Roguelikes might be enjoying their moment in the sun in recent years (just ask Hades, our Game of the Year for 2020), but Everspace 2 shows that procedural generation isn’t the only way forward. The original Everspace is a cool space fighter roguelike, but the sequel has changed course toward a more traditional action-RPG style, and its series of missions across an open region of space feel a lot more in the vein of Freelancer or Rebel Galaxy Outlaw as a result. But it holds onto its free movement system, which makes its combat stand out from other space shooters in style. There’s already a fair amount of it to explore at its early access launch, and it keeps things interesting by mixing in some puzzle-solving to break up the flashy dogfights.
The story that’s here is a fairly strong start: it picks up our clone pilot from the first game, except with the interesting twist that this time we’re on his last life: if he dies now he’s dead for good. So far not much is made of the fact that the galaxy hates clones now and most who learn his true identity will shun him, but it