Out Of This World?
Everspace is a atmospheric action space shooter developed and published by Rockfish Games. Take part in a non linear space shooter game as you,the main character,try to piece together the puzzle of who you are and overcome your amnesia. What happened? who are you and why are you doing what you're doing? Will the answers ever be known?
In Everspace you play as a pilot who has just went through an ''experience'' that he just can't quite figure out fully. Confused by bits and pieces of his memory still intact and with a case of amnesia, he must now go in search of the answers he needs in order to solve what happened and what actions he needs to take in order to stop it from happening again. Travel across the deep reaches of space to unlock the full mystery of the pilots past and help him find out who he really is and what exactly is his purpose.
In Everspace you start off with the sense of ''who am I and what is my purpose''. Right away you're presented with a scenario that casts a mystery on the entire game from the very beginning and pulls you in immediately to get you intrigued enough to stay around to find out just how the story ends. You play as a pilot who has amnesia and its your goal to uncover the mystery behind this,but you as the audience, the more you uncover in the story, the more you realize something more strange than you imagined is actually going on. Something isn't right with the main character and its becoming obvious the more you play.
The game starts you off in a hub like area that is all procedural generated. This means that its not something manually designed and basically will randomize itself so it is never the same experience,no matter how many times you or someone else happen to play through it. You're always having a unique experience that no one else will have and that to me is what makes the experience pretty damn special in regards to rogue like games like Everspace. It gives you the feeling of individuality that makes you feel like your journey is more special than what it would be in other games or genres.
Your goal in all of this is however is to fly through the vastness of space and through multiple levels to unlock the truth of who you are. This is done by going through what are basically ''space dungeons'' and these dungeons are like any rogue like dungeon crawler,but this time in space. In these various levels you are met with opposition from other enemy fighters and it is your job to take them down,loot from them and gain any credits that you can. The credits you earn will then be usable and allow you to purchase different ship upgrades for later, and trust me, you're going to need all the help you can get.
The space dungeons might not pose a challenge at first but the further you play through the story,the more and more you're going to fail and die. However, keep in mind that if you die,no matter what dungeon and level you're on, you will start back from the beginning again,as if you were ''reborn''. This might seem like a chore and I can kinda see how it is, but on the plus side you get to keep all your spaceship upgrades and any credits you acquired along your journey, so you are not punished for dying. This gives the game a strategic mechanic to it because if you die,then you realize what part of the ship you need upgrade because you now know your own personal weak point.
In regards to the games overall length, it's all over the place really. Some of the levels you might spend as little as 10 minutes exploring,while others could stretch out 30 min to an hour depending on how much you explore and what enemy ships you come across. As you explore you will need to loot,I mean a lot of looting,and this is where a ton of enemy opposition ships will come into play. You will be able to fight off these standard ships using multiple weapons such as your normal gun,laser like fire,homing missiles,etc. It's space fighting done right and no battle feels the same,which is great because it always feels like with every dog fight you're in that the stakes are higher than your previous encounter. This is what makes the game at times feel pretty intense. However, not all ships are easy to take down,which I will explain in a second after a brief revisit to the story to talk about something that might be an issue for people.
There is an issue that I feel people are going to have an annoyance or angst with,imo, if I must say. The game play overall is pretty solid,yes,but if you are going into this game hoping for an overly original story,then you're going to be sadly mistaken. The story here in this game feels like a 'been there done that' type of story and one that feels like you've already tread through it. You're a pilot who has been exiled by an evil governmental empire like entity and you got fed up with it and now you vow to take it down. If that sounds familiar then it's because you've played it and watched it many times in other games and movies. However, all is not bad to me because It has its own cheesiness to it that makes it a little bit enduring if I were to stay positive on it. I'm always up for cheesing it up in a story.
Now back to what I stated earlier about being able to upgrade your ship,there are actually a ton of things you can do in order to make your ship better,faster,stronger and more durable in order to make your way further through the game. While there are too many to name here,I can tell you that they lay within multiple categories, such as ships,setup and perks,etc. Each one of these categories offers you significant ways to upgrade your ship and add onto it,but remember, you have to earn enough credits to actually buy them. So save up and spend wisely and build a juggernaut of a ship.
I say save up wisely because some of the upgrades are only useful against specific kind of ships. For instance if you're trying to combat a specific type of ship that has a good shield,then some of the weapons you use might not be able to even penetrate the enemies shield or the ship itself. This is why its important to pay attention to enemy ships and what works on them,what doesn't and also why it's so important to pick and choose all your customizations very carefully,because you never know when you're going to need a specific one. So always make sure you have enough credits for any situation.
The environments in the game are pretty well done and considering its a port to the PS4,the developers at Rockfish have done a good job at optimizing the experience for the console itself. The outlook of space from the way everything is animated and designed makes you really feel you're in the emptiness of space and gets you immediately invested into the atmosphere the developers want you to be in. I also personally like the comic book style screens that are used to deliver the games story because it does just enough with something so minimal that it just looks great and fits with the way the game is presented to you. However, while both in game graphics from game play and cutscenes are good, the only real issue I had is the hammy voice acting, it's not too bad but some of it feels a bit forced. I feel some of it could've been improved on,but overall, wasn't a huge deal.
After spending some time with Everspace, I can see why it got high ratings over on PC because the game does a lot of things right and I feel it puts a nice twist on the rogue like procedural generated dungeon genre. To some people the grinding aspect of the game via looting and trial and error with customizing your ship might seem a bit cumbersome,but don't let it alienate you from the experience overall, because going through these levels,discovering new secrets and getting into intense dog fights,makes this game absolutely worth your time and...space(mwhahaha).
Everspace is out now on Playstation 4,PC and Xbox One
*Review code provided by Rockfish Games