I love rogue likes or lites whatever you call them. Even though I am of questionable video game skill, and they are often quite challenging, they still draw me in. From Hades to Dead Cells via Hyperparasite and Curse of the Dead Gods and most in-between! And yet I love a new world to slowly discover and unlock. Everspace puts you in the cockpit of a small space ship, sort of this world’s X-Wing, and sends you into various 3D arenas.
After a short amount of time a jump zone will appear which allows you to move on to the next part of the sector. However jumps take fuel and fuel is a finite resource, so you will have to scavenge around at least a bit.
You will often find a lot more than fuel as you do though. Be it resources for crafting or the neutral G&B corporation, or worse. Enemies come in two forms, outlaws and Okkar. You will often find these three factions in their own little battles which you can watch play out or jump into the middle of. Careful though, a stray laser or two can turn G&B against you, and they might be the toughest small ships of the game. Of course if you do run out of fuel you may want to attack them to gain some…
Gold Leader To Red Leader
This ‘stellar’ version of Everspace contains the expansion which adds a lot of NPC content to the game. These NPCs give you a variety of missions and opportunities to take up on your runs. These range from bounties to scanning wildlife and more and add so much to the game.
After finishing a run, usually by dying, you will get a chance to spend the cash you earned on permanent upgrades to your ship or to buy another ship. Upgrades do their job of immediately making you want to play ‘just one more run’ to see how they will affect your progress.
There are plenty of resources and you can craft a load of mods and upgrades, once you have found their blueprints, but also use to repair vital systems if you take heavy fire. Primary weapons can be upgraded three times and it’s usually worth balancing out your damage output with some energy mods. Your ship runs on energy and it’s used to fire weapons but also run mods and upgrades. Stack too much on the ship and you won’t be able to fly or shoot for long.
Who Shot First?
There is a story here too which is doled out through discussion with your on board AI and the various encounters you have. All this leads to a memorable ‘final’ encounter with a good payoff and more motivation to carry on playing.
I still have plenty of missions to undertake and have even found a way to visit the Okkar homeworld and finally take down one of their warships. It’s not the same level as Hades with the unlocks and story progression but it is generous. While we are talking about Hades it’s probably worth bringing up the environments themselves. While there is variety, there is only so much variety you can have in space, and my biggest criticism would be this all gets a bit samey to look at.
Added to the fact that the combat will always play out the same way, as weapons don’t make as big a difference to play styles as in other rogue likes. You are always firing a laser or gun accompanied by missiles as secondary weapons. While a laser beam handles differently to a standard laser or coil gun, it is always dogfighting.
That being said the developers didn’t skimp on the weapons available, so as long as you don’t mind the ship-to-ship combat you will have a lot to play with.
To Boldly Go
Typically for a roguelike the really game starts after you complete a run. Everspace presents you with a variety of new and exciting weapons and upgrades as well as a new story based mission arc to work through. This with the extra missions provided by the included DLC makes for a huge amount of content for the price.
The upgrades you can buy are neatly split between individual ships and your pilot themselves meaning starting with a new ship isn’t quite the restart it would be otherwise. The feel of the ships and how they control is spot on with your nimbleness being as important as your damage output. Well worth checking out if you are looking for a different style of rogue like experience.