A lot of times when games try to embark into new territory with unique gameplay, they often fall into one of two categories: incredibly bad or remarkably great. Fortunately for Everspace, it’s the latter, as it combines the rogue-lite experience with an action space adventure that also tells the story of a man on a mission to retrieve his lost memories. All of it is neatly packaged together which creates this very immersive yet challenging experience, with great music that actually compliments what’s happening on screen. Given that much of your expeditions take place within space, this game will certainly cater to fans who enjoy exploration, taking calculated risks to receive big rewards, and plenty of rogue-lite action to keep you satisfied for hours in this expansive world.
What to Expect
Everspace is unlike any game we’ve encountered because it’s nothing like your conventional shooter. There’s a lot under the hood to explore especially when it comes to unlocking new perks for your ship, or even upgrading to better ones to further your progress throughout the game. Those subtle RPG elements of being able to level up your spaceship are what really make grinding your way through each sector, because the more items you collect, the more you benefit in the long run. There are moments where you’re simply just drifting through space collecting materials, which creates this very tranquil experience. Then you’re immediately caught off guard because out of nowhere space outlaws start shooting at you, and now you have to decide whether it’s best to jump to the next portal or be the hero and eradicate anything that stands in your way. Whatever path you choose reaps you rewards and that’s the joy of playing, because you’re always guaranteed to pick up something cool.
Much of the story revolves around you, a young space traveller who had his memory wiped and is now on an adventure to retrieve them before it’s too late. You then find yourself taking control of a ship which comes with a voice operated system that helps you learn the ropes, and what to do in battle. From there is where the game begins and you start to wander off into the outer limits of space, in order to find out more about your past, but also to survive at all costs. The tutorial system is very straightforward and doesn’t steer you in any strange direction, nor does it confuse you. Of course, with any new game you pick up, there will be times when you forget certain actions, but with trial and error Everspace becomes more enjoyable over time. The controls are very simple and responsive, and the hub is easy to navigate which compliment everything happening around you. Everspace allows you to choose which view you prefer, whether it be first person view or third person which takes place outside of the cockpit. We chose the cockpit view because playing in first person truly gives off this incredible feeling of being in total control, and as you cruise around the visually stunning universe you become more absorbed in it.We will say however that if you’re prone to experiencing motion sickness then maybe sticking to third person will suffice, because as you race around the map taking down enemies and gathering resources, the camera will be all over the place. We don’t mean that the camera has a mind of its own, but it’s so close to the real experience of flying in a cockpit that everything feels seamless. Everspace gives you the three essential modes of easy, normal and hard, with the latter being the most challenging and perhaps most rewarding. With easy mode you receive 25% fewer credits and plenty of other benefits which help to ease you into the game, without overwhelming you to the point of frustration. Hard mode of course is the more demanding, with smarter AI who never miss a shot, along with fewer traders and service stations to refill fuel, etc. We went with normal mode since everything about the game was fresh to us and it really has the balance of both, but even in normal mode Everspace is unrelenting at times not giving you a chance to sit and think. Each of your runs will have a different outcome and the game keeps track of all that in the Stats menu, which is a great feature since you’re able to see which run favored you and how you can improve for the next one.
The Okkar and Outlaws, the enemies you encounter on your expedition, try to make your life miserable by sometimes trying to bombard you and destroy you before there’s even a chance to run away. This is where the strategic elements come into play because now instead of just killing anything that flies into your crosshairs, it becomes a game of picking and choosing the right battles to fight in so that you can further your progress and continue collecting resources. You’d probably want to avoid a few encounters in the beginning because your starter ship isn’t all too great, and learning how to manage resources is imperative. Plus, the other ships that are available are too good to ignore so blindly throwing all of your resources onto one ship too early may cost you later on. This should come as a no brainer but it’s imperative that you use all of your perk points to level up your current ship, because you lose it all if you just simply go back into a new run. Any new weapons you find along the way make sure to optimize them fully and buff your hull damage reduction so that you can stay alive for much longer.
As you travel around you’ll notice that enemies are labeled with a red square icon while neutral ships are labeled with an orange square icon. Of course, you can attack the neutral ships perhaps if you want to be greedy and pick up more extra credits, but remember that if you trigger one neutral target, the other neutral targets become red and they’ll all attack you so be forewarned. Everspace also provides a fresh experience everytime meaning that when you die and start over, the sector you’re in will always be new. This adds so much more replay value to the game because nothing ever feels bland and you’re motivated to improvise every step of the way.
With the latest expansion that players can now pick up and purchase, it adds a ton of new content which only adds more fun to the gameplay. Encounters provides you a new ship to embark on your journey with called the Colonial Sentinal, which is a medium sized fighter craft that does a great deal of damage. Its strong defense allows it to engage enemies with no fear and then rip them apart with the electronic tools at your disposal. The only setback is that it requires a lot of fuel since well, this beast has a ton of firepower so perhaps the team needed to balance things out. If you've already played through the game and are looking to expand upon it, the possibility is now yours as five new quest lines have been unlocked. These new exciting quests really provide a new element of surprise and along the way you do come across some new faces that can help you on your expedition. We loved the Alien Scientist a lot in this expansion because his hunting missions are just wild and frantic, yet highly rewarding once you learn how to adjust to enemy patterns.
There are six new primary and secondary weapons that now add more firepower to your arsenal, one of which are the Lightning Guns which are sure to create an electrifying experience for anyone who equips them. With a plethora to choose from it really adds in a new element of tactical thinking and creativity since you now have more tools to play with, which may make dealing with a large array of enemies much easier. When we played through the original Everspace there seemed to be a lack of devices that we could optimize to create more advantageous scenarios, but the Encounters expansion adds in more than 10 and overall just provides the necessary challenge to keep things feeling fresh. We could go on and on about how awesome the expansion is but we definitely recommend grabbing it since the added content just creates an entirely new experience, whether you've already played through the first time or are entirely new altogether.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
Without repeating ourselves too much we’d just like to say that Everspace is a game that requires a lot of patience, practice and plenty of observation to really get the best results. Playing without proper planning will surely net you a huge loss and your runs will often reward you with very little. We’re telling you this because that’s how our first several runs started off and it wasn’t very pretty. The more you dive deeper the more tactical your approach becomes, because you start to realize just how important it is to stay in control and pay attention to just about everything. Whether it be searching for mining meteors or desperately racing to the service station to replenish your fuel, Everspace requires focus and encourages you not to fool around too much but still take risks when necessary. The codex menu is another nice little bonus since it gives you a breakdown of the factions within the game such as the Okkar, Outlaws and the Grady & Brunt Prospects, while also providing some backstory on the corporations who play a role as well. Everspace is action packed, visually stimulating and an overall blast to play for hours and we totally recommend it to anyone who’s up for the challenge. Once you upgrade to the Colonial Gunship, that’s where the party begins so grind your way to the top and gather those credits!
Incredibly fun blend of rogue-lite and shooter elements to keep things fresh.
Visually pleasing without being too overbearing on the eyes.
No drops in framerate even with so much happening on screen.
Easy to use controls.
Voice acting in the game was very fitting for the characters.
Every expedition is different and full of random encounters. Adds tons of replay value.
Music was also quite fitting as well.
Camera may cause dizziness to some players who aren’t used to controlling a cockpit.
Honey's Final Verdict:
Everspace is certainly worth a shot if you’re looking for something totally far from the norm. We, of course, have our space adventure titles, rogue-lites and shooters, but seldom do we ever have them all combined into one glorious package that becomes even more satisfying the more you invest into it. There’s not much hand holding as well which is also a big plus, since you’re meant to jump right in and test the waters for yourself. That’s the beauty of Everspace, it never tries to woo you with too much and it does an impressive job of creating a well balanced environment for anyone to jump into. Be sure to leave your comments below and show your love for Honey’s Gaming, as you’ll be seeing a lot more great titles from us soon. Be sure to follow us on Twitch along with Twitter to know when we go live with more!As always, for all things sweet, with news straight from Japan, be sure to keep it locked here on Honey’s Anime.
Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.
A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and watch me play on twitch.tv/honeysgaming ! Take care!