EVERSPACE + Encounters DLC – Death is just new game+
EVERSPACE is a roguelike space Arcade RPG Shooter by ROCKFISH Games. Usually a game trying to be an RPG Roguelike while maintaining arcade style will fail to be one or the other. However, EVERSPACE whose name really is in all caps, is far from balances this masterfully. Though, you are likely to get frustrated at first. In EVERSPACE you are meant to die. You keep your credits, unlocked perks, blueprints and ship equipment. The rest is lost to silicon hell where all the bad calculators go. A new clone of you is birthed into the universe and you can spend your earned credits on a new ship or on perks to improve your existing one. It is a good idea to invest early in the perks that allow you to find more credits. Be sure to spend it all as you can not save credits between “runs”!
The net result is that each time you enter the universe of EVERSPACE you are better equipped than the time before and should progress further. The levels of EVERSPACE are randomly generated or at least so varied that it feels randomly generated. Usually there will be enemies and neutrals who are going about their daily business adding some life to a sector. Destroying enemies will drop fuel, credits or equipment. You can also find derelicts to loot and mineable resources to harvest. Harvested resources are then used in the games crafting system to upgrade systems on the fly. There is even a chance to find missions though they are very rare.
If the enemies in a sector are too much for you to handle or you need to flee you only need to align your ship with the jump point. A percentage charge goes up and then you warp to the map screen. That is assuming the enemies have not hidden a jump suppressor which you have to find and destroy, a simple little “getting hotter or colder” type affair that works well. That is the key thing about EVERSPACE, it is simplistic but well made. I do not mean to say EVERSPACE is easy either, far from it. In the early game you will die and restarting a lot but that simplicity, the randomness of the maps and a “I can do better this time” mentality will keep you coming back again and again.
Every few maps there is a warp gate to the next sector.The game difficulty can be raised or lowered at the start of each “run” though pride has kept me at the normal difficulty.
When I came to test EVERSPACE, it was a title I had already intentions to play once VR was added. I am glad I waited, EVERSPACE is an absolute treat in VR; though their choice for the scant cutscenes could be questioned . The cutscenes in VR mode are done as a giant floating screen; it works but lacks originality given the alternatives available. Sat on my sofa, with the Vive on and an Xbox controller in my hand I was transported off to space. All the hud elements are easy to see and identify from inside your Head Mounted Display (HMD) along with the familier colour of the Xbox One Controller buttons. I have a very strong VR stomach and had no issue with spinning around in space, be aware though, I did not see any anti VR nausea settings for those more prone to motion sickness. VR is optional in EVERSPACE and you can continue your game in VR or on flat screen with no loss of progress. I played a few runs in non VR to test the experience but for a VR buff, such as myself, the loss of immersion was too high to continue in non VR.
EVERSPACE developers ROCKFISH Games recently released the first major DLC pack for the game. The DLC in question. Encounters fully integrates into the core game and it feels like it was there from the start. This is the best way to do DLC, you want it to expand, improve and add to the existing content rather than being a separate outing.
EVERSPACE is not a space simulation game, you will not be spending hours flying between sectors to trade goods, instead you will be presented with action from the minute you enter the map. While not simulation EVERSPACE has a crafting and upgrading system. It’s also possible to have sub systems damaged. I came out of one fire fight with my inertia dampers destroyed, these tiny thrusters prevent your ship drifting due to inertia and meant my ship had a tendency to slide into things.
While a little short on storyline, there is lore to the universe, this is told to you by your ships AI (who comes off a little like a teacher and K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider were combined with some sarcasm thrown in ). These moments are few and far between which is a shame as they add flavour to the universe but not 100% needed. You can revisit these in EVERSPACE’s codex menu option, but only as text. So why does your ingame clone need to be told the lore of the universe he has existed in for so many years, as one clone after another? Well this is a video game and naturally he has amnesia. The whole reason you are out in space exploring is to find out what happened to you. I have no idea who is bankrolling the infinite ships and clones but, my guess is that will be explained later.
The assets used in EVERSPACE are top notch. Flying through the hulks of long dead ships or just whizzing about asteroids looking for hidden loot is all a treat for the eyes. Seeing the scorch marks of your laser on asteroids as lead me to unsuccessfully try and sign my name a few times. The sound effects though good, are not completely realistic.
While not cheap, EVERSPACE is worth every penny. You will spend a long time in this universe pushing yourself further and further. I would also suggest picking up the DLC as it integrates so well. The quick “get right into the action” means it is easy to load up EVERSPACE for a half an hour before work. For fellow VR buffs, I recommend the game even more strongly. This is one of the most graphically pleasing VR space titles I have played.
- VR support
- All action, less simulation
- Ship AI has real character
- Different each run
- Discover the lore as you go
- Roguelike elements increase the replayability
- Easy to pick up and play
- Upgrade system
- Great atmosphere
- Tough start could put you off
- Don’t get to keep your collected weapons
- Light on story