Review – Everspace (Game Preview)
It would be easier to recommend Everspace to people if the idea of a space-based sci-fi shooter that has you exploring, gathering, crafting, and fighting didn’t draw to mind the sour taste in their mouth from the recent release and subsequent crash and burn of No Man’s Sky. So let’s get this out of the way right now: Everspace is really nothing like No Man’s Sky.
For starters, developer ROCKFISH Games hasn’t spent years telling people what their game might one day be – and although there are plans in place to expand and build on what Everspace, which has been released as an Early Access title on Steam and in Game Preview on Xbox One, currently is, they’re not promising more than it seems likely they can deliver.
What you get right now is a capable enough space shooter that drops you into the action and asks you to learn as you go. You’ll encounter outlaws that shoot on sight and corporate ships that only attack when fired on first, as well as a host of ‘react quickly or die’ encounters like derelict ships or jump suppression systems that need to be shut down so you can move on through the game’s roguelike adventure hook.
Everspace continually drives you forward, jumping from system to system – blindly initially, but earn enough money and you can unlock the ability to scan ahead to see what kind of dangers lie in wait – while gathering resources and battling enemies. You start with basic weapons: one gun that damages shields, a gatling cannon that does more damage to hulls, and a small collection of guided rockets that do heavy damage to unshielded foes. As you adventure you’ll need to use the crafting menu to resupply with rockets and upgrade your weaponry, though you can also find new armaments from defeated enemies and the tech containers randomly strewn about.
While you can generally avoid the gathering and crafting gameplay loop, you do need to gather fuel to continue making jumps to the next system. Fortunately you can also extract fuel from defeated enemies, or with a blitzkrieg attack on the fuel pods attached to the large space stations and ships – just be sure to jump away from the scene before their fighter escorts arrive.