This is the kind of game that you can hardly ever give a full review for, simply because the game just continues to add things to its core over the course of time. For that reason, I decided to simply preview it, but also talk about the good and bad things that I found within nonetheless.
The name of the game is roguelike and EVERSPACE takes that very seriously. Very, very seriously.
EVERSPACE could be characterized as a space shooter, exploration type, kind of game. It’s hard to put a label on things anymore since every studio tries to evolve and explore out of the boundaries of the usual stuff. However, Rockfish Games’ creation is pretty much inside those boundaries, since not only have we seen a lot of space shooters lately, but the genre is so saturated that it’s hard to make something new anymore. The fact that the game is relying hard on the roguelike element is not necessarily one of the best things it could do, but it does not make it have the worst take on the genre either.
So, firing up the game, there is not all that much to see. We press start game and we go through a short tutorial, showing us how to move our ship, which is the standard kind of navigation tools you’d expect from a space shooter game, with the addition of a couple extra modules here and there. Nothing too fancy. The real fun begins once you are let to roam open space on your own. You’ll die a couple times (maybe about a dozen) but soon enough you will realize that you should not be shooting this. Or this. Or that. You should probably just speed-warp to the next location just to be safe and keep going.
Basically the game has a lot of hostile elements. If you want to be making any good money then you need to blow some things up. That is very risky though and can mean the end of you. The end of you is not really the worst of scenarios though, since as a TRUE roguelike experience, every time you die, you can spend your hard-earned (by escaping enemies) money in order to further boost your capabilities and make your next run easier. It’s like Faster Than Light only with….oh nevermind, let’s not go there again. Let’s stop comparing everything to FTL shall we?
The game is strongly reminiscent of games like Star Conflict, only very single player oriented and without much content for the most part of it. It does look very, very pretty, but soon enough you will get used to the generic looking landscapes of meteorites floating around space with no reason. The NPC models are all cool, but would be even cooler if we could ever take a closer look at them. If we do though, they will probably blow us up. Music-wise, the game does not really shine all that much either. The sound effects were ok-ish though. I always get a bit nerdy when it comes to space shooters and the fact that there is no sound in space, so let’s skip that part. The spaceship robot/tutorial thingamaboop is quite annoying at times but can definitely provide ice breaking moments in an ever so silent space game.
So going to the gameplay experience part, I have to first warn anyone reading this that I am a veteran space shooter player. I have about a thousand and more hours on Star Conflict and have extensively played other space shooters beyond the point any player should. I quite like them. When I played EVERSPACE, I felt quite at home right away and the extra buttons weren’t really all that much of an issue. I know most players get confused when they have to deal with a couple more extra buttons that activate modules and when trying to outrun foes and whatever kind of oddities are chasing after you, you barely ever think of those. I personally felt as if my modules did not really do much, neither the ones I started with, or the ones I picked up. I managed to blow up entire stations and fight off armadas of hostile ships in the first couple of runs, but I felt at all times as the weakest of links. I cannot imagine how anyone can actually play the game and kill something without being a pro player or without having died about 20 times before being able to really upgrade his/her ship a lot and go out to own dem fools.
Having said that, EVERSPACE does not really have a big selection of ships either, but again, over time, the developers are adding more and more to it. Even recently (just when I was writing this review) they released yet another update on another ship coming to the game. The content is definitely quite good for what it is, but at the same time, at the price that it is set, I find it quite crazy. Maybe crazy is a strong word, but prove me wrong if you think so. Asking for about 28 bucks on an early access title and later 30+ on a completed title that works primarily on the premise of a roguelike element is just too much for me personally. Even as a huge space shooter games fan, I know when I am buying into things that won’t live up to their value in cost. Insert No Man’s Sky controversy discussion here.
Overall, great game, very promising and definitely worth anyone’s time. If the price wasn’t that high I would be recommending it as my next go-to space shooter title, but unfortunately its currently set price makes it hard for me to do so. Look for EVERSPACE on the digital shelves of Steam and delve through the endless regions of unexplored space with your trusty spaceship.
-Konstantinos “Kelfecil” Christakis