Do you fancy yourself a bit of a space nerd? Want a game that will let you blast through the atmosphere at a billion miles per hour? Wanna be a pro pilot whilst weaving in and out of meteors and comets? Or maybe, you just want to shoot complete strangers with laser beams and missiles just for a few measly credits and some fuel? If so, then EVERSPACE is definitely the game for you. Forget about those poor strangers families, because you will need those credits to kit up your flying death machine to kill more strangers, and of course for space candy!
EVERSPACE is the new release by ROCKFISH games (They love capitalisation) who acted as both developer and publisher for this space action shooter. EVERSPACE describes itself as an action-focused single-player space shooter, which combines roguelike elements with top-notch visuals and a non-linear story and I’m pretty much here to tell you that that synopsis is bang on the mark.
EVERSPACE marks another page in the “Kickstarter” games catalogue, earning almost twice what they were asking for to develop it, so either Kickstarter has a massive Star Wars fan following hitting up their website or ROCKFISH have come up with a fantastic idea which really hits a niche audience. Whilst I’d love it to be the former (Go Chewy!) it’s actually the latter, and since we’ve finally stopped crying about No Mans Sky, we can now focus our attention on a game which actually brings us some joy. It’s the first release to come from ROCKFISH on the PC and Console scene and I’m hoping for many more to come.
If you’re a PlayStation or Nintendo fanboy, then it’s probably time to resume crying about No Mans Sky because EVERSPACE will only be joining us on Windows and the Xbox One for now. That said, the Steam version I had did offer controller support for the PlayStation Dualshock controller. Their Kickstarter site also states that reaching the 450-500k milestone will allow them to release the PS4 and Xbox One versions, and as the Xbox One version is already dawning upon us, a PlayStation version definitely seems to be on the cards.
For those of you who own a semi-decent PC or an Xbox One then get your systems set up for some hyperdrive, bullet slinging action. The game was released back on 26th May 2017, and whilst it’s only been out a short while it’s already gained a pretty serious following. As of now the Steam Rating has reached an impressive positive status, with 85% of 1,448 reviews giving it a thumbs up which works out around 1,230 people, not bad at all, huh?
EVERSPACE has a real emphasis on flying through space (As you’d imagine) and shooting the brains out of anything that moves and it’s pretty apparent from the 20 second introduction cutscene that you won’t be doing much of anything else. The game thrusts you into the tutorial straight away and if you’re feeling like you want to be a good pilot and learn the controls then you can. If you just want to blast away and destroy anything that seems valuable then you can skip the tutorial and go right to kamikazee’ing giant space meteors (yay!).
In all honesty I was actually pretty relieved that the story was so quick to throw me directly into combat as I wanted to try out the main focus of the game as hastily as I could. After a very quick introduction to the controls, some warp speed and upgrading of weapons I found myself in my first guerilla war. EVERSPACE will throw everything it has at you from the moment your poor little ship embarks on it’s sad little mission. As I proudly picked up the little icons containing fuel and credits I was bombarded by about 5-6 other spaceships, each one thirsting to spill my blood and avenge their fallen comrade.
Whilst I would like to say I got out of the jam, my attempted escape was rather pathetic. After dodging several blasts and weaving in and out of missiles like a pro, I pulled off a corkscrew turn only to find that I’d rammed my ship into the side of a meteor. In a desperate panic, I flew off only to realize I couldn’t get to the portal whilst they were still shooting at me. Turning around quickly, I shot off a few rounds, all of which missed, after then being the victim of a kamikaze attack by a rogue agent and ultimately dying.
This may seem like a hassle, but in actual fact it was really fun and it’s one of the few times where I’ve genuinely laughed hysterically for a few seconds. Yeah, that’s right I actually laughed at loud.
You see, EVERSPACE’s blast now and think later really works both ways and there’s a real emphasis on the challenging nature that the game brings. It’s actually nigh on impossible to stay alive in this game and whilst you do want to feel like a pro pilot, you will be gunned down on more occassions than you would like to admit. Thankfully the game actually rewards you for dying, by allowing you to take a breather, get some fresh air, crack open a bag of pretzels (pretzels not provided with game) and upgrade your ship and it’s perks.
The perk system offers you some tasty benefits from being able to crit more often with your weapons, add new modification slots for some more beneficial passive or active abilities, increase your ships defenses or hit points, and some other really cool things. Being the money grabbing monster I am, I whacked all my credits into the perk that gave me more credits so I could become the richest rogue pilot in the solar system.
You’re going to need as many credits as you can get your hands on though, not only are the perks expensive but EVERSPACE also has two tasty ships that provide new ways of fighting. The first of which is a little lighter, so ultimately you’ll be whizzing around space a lot faster. The downside is that it has no defense and only a small amount of hitpoints. This is your run of the mill glass cannon type of ship, which is great if you’re feeling particularly suicidal.
A standard ship? A speedy but low health ship? What could be next!? Well unless you have no clue about any games, ever, then you probably already guessed. The second ship you can buy can only be referred to as ‘The Behemoth’ as it’s huge. This is a pure tank! Whilst it’s slow and clunky at the best of times, it does have a ridiculous amount of hit points and a pretty gnarly shield to go with it! This ship is probably going to be the best if you find yourself continuously screaming at your monitor and using a whole host of ‘space rudeness’.
EVERSPACE describes itself as a non-linear story, and whilst that’s sometimes true, it’s not really true for the right reasons. You’re pretty much sent into a zone, that zone is connected to other zones via the use of a portal, and you will need fuel in order to get to that portal. So, if you felt like you may just skip the entire fighting bit then you would be mistaken. Besides, why would you want too?! This is a game that has lasers! LASERS for crying out loud!!! If you don’t want your laser death rocket machine then go play some Lego.
Whilst the story drifts in and out, it’s short and sweet. It’s probably not as entertaining as blasting fighter jets whilst gunning top speed through space debris, but it definitely keeps you entertained whilst playing. For me it was almost like that tiny little profiterole that you get on top of the cake. You’re gonna smash your body face first into the cake, but your also glad that the profiterole is there so you don’t completely break your nose.
If you’ve managed to get your fingers on a new and fancy VR headset then now is the time to break it out. EVERSPACE boasts the feature to play using VR, so not only can you fly around in the game, but you can look like an actual pilot whilst doing so. Just keep in mind that the headset support will require a HTC Vive, Oculus Rift or an OSVR to use this feature.
Unfortunately I didn’t really get the chance to do this myself, but I can imagine it’s pretty cool flying around, feel like a giant space lord and shooting laser beams out of your eyes. Whilst I can’t do this myself, EVERSPACE feels like a pretty good game to get into the VR spirit and the beautiful graphics and environments that the game offers only puts added pressure on me to go get a bank loan and dive into some VR fun.
It’s probably not a surprise that with EVERSPACE being so visually astonishing you’re going to need a half decent desktop or laptop. There were times my fans were running so fast I was worried that my laptop may begin to take flight, fortunately I had some bricks lying about which soon fixed that problem. With that said, I’m not exactly playing on the most up-to-date of machines, so the full specs can be found below to make sure you can at least play the game.
- OS: 32/64-bit Windows 7 / 8.1 / 10.
- Processor: Intel CPU Core i3.
- Memory: 4 GB RAM.
- Graphics: Nvidia GTX 480 / AMD Radeon HD 5870.
- DirectX: Version 10.
- Storage: 8 GB available space.
- Headset Usability: HTC Vive / Oculus Rift / OSVR
- Controller accessible
Whilst blasting my way through the vast abyss of space, I only really encountered one issue and that was whilst using the controller. Keep in mind I was using a PlayStation 4 DualShock so it could just be an issue with that, but after scouring the forums it seems that this was a common problem. The issue was fixed by simply changing the controller figure to set ‘B’ rather than ‘A’ in the main menu, so keep this in mind if your spaceship is handling like a tractor. After the change, the controls ran perfectly fine and I was able to get the full gameplay experience of what EVERSPACE has to offer.
I think the best thing about EVERSPACE was the fact that I had a lot of fun exploring the different areas. I never felt like I had to go anywhere in particular and I never felt pressure to do anything particularly demanding. The game left it completely open for me on where to go and what to do, and whilst there was a specific objective I didn’t really feel the need to rush to it as fast as I could. Granted every time I tried to get to the objective I was usually gunned down by some jerk with a chip on their shoulder, but hey? At least I got to upgrade my ship!
The visual atmosphere that the game gives off is… well mesmerizing at the worst of times. You’ll always have something pretty to look at, and it might just take your eyes off that naughty poster hanging up in your bedroom (you know that one!). ROCKFISH have developed the graphics into something beyond what the game should be and I was surprised to see such a high amount of detail placed into the surroundings.
If I could give any criticism to the game it’s that it gets a little dull after a while. Do you get to blow stuff up? Yes. Do you get to upgrade your weapons into giant cannons of destruction? Yes. Do you get to fly around dodging meteors like a space phoenix?! Yes. But that’s pretty much all there is too it. After you’ve done it for a few hours, it loses it’s sense of wonder and becomes a bit overly repetitive and whilst you can carry on with your mission, there’s just no point to it.
All in all, I’d have to give EVERSPACE a 9/10. Whilst the game did get a little overly repetitive at times, I actually really enjoyed playing it. It was fun to jump onto for an hour or so at a time and blast a few ships, almost like some poor digital stress ball. Whizzing around in my rocket of “love” was great and I had an absolutely blast flying through meteor showers and dodging high speed plasma bullets. Whilst the game does have the odd flaw, it’s definitely not enough to give any lower than a 9.