EVERSPACE, from Rockfish Games, is a rogue like space action game where you need to fight your way through stages and sectors whilst collecting resources and creating upgrades for your ship to help you combat the ever increasing strength of enemies.
It recently hit Early Access and I’ve been spending some time getting to know it a little bit.
First things first, you can’t help but notice that EVERSPACE looks amazing and performs very well. Far too often I play Early Access games that feel way to Early Access. Performance issues, crashes, bugs all sorts… But with Everspace it already feels very polished and well done. Maybe that’s because they’ve been having closed Alpha’s and Beta’s for a little while now.
To me it this feels like how Early Access should be – features still to be implemented fully, but generally a decent game to play.
I have followed the progress of EVERSPACE for quite some time, although not in huge detail. For the most part I kind of knew what I was getting in to. Although I didn’t realise quite how similar it would be to Faster Than Light. Yea, ok, they both look completely different, but when you break it down they are both very similar. FTL is a great game though, so it’s not a bad comparison to make.
You start the game out as you might expect, in a fairly easy system with some basic tutorials given to you through an AI companion who will talk to you throughout your playthrough. Once you’re done with that you’re free to explore that area to find a few more resources or other hidden items, or you can locate the jump gate and head to the next area. Generally you will have a couple of paths to choose from and early on you won’t really know what each path will present you with, but you can eventually get upgrades that will show you more information about each point you’re jumping to. Once you’ve gone through a number of ‘stages’ you will reach the final one and move on the a new sector. With each new sector comes new challenges i.e. tougher people to blow up.
In order to progress through the stages and sectors you’ll need to gather resources like fuel, ore, credits and a whole host of other bits and bobs. These will all help you with making upgrades, repairing your ship, trading and allowing you to make your way through space!
To start with I was really struggling with the controls for the game – mainly aiming; I just couldn’t seem to get the hang of it. I tried with both a controller and on mouse and keyboard. There was just something that felt a little off about it. But I can’t quite put my finger on what. It didn’t help that at first I was kind of rushing through the first few areas which meant that I would quickly be facing off against enemies that were a lot tougher to take on.
However as time went on and after dropping the controller completely I started to get a little better with my aim and I’m now feeling a lot more comfortable with it. I guess it just takes some getting used to, so be aware of that! Staying in the starting area for a little longer also helped me a fair bit as the first enemies you face are fairly weak and easy to take on – basically they’re good target practice.
Once you do get the hang of it a bit more, the combat and general flying is very enjoyable. Chasing down foes whilst dodging in and out of asteroid fields is really good fun.
It’s pretty inevitable that you’ll die at some point – I know I died a lot. But that then means you can go back to your ships hanger and start to apply some new perks from all the credits you’ve gained on your runs. The list of upgrades is actually pretty extensive and a lot larger than I was expecting it to be. Once I started to unlock a lot more perks I did actually find that they would make a big difference in game, I was able to deal with the easier ships so much quicker and found that my survivability was greatly increased. Now that might seem like and obvious thing, but normally I don’t notice things like that in games, but for some reason it felt a lot more noticeable – I guess the fact that I was getting better at piloting helped too.
Currently there is only one ship to fly with, but they’re going to be adding in three eventually. To me three still seems like a pretty low number and I’d like there to be a few more than that. I’m interested to see how differently they all play as well as the flight controls do feel fairly arcadey – I think this is on purpose because Rockfish Games said they wanted the game to feel accessible. But with the more simple controls it might be harder to make other ships feel significantly different.
One thing that does offer some nice variation are the weapons. So far I’ve used your standard blaster style lasers, gatling guns, a shotgun like cannon, a beam like laser and a number of different missile types. each weapon is usually pretty adept at either tackling shields or hull, switching between them mid combat is something that you’ll need to be doing and thankfully it’s very simple to switch and you can have a number of options equipped at one time.
As I’ve said, for an Early Access game EVERSPACE is very impressive. Normally I would warn people who are usually wary of Early Access games that it might be void of some meaningful content. But with EVERSPACE, I think if you got in to it now, you’d be pretty happy with what the game has to offer. I’m really excited to see the game progress over the next few months or so and I think it could well be a top game!