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EVERSPACE is a space-sim developed and published by ROCKFISH Games.  The game was released into Early Access on September 15th, 2016.

You are a pilot who is simply trying to make his way through the galaxy by salvaging, trading and dogfighting with other ships.  The game involves that ever-growing style of gameplay in which once you die, you start a new run.  Each time you die, the only thing that you keep is the credits you earned during that run, which you get to spend on perks which will enable you to last longer and perform better in future runs, and the credits disappear as soon as you start the new run, so there is no point holding on to them.

You start off in a random system, with randomised areas throughout.  Each time you leave one area, you are greeted by the map, which shows a few different branching paths, showing on average about four more areas to travel through until you reach the end of the system.  Each of these areas holds a random assortment of things to do.  There are minerals to mine, enemies to fight, parts to salvage, loot to secure and credits to earn.  As said previously, these credits are the only things that stay with you once you die, at least until you redeploy, but that does not mean everything else is useless.  You will find many materials throughout the game which you can use to craft and repair your ship.  Any materials you don’t use can be sold for credits or traded for other items at traders’ ships that are randomly scattered about.  You can even find new weapons to install on your ship, all of which behave differently, such as an energy beam or corrosive launchers.  You had best tool your ship to what you think would work the most effectively, as some weapons do better in different circumstances, such as against shields or hulls.

With no actual story or objective though in EVERSPACE, the only thing you need to do is survive, and this is no simple task.  You are incredibly weak to start off with, only being able to take a small amount of damage before exploding.  It can be incredibly frustrating at points when enemy ships won’t leave you alone and deal monstrous damage to you, and just don’t let up the chase.  At one point the ship was assaulted by a contingent of enemy ships as soon as we entered the area after jumping.  The ship was then summarily dismantled with intense violence and speed before we even knew what had happened.  You can understand that this may have caused a few expletives to escape, but it did not cause a rage quit.  It was vowed that the ship would be made stronger and that we would come back and annihilate the bad guys…  Four lives later and that vow is still in effect…  It causes you, though, to have to try to only engage in the small fights and spend your time looting and earning credits, so as to make yourself stronger for later runs.  There are many upgrades to acquire, from your normal armour and shield increases to your utility, such as the scanner and activated equipment.  It gets super expensive quickly, however, as each time you sink money into a skill, the next one becomes more expensive.  For instance, you can upgrade your hull armour 20 times, each time becoming more expensive than the last.  So that’s why this kind of game is strangely addictive, as in order to do better, you need to keep dying.

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It’s always worth checking everything in the area, at least if you can safely.  You may come across something that is seemingly small, but can grant you a huge prize.  For instance, when we played, a derelict spaceship reminiscent of your own was found floating out in space.  Getting in closer and scanning it gave us a digital journal of the events which caused the small fighter’s demise.  After that was read and closed, over 2000 credits were transferred to the account, which is not an amount to turn your nose up at, at least not in the early game.  Occasionally you will also enter an area which has a mission for you to perform.  You do not, however, need to do it.  You can choose to leave, but carrying out said mission grants you credits and other items to aid your journey, so it’s rarely a good idea to ignore them.

The deep void of space is a beautiful sight.  Outside of the areas which are frequented relatively often, there is nothing but darkness, and it is stunning.  Many stars pepper the area and light up the darkness fantastically.  Everything in the game looks great, especially the inside of your ship.  You’ll see many controls and panels around, and the design and look to it all really make you feel like you are inside an actual spaceship.  Unless of course, you prefer to play in 3rd person.  Yes, that’s right, you can play in either 1st or 3rd mode, and swap out between whenever you choose.  It’s just one of those options that’s so simple to include, and really opens a game up to so much more enjoyment and variation.

With EVERSPACE being in Early Access, it is expected for players to find bugs and glitches, or a few certain mechanics to be a bit finicky.  But during the game, not a single bug was found, and the gameplay is so smooth and easy to use.  You can move your ship around with such ease, making you feel like an expert.  Strafing, shifting up and down, turning around, boosting around, these are so easy to do and just add to the experience immensely.

Verdict

EVERSPACE is out now in Early Access for AUD $40.  Do you like space?  What about exploration?  Were you disappointed in No Man’s Sky?  If the answer to these questions was yes, then you should buy this game.  If you answered no, you should probably still get this game.  It does everything so well, from the piloting, the exploration and the combat.  There is so much to find and explore in EVERSPACE, and it makes it all the better by looking absolutely stunning.

EVERSPACE

AUD $40
9.5

Enjoyment

10/10

    Gameplay

    9/10

      Visual

      10/10

        Audio

        10/10

          Pros

          • Piloting is easy and enjoyable
          • Looting and crafting
          • The dark void of space is beautiful
          • Combat requires planning

          Cons

          • Incredibly frustrating at times