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Everspace -- A First Impression

ewhac
  • 39 months ago

I just bought Everspace last night which, as of this writing, GOG.com is offering at a 15% discount. While the game is technically still in early access, I couldn't really tell. There's enough gameplay here that I was happily blasting away before realizing roughly three hours had passed.

The game is described as a "Rogue-like," which is usually code for, "Death is permanent; every game must be started anew." And while this is technically true of Everspace, it doesn't really tell the whole story. Yes, when you're blasted into space debris, you die. Your clone then takes your place Duncan Idaho-style, and all the money you earned on the last outing can be used to make permanent upgrades to your ship, enabling you to carry more goodies, shoot harder, and take more damage. So you're not totally starting over, but incrementally improving over time.

There is also a (poorly explained) crafting interface, wherein you can use the raw materials you've scooped up from battle debris and mining asteroids to build new equipment and restock on consumables. There are also occasional trading vessels and service stations where you can buy/trade raw materials.

...All of which is likely incidental to why you would consider a game like this in the first place: Flying around in space and blasting stuff. In this respect, Everspace fully delivers. I haven't tried the game with a joystick or console controller, but IMHO you don't need one -- the mouse and WASD are sufficient to fly well. You can fly in first- or third-person mode (I've only played in first-person so far). Flight mechanics are very simple, yet flexible enough to let you effectively dogfight against the AI. As difficult as the game can be as it pounds you in your first outings, at no point did I feel the AI was "cheating" or being "unfair." I did, however, feel the ship was under-instrumented. When new baddies warp in to the area, the ship's HUD could make their location a bit more obvious.

That's another thing: If you hang out in a given star system long enough, new baddies will warp in. Hang out even longer, and capital ships will zap in and vaporize you. So you can't exhaustively explore an area; you need to keep moving FTL-style. Each "Sector" is comprised of four or five star systems, culminating in a jump gate which will take you to the next sector.

The ship itself has a computer with a chatty, snarky personality (with a British accent, natch) who alerts you to immediate problems, describes new objects/items, and also gives thumbnail exposition on certain regions of space. The ship also assures you you're moving toward some overarching goal, but refuses to tell you anything about it ("You don't have time to worry about that now; pay attention to flying...").

Tourists won't be disappointed, either. I found the visuals lovely, particularly given that they're more or less procedurally generated. You'll see plenty of ringed planets, multi-star systems, colorful ship trails and explosions, and other pretty eye-candy.

Players of Elite: Dangerous and the perennially delayed Star Citizen may feel it lacks depth. But if you're looking for an immediate, no-hassle, jump-in-a-ship-and-blast-stuff experience, Everspace might be your thing.

Comments

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

perennially delayed Star Citizen

They are still in Alpha? There was never a release date so how could it be delayed? They constantly add stuff like new ships and just raised more money than ever. You should check it out.

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

perennially delayed Star Citizen

They have actually gone out of their way to make sure people knew they don't have a release date. Roberts seems to state it in every newsletter.

What they do is have constant updates that come out when they say they are going to be released. Which is super nice.

When Star Citizen (or Squadron 52.. or whatever) is finally released, it should be a pretty amazing game. Or at least it's looking to be that way.

Anyways, thanks for the update. I've been looken for a couple good space sims other than Elite. I found a pretty nice once called HOUSE OF THE DYING SUN. I really dig it. I'll give this one a shot.

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

When Star Citizen (or Squadron 52.. or whatever) is finally released, it should be a pretty amazing game. Or at least it's looking to be that way.

I haven't fired up the client in about three weeks; I'll check again. I lost interest when there was nothing new showing up. Just the same handful of missions around Port Olisar; and unless shopping for tacky "clothes" for your avatar floats your boat, there's absolutely nothing to do at ArcCorp Area 18. About the most amusing thing to do is walk outside at Port Olisar, EVA up to one of the rings, and just watch the traffic.

Their physics model is also buggy. I found what appeared to be an abandoned ship drifting near a comm relay. I figured, "What the hell?" matched velocity, shut my ship down, opened the door, and stepped outside to EVA over. My avatar's velocity immediately dropped to "zero" (relative to some universal origin), and both ships drifted away from me too rapidly for me to ever catch up. My velocity should have exactly matched that of the ship I was stepping out of, and remained unchanged until I applied thrust in some direction (Newton's First Flippin' Law!). Seriously? In a space game, no one ever checked this?

Yes, they've been releasing some new ships but, without new missions to fly, it seems kind of pointless. During their recent "Fly Before You Buy" event, some of the ships seemed incomplete or poorly thought out. One of them had my avatar clipping through the fuselage as I tried to enter and get to the cockpit. And all the new ships cost real money; you can't buy any using in-game currency ("Yet!" I'm sure many will hastily add). The ships also are not cheap -- yes, you can get the Aurora ES for USD$20.00, but most offerings are in the $60 - $150 range. The Constellation Aquila and Constellation Andromeda are $275.00 each. Large ships, to be sure, but that's on top of the $40-60 you already paid just to get the game.

For a project that's consumed five years and roughly $130 million (so far), there's far less there there than I would have expected. I'll keep checking in from time to time but (oddly enough) I'm not holding my breath.

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the info. My brother is a giant fan of the game. He swears by it (though he does talk about bugs quit often). I donated when the whole series was first announced, but my only participation is in the form of the weekly newsletters and forums. I don't have the cash asked for to buy ships, nor would I. I backed a start up once and got shafted in the end, learned my lesson.

Everspace does look amazing. Probably going to pick it up. Reminds me a lot of house of the dying sun.

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