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May 2024

EverSpace 2

Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X
Genre: RPG/Action
Developer: Rockfish Games
Release Date: April 6, 2023

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'EverSpace 2' Switching To Unreal Engine 5 With Spring Update

by Rainier on Jan. 3, 2024 @ 2:00 p.m. PST

In contrast to the roguelike concept of its predecessor, EverSpace 2 is an open-world space shooter with classic RPG elements and persistent player progression, as well as a much larger number of player ships and significantly enhanced storytelling.

Set in a persistent open world, it is driven by a captivating sci-fi story that picks up shortly after the events of its predecessor, but instead of the previous roguelike game mechanics, the focus in EverSpace 2 will be on open world gameplay combined with classic RPG elements and extended storytelling. 

Thanks to the expanded perks and a brand new class-based player ship system with dozens of models, players can also fully customize their spaceship to their individual playing style with weapons, plating, and equipment, similar to classic RPG character development. Despite all the innovations, EverSpace 2 remains true to its space shooter core and presents fast-paced space action in the well-known EverSpace style.

The story of EverSpace 2 continues from its predecessor, as you continue the story of Adam Roslin, one of the surviving cloned military space pilot. The player is faced with the remnants of his past: the cloning program has been canceled, the colonial authorities have placed a bounty on him,

Players will experience Adam’s journey as he learns what it means to transition from a clone with unlimited lives, yet persistent memories, so now that dying means the ultimate death the search for the meaning of life suddenly takes on a whole new importance. Adam’s journey will be shaped through meaningful relationships with interesting companions as he discovers that life is only worth-living if there is also something worth dying for. Fate, however, has big plans and soon the player discovers what it means to evolve from a former military clone to a truly real person.

EverSpace 2 not only creates a powerful gaming experience, but also one that is visually impressive in the beautiful infinity of space where breathtaking cinematic scenery invites - encourages - exploration.

The team is getting under the hood and giving EVERSPACE 2 an engine update as a maintainability upgrade. We’re taking this time to experiment with the tools and overcome growing pains while our creative team continues work on our future expansion.

Looking at our roadmap, there’s a sizable gap between our two free major updates, and there’s a good reason for that. The Armed & Dangerous update brought all kinds of set items, gameplay tweaks, and bugfixes to EVERSPACE 2, and our next one is going to be just as big. We’ve shared that the Incursions update coming later this spring will include more gameplay tweaks and bugfixes as well as new legendary items and a new game feature. If you tuned into our 2023 End of Year Stream, you may have caught a sneak peek at some of what will be contained.

One of the main reasons that this update is taking so long is that we’re bringing EVERSPACE 2 to Unreal Engine 5, which is no small task for our small team. As part of this update, we’re also looking at some of the community-requested features and fixes set aside as they were not viable on the Unreal 4 version we were sticking to during development. Very likely, we will only be able to include a few, and things like native Linux support are currently not in the plan.

Why are we doing this? We don’t plan to use many of the amazing features such as Nanite and Lumen in EVERSPACE 2 as tests we’ve performed in-studio have shown that current solutions in-game already have better optimization, but having them available does open doors for the future. Mainly we’re looking at this as a way to help future-proof the game so we have less difficulty bringing updates and expansion content down the road. We want to be able to support EVERSPACE 2 for a long time.

Let’s get real about Unreal Engine 5! The engine is phenomenal, and many studios who embraced it early have been able to deliver fantastic visuals, but taking a significant leap between versions is breaking all kinds of things. Experienced EVERSPACE 2 pilots know just how big the game is, and that there are many, MANY systems threaded throughout that create our game. All these systems make for an incredible number of things that can go wrong when migrating to a major engine upgrade. By taking this time, we’re aiming to ensure our next major update is as smooth as possible.

Now as a bit of fun, we’ve decided to put together this blog to give you all a gamedev peek behind-the-scenes at some of the issues that popped up during our first few weeks of porting EVERSPACE 2 to Unreal Engine 5. One caveat before diving in, by no means do we want to cast shade on the engine itself by highlighting these bugs—moving versions always creates some issues.

What else is broken? We’re still finding that out! So far, we’ve seen missing and swapped sounds, quest markers moved, volumetric fog seems to be behaving differently, thruster exhaust particles don’t look quite right, enemies and loot group together incorrectly, weapon fire in cutscenes is a little over the place, weapon effects such as EMP missile trails are broken, and many, many other little issues all over the place.

The team is busy crushing bugs and prepping for the future. Though we have a lot of work to do, we’re loving all the new tools and features now at our fingertips. Hats off to Epic for creating this fantastic engine!

Lee & your dedicated ROCKFISH Games Team

EverSpace 2 is available for PC (Steam/GOG), PS5 and Xbox Series X|S for $49.99 USD / £44.99 / €49.99 / ¥6930.

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