As I come out of warp into open space I can see ship debris and celestial objects become clear. My HUD starts to dance with objects near me. Three orange objects and two red. Immediately I go for the red targets. After finishing them off, I turn on the orange objects. My HUD notifies me that there is a frigate and two fighters. I strike only to be destroyed with the AI notifying me of how stupid my assault was. That was my first death of many to come.
EVERSPACE is intriguing and fast paced. It is a single-player outer space rogue-like. Like any rogue-like the levels, or in this case sectors, are procedurally generated. At first I believed a couple of the levels to have been the same until I looked closer. Every time I warped into a new sector, I would spend a moment to stare in awe at to the beauty of the area. It is comparable in beauty to the likes of EVE and Star Citizen. Even the cockpit is done in immaculate detail.
As with every rogue-like, death happens in this game, a lot. One wrong turn into an enemy missile or, in my case many times, playing chicken and losing, death happens. This game makes death beneficial though. Dying allows you to upgrade your ship buy spending the cash you collected on your last run to buy perks. These perks are extremely helpful as they allow you to have more hitpoints, collect more money, have more weapons at your disposal, and so on. You come out of dogfights less damaged and feel like progress is being made.
The vastness of every sector in EVERSPACE is amazing. There is so much to explore and learn about this universe. As you fly around the ruins of capital ships and still moving freighters, a lore begins to unfold telling of a horrible war that decimated two once mighty galactic empires.
Unfortunately, you can’t always take your time in a sector to learn more. Piss off the NPC enough and reinforcements that hit harder and fly faster start warping in. The game even tells you that sometimes it’s better to run than stay and fight.
Image Source – YouTube
EVERSPACE controls fairly well. As your ship gets better, the response time gets better. Your ships stats determine how fast you go horizontally, vertically, strafe, and rotate. Movement feels like you have an actual engine and not just some magic box that upgrades speed just because you moved a bar around. My biggest complaint in this department is there is no cruise control and as someone who drives manual, I’m fine without it.
Now that I’m done praising the game, I have to let my complaints be known even if they are minor.
After you destroy an enemy, the loot just goes flying about. Yes we are in space, but after fighting a squad of five enemies for the hundredth time, it feels a bit laborious to go and fly into the loot to collect it. An AOE collection field would be nice.
Even on easy mode the enemy still shreds you to pieces fairly quickly. The main repair system is to use nanobots and sadly those are found far and few between. Even with a few upgrades to how much hull the nanobots repair still doesn’t show for much. I would say that if they were dropped with more frequency it would even things out a bit.
To quickly flesh out a section of space you use a scanning probe. Sometimes though, Outlaws pick it up and warp in. On numerous occasions I was blown up almost immediately because I didn’t see the warning that the game briefly flashes. The message appears briefly and faintly along the right side of the screen as the area gets bathed in a grid of orange. Important information like that I feel should be fairly noticeable. Not off to the side like a used gym sock.
All in all though, EVERSPACE is a fantastic game for being early access. Well polished graphics and intuitive controls. The developers at ROCKFISH Games are working on adding another ship and VR support for both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. I’m excited to see what developer has in store that they haven’t told everyone.
EVERSPACE will be releasing on PC and XBOX One.
Video courtesy of ROCKFISH Games