EVERSPACE
Gameplay 9
Graphics 9
Sound 9

Everspace might not have millions of systems to explore or an open world galaxy of possibilities, but it does have action-packed dogfights, procedurally-generated levels, roguelike elements and stellar visuals. The end result is a game that is highly addictive and offers buckets of replay value. Like all roguelike titles it can feel like a grind at times, but with three very different ships and plenty of perks to upgrade, each new run is very entertaining. If you are a fan of pretty visuals, addictive gameplay and plenty of action, then you don’t want to miss out on Everspace.

Gameplay: Very polished and highly addictive.

Graphics: Space has never looked more spectacular.

Sound: Decent voice acting, great sound effects and the soundtrack isn’t half bad either

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EVERSPACE

Developer: ROCKFISH Games  | Publisher: ROCKFISH Games  | Release Date: 2017 | Genre: Action / Indie | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

Everspace opens with your character finding himself cruising through space without really knowing who he is and where he came from. He only has vague memories of being in the employment of the Colonial Fleet and leaving on less than friendly terms, but the rest is a blank. The Human Interface Virtual Entity that is installed in his craft can’t shed much light on the situation either, but at least the AI makes for an interesting companion in the cold depths of space. As you make your way through one sector of space after the other memories start flooding back and you not only discover who you are, but also what might await you at your eventual destination. The problem is, the odds of you surviving your mission is practically zero. It is a good thing then that death doesn’t have to be the end and each failure actually brings you closer to success.

Everspace is a single player space shooter with the emphasis firmly on action and gameplay that is steeped in roguelike elements. Taking a genre that is traditionally tied to dingy dungeons and letting it loose in space works surprisingly well and it doesn’t take long to become caught up in an addictive cycle of shooting, looting and crafting, before repeating it all when you inevitably bit off more than you can chew during a dogfight. Dying means losing losing all your resources and having to restart from the very first sector, which could easily have been very frustrating if it wasn’t for the fact that you are allowed to keep your credits. These credits can then be spent on perks, which makes the next run just a little bit easier. This persistent progression is what kept is coming back to the game again and again, and what took the sting out of every failure.

The game starts you off with access to a single ship, but there are two additional ones available once you are able to scrape together the credits needed to purchase them. All credits have to be spent before you start a new run, or they are lost, which means you need to gather enough in one run to buy a new ship. Initially this seems a little daunting as the ships cost 10,000 credits each, but after boosting some of your other stats, it becomes a little more doable. There are also three difficulty levels available and if you really struggle you can try an “Easy” run, but in exchange for this the game will also reduce the amount of credits you’ll earn. On the other hand, you can play the game on “Hard” if you want to earn more credits, but you had better go in prepared as the enemies will be numerous and merciless. Finally, for players who really want to test their skills, there is a “Hardcore” mode with permadeath available, which feels like a whole new game.

The gameplay in Everspace is quite straightforward and sees you flying through space and collecting resources while terminating any enemies that stand in your way. You simply need to travel through the warp points on each level until you reach the jump gate at the end of the sector and move on to the next. After each warp you are free to choose which path you’ll take through the sector, with some zones being harder than others or home to natural hazards like black holes. While using a warp point is as easy as pointing your ship at it and waiting for your engines to charge too a hundred percent, you might want to take your time and explore your surroundings a bit first. If you don’t, you’ll miss out on all the resources, such as ore, gas, junk, plasma and crystals that might be dotted around. Collecting or mining these resources are essential to not only repair your ship and systems, but also for crafting new equipment or upgrading your existing stuff. In addition, warping to each new sector takes fuel and if you run out the consequences can be dire. While fuel can sometimes be mined, it is usually quicker to grab it from the smoldering wreckage of defeated enemies. Enemies also have a tendency to drop currency, resources and other loot, so it is definitely not a good idea to shy away from combat. You can risk jumping to another sector if you don’t have enough fuel and there are really nothing to be found around you, but doing so comes with the risk of damaging important ship systems or even blowing up outright.

Games that are set in space tend to look quite spectacular, but Everspace takes it to a whole new level. The visuals are incredibly detailed and anyone who thinks space looks dark and dull is in for a surprise. Each new zone offers new visual treats like solar storms, nebulae, asteroid fields, massive planets, black holes, ship wreckage and much, much more. There were times when we warped into a new sector and just sat silently staring at our surroundings in amazement while savoring the calm before the next dogfight. The game can be viewed in third person or from the cockpit and both look great. Viewing the game in third person reveals more of your surroundings and enable you to savor the details on your ship and the way it shows visible damage when you take a beating. On the other hand, the cockpit view is more immersive and brings you closer to the action. Each zone has invisible boundaries, so you can’t go off exploring the galaxy, but there are usually enough interesting things around you to gawk at while scavenging for resources.

Your primary opposition in Everspace comes in the form of outlaws as well as an alien race, called the Okkar. Initially your enemies are merely a nuisance, but the further you progress the more numerous they become and it’s not long before larger ships start making an appearance as well. In addition to the generic foes, you’ll also occasionally run into characters who are tied to the story and who will put up a bigger fight. In addition to friends and foes, most sectors are also filled with G&B Corp ships that are guarded by their mercenaries. While they are neutral and content to continue with their mining operations, they do make for tempting targets when you are low on fuel or resources. If you do decide to loot them you can expect violent retaliation, so you had better make sure it is worth the risk before making new enemies.

Everspace doesn’t just look and play great, but also sounds awesome. While you cannot talk to common enemies, the story scenes are fully voiced as are the major characters. Likewise, the game features plenty of atmospheric sound effects and once the lasers and missiles start flying all over the place you’ll feel like you are in your own action movie. The audio is further complemented by a great soundtrack that has tunes ranging from the mellow and moody to music that will get your adrenaline pumping during combat. In an unusual twist for a space game, Everspace works great with keyboard and mouse controls. Despite the 6DOF controls, anyone who has ever played a first person shooter will feel right at home with Everspace. It can feel a little overwhelming at first as you have access to primary and secondary weapons, drones, turrets, and various other goodies, but after a few runs it all clicks into place.

There is a lot more than can be said about Everspace, but suffice to say it is one hell of a game. Even after uncovering the whole story there are still plenty of reasons to come back to the game and upgrading your ships is extremely addictive. Some players might be annoyed by the fact that you have to restart from sector one each time, but the persistent progression lessons the sting a little bit. Due to the roguelike nature of the game and the procedurally-generated levels, Everspace can also feel like a bit of a grind at times, but this is par for the course when it comes to the genre. No matter how far you get only to bite the dust, this is the type of game where you’ll be rushing back in for another go once you’ve spent all your credits on perks. It is a game that kept us engrossed for hours and definitely a title that belongs in the library of any self respecting fan of space games or the roguelike genre.

System Requirements

  • OS: 32/64-bit Windows 7 / 8.1 / 10
  • Processor: Intel CPU Core i3
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Nvidia GTX 480 / AMD Radeon HD 5870
  • DirectX: Version 10
  • Storage: 8 GB available space
  • OS: 32/64-bit Windows 7 / 8.1 / 10
  • Processor: Intel CPU Core i5
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 770 / AMD Radeon R9 280X
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Storage: 8 GB available space
  • OS: El Capitan
  • Processor: Intel CPU Core i3
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Nvidia GTX 480 / AMD Radeon HD 5870
  • Storage: 8 GB available space
  • OS: El Capitan
  • Processor: Intel CPU Core i5
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 770 / AMD Radeon R9 280X
  • Storage: 8 GB available space

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