Everspace is everything that you can possibly want from a space shooter. There is not only space to explore and enemies to obliterate but there is also a RPG element with a twist that makes it more exciting than it should be. Everspace sets out to take you on an adventure and it over-delivers by a huge margin.
There is a story behind Everspace reinforcing what you are doing. At the start of the game you have no memory. As you go on through the different sectors of space the story is played out and your past revealed to you through cut scenes. These cut scenes are rendered in a hand drawn style which is charming and engaging. The story is filled with twists and turns that will keep you engaged as you play.
You play as a clone of your original self and this is incredibly important to the main mechanic of the game. Every time you die you are sent right back to the beginning to carry out another run. Each run you do will follow the same pattern but it’s up to you how you carry out each run, and how much risk you are going to take is entirely up to you. But it will also affect the rewards that you are going to reserve.
During each run you must collect a whole host of different resources from fuel, to ore, to scrap. All of this is used to repair and improve your ship during that run. Each time that you die all of the upgrades that you carried out to your ship are reset so dying is a double hit. You lose your upgrades and start at the beginning of space again. This makes life very precious, especially later on in the game when you can go on runs that will last hours.
The only thing that you keep after you die is the credits that you have earned. These credits can (and must) be used after each run to upgrade one of the three different ships that you have unlocked. We say you must spend them because whenever you start a new run you lose any credits that you have left over.
The perk tree is one of the great delights of the game. It turns what could be just another, if incredible, space shooter into a space shooter RPG. It gives the game an element of that one more turn feeling. You see what credits you need to get the next upgrade that you want and work out whether you can get it in a short run. And of course any short run can turn into a long one. We found that at first our runs were lasting around fifteen minutes but soon they were lasting hours. These perks allow you to get further and further into space meaning that the risks get larger and larger.
Space shooters often suffer from been inaccessible to newer players of the genre due to it been quite difficult to get to the grips with the controls in a three dimensional space. Everspace is easy enough to control that newer players will pick it up fairly quickly and yet deep enough in the feel of the controls to keep veterans entertained as well. There is a tutorial which is well disguised that has you going to bland objectives for vague reasons, getting you accustomed to the controls and this tutorial does its job wonderfully. For all of you maniacs out there you can even invert the controls.
Combat in Everspace is crisp and exciting and when you win a fight you really feel as if you have won, but combat isn’t always necessary and sometimes it is a good idea to avoid a fight that you will struggle to win. It can sometimes be a good idea to run away with your tail between your legs as well, especially when reinforcements arrive and the warships turn up. Discretion is the better part of valour, after all.
Everspace is a game that you will grind at. As we have said there is a story but that isn’t why you are here. You are here to grind away at space until you have the strongest ship that you can. There are a lot of decisions to be made, will you engage the enemy or run away and try to craft a better gun or find a better shield? Will you go to bed or will you have just one more run? To give you some idea of what this game is like, this review was due days ago but we just needed one more run.
Everspace can be yours for a mere £24.99 from the Xbox Store and to explore space like this, that is out of this world.