite Diablo as an inspiration and it’s easy to see why. Loot is everywhere, allowing you to refit your ship (or ships) on the fly with new cannons, armour plating, booster engines, shields, scanners and tractor beams. Different upgrades can afford benefits like increased shields when you boost, or auto-repair Modules, and powerful devices can be fitted that you can upgrade each time you gain an XP level.

Everspace 2 review

You can also unlock cosmetics to modify your bird, or hoard trade goods to sell in whichever system has the highest demand. Just being out among the stars is equally thrilling and relaxing, thanks in no small part to how Adam’s ship feels to fly. While I initially struggled with the controls on a gamepad, and mouse and keyboard proved just a bit too unintuitive for my hands, I soon got the hang of flying and fighting. I’m not a big fan of the barrel roll requiring the right stick to be pressed in, as it just feels so cumbersome to use that I rarely even tried. Adjusting the button mapping proved awkward, too, as Everspace uses all of the buttons already, many in combo with others.

As you progress through the story, Adam will meet and recruit new characters, all of whom offer new upgrades and perks such as enhanced tractor beams or new weapons and abilities. The idea of entire builds for spacecraft isn’t something that’s been explored much, and it makes Everspace 2 feel fresh and original despite the core concept being fairly straightforward. It helps that it’s all just so likable, too. Adam is a bit reckless and Dax is a bit surly, but other characters you meet play off against them wonderfully.

Most places you go to have stories, the characters there have personalities to either work or clash with, which makes the universe feel like a real place. People have struggles here, and they need a hero, whether you’re ready to be one or not. The time spent in early access has allowed ROCKFISH to develop a huge, immersive galaxy to explore and contend with that never feels anything less than brimming with possibility.


That being said, it’s not the best looking space fighter going. A couple of years ago a game called Chorus emerged that was ultimately a little shallow, but looked absolutely stunning. Everspace 2 isn’t quite as awe-inspiring, the vastness of space presented as a wasteland to scavenge and tame rather than a work of art to be gawped at, but it works perfectly in the context of this universe. In terms of the controls, Star Wars: Squadrons is still my favourite in recent years, but once you have the hang of movement it becomes incredibly smooth. Flight fans can also use peripherals like the HOTAS flightstick for a more authentic experience.

Everspace 2 is just a lot of fun. It presents you with a great big galaxy to unlock and explore, a ton of customisation options, a smorgasbord of activities to indulge in, or the option to just fly around and see what kind of mischief you can get into. Its move away from the Roguelite template hasn’t harmed it at all, and there’s so much here to get stuck into that you’ll lose hours just exploring and playing hero. An absolute blast.


Decent story
Ship customisation is great
Deep progression system
Loads to do


Controls could be more intuitive
Occasional camera issues

Editor Rating
Our Score


In Short

Everspace 2 presents a whole galaxy to unlock and explore, or the ability to just fly around and cause mischief. Either is great fun.