- 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.