We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

Spiritual sequel to PC classic Freelancer reveals post-launch roadmap

Underspace, a sandbox space game inspired by Freelancer with a Lovecraftian twist, plans HOTAS support and more following its Steam launch.

Underspace is a spiritual successor to beloved space game Freelancer, out now on Steam - A spaceship flies through the stars, with the shadow of a giant, tentacled creature looming in the distance.

Back before the modern era of No Man’s Sky, Starfield, Elite Dangerous, and Outer Wilds, the best space games on PC included ‘90s classics such as Star Wars: TIE Fighter and the Wing Commander series. Chris Roberts, the creator of the latter of those, would later go on to develop the massive, ambitious crowdfunded space sim Star Citizen – but before that he gave us Freelancer, a memorable narrative-driven adventure with a straightforward setup that unveils a mysterious alien threat as it progresses. Now, new Steam game Underspace has arrived as a spiritual successor to Freelancer, and following a successful initial launch its developer lays out its initial post-release update plans.

Underspace comes from a name you probably know, even if you don’t realize it. Kevin ‘Trainwiz’ Brock of developer Pastaspace Interactive previously made the beloved Skyrim mod ‘Really Useful Dragons,’ which transforms all the dragons in the Bethesda RPG into Thomas the Tank Engine trains. In its new endeavor, however, Pastaspace has created a promising new space adventure with a Lovecraftian twist that’s very much a love letter to the classic space game, packed with more than 60 ships to collect and 114 star systems to explore.

The game’s reveal trailer immediately caught my attention, with some magnificent, terrifying space creatures on show, and Brock says the first day of the game’s launch via Steam Early Access “happily met with a lot of our expectations for sales and attention,” while initial reviews are coming in at a very respectable ‘mostly positive.’ “With all the new people here and so many eyes on something that isn’t a Thomas the Tank Engine mod for once,” he writes, “let’s talk about the future.”

YouTube Thumbnail

The first month of early access updates, Brock explains, “is mostly going to be focused on bug fixes and some features that didn’t quite make it into launch.” A big focus is controls, with work being done to improve keybinds alongside the full inclusion of support for controllers and HOTAS flight sticks. “Given the speed of the game’s combat, mouse and keyboard is heavily recommended,” Brock  says, however. This shouldn’t come as too great a surprise, as it’s also the approach taken by the original Freelancer. Still, more options are always welcome.

Brock says the team is planning “to push out patches once a week at minimum starting this Friday,” but emphasizes that these will in most cases only rack up to “a couple of megabytes at most,” so you shouldn’t need to sit staring at your Steam download list when you get home from work.

Underspace is out now on Steam. It’s also on sale for 10% off until Wednesday April 17, so expect to pay just $17.99/£13.94 if you buy it now. A full early access roadmap is set to arrive in “early May,” and will include dates for “large upcoming content and feature patches,” along with details on when we can expect the remaining story quests, new customization options, and the much-anticipated multiplayer functionality.

You’ll find plenty more to explore among the best RPG games on PC, and be sure to check out our picks of the best indie games you need to play in 2024 to ensure you aren’t missing out on any hidden gems.

You can also follow us on Google News for daily PC games news, reviews, and guides, or grab our PCGN deals tracker to net yourself some bargains.