ROCKFISH Games have now launched EVERSPACE 2 and it looks awesome! One of their original Kickstarter promises did not make it though, with Native Linux support being cancelled as they will support it with Proton instead.
Despite repeatedly mentioning a Native Linux build would come, even as recently as mid February, they decided not to go through with it. Why? They said Vulkan support in Unreal Engine 4 is "broken and incomplete" and it gave between "50% - 80%" of the performance compared with just running the Windows version in Proton. There were other issues, like VRAM leaks causing crashes. After they spoke with Epic Games, they said it's clear Unreal Engine 4 won't get fixed up with the focus now on Unreal Engine 5 and ROCKFISH don't have the time to fix up the game engine.
They shared a screenshot as a quick example showing the Native build with Vulkan, their Windows build with DXVK and the Windows build with VKD3D-Proton and the performance difference speaks for itself really:
The good news is they plan to ensure it does work well with Proton and they will continue to optimize it there. Any Kickstarter backers not happy can request a refund too which is good to see.
As for Steam Deck, dedicated optimizations for it are also still planned.
For players on other stores like GOG, it does make things more complicated, since Steam is the only store to officially support a translation layer like Proton. However, you can try with Heroic Games Launcher.
Ah and for those that never received their Steam keys... apparently they did send out keys to backers in August 2021, but like me many people seem to have never gotten them; Yes I did check my spam folder... So you can ask on the Kickstarter comment section and they will send a PM through Kickstarter with the Steam key.
As for initial impressions: it does capture the Everspace 1 feel quite well, even though it isn't a rogue-like anymore. Personally I would have preferred them sticking to the Everspace 1 game-play formula, but it seems decent enough anyway.
I get that they promised a native build. But, i guess you have to decide what is more important: a native build for Linux or proper support for the platform. Granted, you have to decide what “proper support” means, but at its basic is “make the game run well on Linux”.
The mere fact that they have a comparison of the proton vs Linux build indicates that they have been indeed working on it, and have decided that the best performance comes via proton. So, this does bird feel like they are abandoning Linux or lying or whatever. It looks like they are trying to make it work well.
My takeaway from this is that — once again — Epic Games is playing a role in the quality of Linux gaming.
Last edited by shawnsterp on 7 April 2023 at 12:30 pm UTC
But did they improve the ship's controls over the first one? Mainly using gamepad... I played on PS4 and hated the flight controls.
Quoting: dillyBut did they improve the ship's controls over the first one? Mainly using gamepad... I played on PS4 and hated the flight controls.
AFAIK no. It is a very mouse driven input style, like the old Freelancer.
Last edited by Julius on 7 April 2023 at 1:52 pm UTC
See more from me