Everspace is a futuristic first or third person space shooter that comes from ROCKFISH Games, released on the 25th May. It is a single player rogue space game which is both stunning visually and super challenging for players in terms of gameplay, as well as the choices they make in game. An obvious comparison for Everspace is No Man’s Sky, which is outperformed by Everspace notably by its fast-paced combat.
The story begins with your character who has just escaped an unknown enemy after a dispute. You are told you are “standing in the way of their plans” and once you escape you want answers. This is told to you via comic style cut scenes. In order to get those answers, the player must travel through seven sectors in one go successfully, without dying where between sectors more of the story is revealed. Your ship has a jump drive which lets you jump between sectors. The story in this respect is revealed to the player slowly in stages which is slightly confusing but is certainly an incentive to delve further to know more.
A strong part of the game is its intense action gameplay and frequent dogfights between yourself and enemy ships. Your ship has a variety of weapons in order to help you successfully defeat enemies you encounter with primary/secondary weapons, devices you can activate to help your combat and consumables. Your weapons also serve as your means of gathering resources from enemy ships, wreckages, asteroids or trade ships. Your ship itself can be damaged and repairing it is incredibly important if you want to survive which proves difficult even on easy as resources are pretty scarce. As a result, you will die… many times.
After dying though, you can use what resources and notably credits (money) you acquired in your last run to upgrade your ship. This is incredibly important as in order to progress into further sectors your ship must be upgraded. Upgrade choices allow the player to choose their own style of fighting which might be useful for certain combat situations, but that said, choosing upgrades is a little confusing due to the amount there are to choose from. Each time I did die, I also found myself wanting to get straight back into the action rather than spending too much time upgrading my ship, so I’d select all I could afford; I think I also wanted to get straight back into the game due to the annoying lift like music on the ship menu.
Visually the game is also very impressive. Each sector has a variety of different planets that are visible from ice wastes and volcanic surfaces to asteroid belts and stars. The player unfortunately however, cannot go down to these planets, but as the game is not about exploration this shouldn’t be expected. The all-round visuals including explosions of enemy ships provide satisfying endings to combat.
This said, I do think the game may not be for everyone. This is mainly due to the difficulty and its arguably steep learning curve. It will take a good number of attempts to complete the game which is possibly well into double figures. The difference between easy and normal in itself is quite significant, let alone hard and lack of guidance on how to actually get resources is frustrating. It is not for the easily frustrated and playing on easy rewards you with less credits rather than hard, making it harder to upgrade your ship. Although there are different weapons the player can choose from and upgrades, the fighting feels very similar and replayability would be a concern due to lacking distinct gameplay variety. There is only so much holding down of a trigger to destroy enemy ships or flying through empty space one can do for an amount of time before it becomes particularly repetitive.
Overall however, if you like space, flying games with lots of aerial dog fighting, explosions and a challenge, Everspace is one for you. It’s a game that has lots of combat elements to explore and you’ll certainly get a lot of hours of gameplay from it before completion. In particular the combat and visuals are what make this game good, and with Everspace, ROCKFISH games have delivered a solid game for its genre.