Everspace is a Sci-Fi roguelike that incorporates 3-dimensional space combat with randomly generated worlds and survival mechanics. Out of the gate, you can tell that Everspace is very well made. The graphics in the game are exceptionally well done, the music and sound quality are good, and every facet of the game makes it clear that some serious talent went into this title. You spend your time navigating asteroid fields, exploring uncharted space sectors, harvesting resources and of course, dog-fighting with enemy spacecraft.
The Story & Flow
The story of Everspace is rather ingenious, as it ties the roguelike elements into the narrative itself. You play as a former scientist who was working on a cloning program for the Army, cloning yourself over and over to produce bodies for combat. When you die, your consciousness passes to the next clone, so you retain the memories of all of your clones every time you expire. It’s a pretty novel idea overall, and it gives your constant deaths meaning and importance.
Everspace is a very unique Roguelike, with randomly generated space sectors to explore and survive in. You spend your time fighting enemy ships, mining asteroids for crafting ingredients, and most importantly, harvesting fuel for your ship. The game comes to a screeching halt if you don’t have enough fuel to jump to the next sector, which enforces a sense of exploration, but it can also be a detriment to the game overall. If you get a random seed that doesn’t give you enough fuel, there's not a whole lot you can do, other than just start the game over or bum rush a fuel depot.
You begin with a simple craft that has basic weapons and shields. As you play, you’ll earn money and salvage parts from other ships in order to make a better load out. You can also save your cash and purchase better ships later on, and there are all kinds of ways to tweak and better your ship, with myriad types of weapons, shields, boosters and add-ons.
My biggest complaint isn’t with the actual game mechanics but with the controls of the ship. There are a lot of keys to keep track of in order to execute the necessary actions, especially when you’re in combat; there’s strafing, barrel rolls, using your primary weapon and its alternate attack, plus multiple skills to choose from. In the heat of combat, it can be tough to juggle all this while trying avoid the salvos of fire coming from multiple enemy ships. I'll admit that I’m not a master of 3-D spatial combat, but I feel like a more streamlined control setup may have served the game’s combat better.
Lastly, there’s the difficulty. I’d hate to say that a game is “too hard”, but the difference between the novice and normal settings is astronomical. The easy mode is very challenging, and the normal mode is downright brutal, with more enemies, less resources and more opportunities for failure. For the casual gamer, this might not be the best game to cut your teeth on in terms of a Sci-Fi space shooter. However for those who love a solid challenge, this game will definitely give you one.
Graphics & Sound
Everspace is a very beautiful looking game, in terms of Sci-Fi aesthetic and design. The asteroid fields appear and feel real, the space stations look like they could actually function from a design standpoint, and the enemy bases hidden inside clusters of rock and debris are well-designed in their overall appearance. It genuinely looks like these areas were built in the vacuum of space with no gravity.
The sound quality is top-notch for what it is. The soundtrack is okay, but it’s nothing really groundbreaking or gripping. While I understand that you don't want absolute silence in a game, I do feel that if they went with a more subdued soundtrack it might have been more impactful overall, to better reinforce the atmosphere and the loneliness in space.