Independent AA studio Rockfish Games is releasing the last major Early Access update of Everspace 2 on Steam, GOG and soon on the Microsoft Store. The update, dubbed Ancient Rifts, features a preview of the endgame, long-awaited legendary items, new missions, a major level scaling overhaul based on community feedback, and much more.

The Ancient Rifts update includes the Everspace 2019 endgame content promised in the 2 Kickstarter campaign, unlocked as a stretch goal by around 8.000 backers.

Everspace 2: Promise kept

Similar to the first part of Everspace, where players could increase the difficulty for each run and choose handicaps between sectors in hardcore mode, now they can increase the madness before opening a rift and choosing a portal with different modifiers, to define your individual challenge. Of course, bigger risks also come with bigger rewards, like a higher chance of legendary items and better loot overall.

As a challenging endgame activity in a fast-paced space shooter, the development team wanted players to jump straight into battle with a streamlined build and turn their enemies to stardust, rather than camping behind an asteroid and shooting target after target from a safe distance turn others off. Therefore, in order not to be thrown out of the Rift, pilots in Ancient Rifts must maintain their resolve by rapidly destroying opponents, while at the same time not losing all integrity of their own ship's hull.

Although not all new content from Rockfish Games has been integrated into the game yet, daring pilots can look forward to many exciting missions in the Ancient Rifts update, including revised races, new side missions in Union and the Khaït Nebula, new jobs and distress signals, and more Puzzles and visual improvements.

"Huge addition to Everspace 2"

"Ancient Rifts is a tremendous addition to Everspace 2 and showcases the incredible depth and breadth of what we believe to be the best space action game to come out in 2023," said Michael Schade, CEO and co-founder of Rockfish Games. “With Ancient Rifts, we want to bring back the gritty mechanics, challenges, and 'just one more run' feel of the first everspace that our space game fans love. We can't wait for the day that Everspace 2 v1.0 will be released, with a unique blend of high-plasma action, deep space exploration and an immersive campaign!”

Of course, Everspace 2 is all about spaceships, with which players can not only express themselves individually, but also live out their playstyle individually. As a result, Rockfish has added more model variants, enemies, and new features. The Bomber's new wing set makes it a Titan, and the Gunship has a new Dominator wing set. There are also two new Outlaw units: Corsair and Tormentor. A new device called the front shield generator also provides more variety in the game and has three modes: Avenger reflects shots back at attackers, All Day converts blocked damage into weapon energy and Attention, left! provides a smaller shield that automatically targets the closest enemy facing the player.

The Rockfish team has also addressed community criticism that some pilots were dissatisfied with the basic level scaling, especially early in the game. It wasn't easy to find a good balance for those players who always want a tough challenge and valuable loot, while also satisfying those players who want to feel consistently superior. The new system does exactly that thanks to a sophisticated functionality.

Instead of enemies constantly leveling up with players within a certain level range per star system, as before, their level will be linked to the progression of the game world. Players are now even able to overtake their enemies in the level to a certain extent. When certain conditions are met, previous game areas are then upgraded to offer a new challenge and valuable loot, while the whole thing is even staged as a story event.

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