Space flight sims have been making a comeback in recent years and with that developers are coming up with different spins on the genre to stand out from the crowd. Everspace from Rockfish Games takes an arcade style space shooter and adds elements of Roguelikes to give players a unique experience every time they play.
For me, what immediately comes to mind when playing is that it is what I’d imagine FTL would be like if the game actually sat you inside the cockpit of your ship. Progression feels very much like that too with players having to travel through a number of regions before reaching a jump gate that sends them off to the next sector.
Everspace‘s ability to generate a new path for you to travel each time you start again will keep players guessing and should add a degree of replay value. Though it must be said that replaying the game is a key part of the game’s mechanics – each death leads you to accruing more knowledge and loot that can be put to use in the subsequent turn. Keeping players interested is important for the game’s long term success.
The video below gives you a quick taste of what to expect when travelling between regions. The actual travel sequence is very pretty to look at but interjectng it with the map does throw out the impact it has on players.
The default controls use the left stick handling lateral movement and the right pitch which might be familiar to Battlefield players but is not so great for those used to games such as Elite Dangerous which has them swapped around.
Thankfully an alternate scheme is available in the settings (thanks Grocs!) which did exactly what I needed and made the game far more enjoyable for me. If you’re in the preview period (one hour) make sure to try both out early on to make sure you are using the scheme best suited to your play style.
Visually the game is pretty awesome with some impressive areas that look inspired by sci-fi art and everything moves smoothly despite the amount of objects on screen. Some of the larger vessels, asteroids and stations really help highlight the scale as you can even fly through the superstructure of some.
Audio includes voice overs from your character and the ship’s computer (?) and the game seems self aware with some humourous comments occasionally geared towards the game’s own mechanics which I thought was a fun touch.
Dying is something that will happen to you often as you get a grasp of what you need to do but it isn’t without its own rewards as you slowly build up your experience and unlock perks (ability upgrades) and blueprints (for crafting gear) to improve your chances in the next attempt. You also get reminded of the number of failures you’ve had via a counter which helps to balance out the good and bad and could be a fair way for measuring your success with friends.
An hour for the preview doesn’t seem to be enough with Everspace – I want to keep trying again to see how much further I get. The arcade stylings can make this a fun distraction for players who need their space battles in short doses. The developers have also promised more variety in the final version with additional ships, enemies and environments that will further bolster the replay value. It’ll be really interesting to see how it turns out.
One thing to note: if you purchase the Xbox One version if the game, it will switch to Xbox Play Anywhere once the game exits the preview program meaning you’ll also receive the Windows 10 version free of charge.
Everspace is available now in preview on both Xbox One and PC. Impressions are from the Xbox One version.