- ROCKFISH Games
- ROCKFISH Games
- FPS, Third-Person Shooter
- Single Player
- PC, Xbox One
- Steam or Xbox Live
I’m in two minds about Everspace. On the one hand, it’s a good looking rogue-like space shooter that plays well. On the other hand, I never really feel compelled to play it.
In some ways, Everspace reminds me of FTL, the modern poster child for rogue-like space games. I would best describe it as a mix of Elite Dangerous and FTL with a dash of permadeath and a heavy reliance on procedurally generated maps.
The gameplay mostly consists of arcade-style space combat, with some brief moments of calm where you can explore the current map for much-needed resources. The dog-fighting is pretty good, though it does lack some depth. Your ship is equipped with a primary and secondary weapon, along with some different modules to help out with your flight through alien territory.
One of the coolest elements of Everspace’s combat systems is that particular parts of your ship can be damaged, which forces you to adapt and play the game differently depending on which part of your ship is busted. This forces you to prioritise which part of your ship to repair when you acquire the healing nanobot resource. Piloting your ship feels good. The controls are responsive and it’s easy to pull off some crazy looking maneuvers while evading enemy ships.
There isn’t much of a story pushing you forward. You are a clone with no prior knowledge of who you are or why you’re doing what you do. Everspace reveals the story as you play through short voice-over snippets and comic book-like cinematics which are both of high quality, but not particularly engaging.
The game world is built up with some backstory that’s also revealed in the same way. Simply put, you’re flying through the aftermath of a war between humanity and reptilian aliens called the Okkar. They also happen to have the annoying tendency to show up in each map of the game whenever you’re busy exploring for just a bit too long.
The game’s resource system is somewhat limited. There are a few different types of resources, but fuel is the only one that ever feels important. The rest serve a specific purpose such as mid-flight upgrades or to repair any damage done to your ship, but they never quite manage to match the value or scarcity of fuel. Salvaging isn’t particularly satisfying since it involves shooting at rocks and containers and flying through the debris to collect whatever it is you were looking for
The maps are linked via a star map that is reminiscent of that found in FTL. This allows you to pick your path through each sector. There are a finite number of sectors, with each map in a sector being procedurally generated. This ensures that no two runs are ever the same, which is a good thing considering how many times you’ll be restarting.
Everspace is unforgiving at first, with death around every corner, but it gets easier as you upgrade your ship. You get to keep all the credits you make in a run, but you have to spend all of it before you start your next one. The issue with this incremental upgrade system is that most upgrades don’t really feel like they make much of a difference. It isn’t possible to hoard your money between runs and do a massive upgrade spree after you’ve collected enough.
Rockfish Games have made a gorgeous game, but you don’t get much time to slow down and admire the views. Everspace is primarily a combat-focussed game and there isn’t much else to do besides that. It would’ve been awesome if there were alternatives to combat as options for making it through each sector. This results in a game that’s easy to pick up and play, but one that failed to hook me for hours on end.
Ultimately, a review always comes down to a matter of taste – Everspace is a good game, but it’s a good game that I didn’t really enjoy that much. That’s not to say that you won’t enjoy losing countless hours to it, your best bet would be to watch a bunch of videos and see if the gameplay appeals to you.
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