Story and Gameplay
EVERSPACE is truly a deceptive game. In a genre riddled with highs like Elite: Dangerous and IMHO, extreme lows that never seem to really materialize, like Star Citizen, EVERSPACE is truly unique. At first, the game seems like a very simple, arcade type space shooter and much less deep than its cousins. You start out as a lost pilot; fragmented, memory in shambles. As you progress through the story illustrated in some nice little storyboard style cutscenes, you start to realize this is a much deeper tale than first imagined.
Much like the story, the combat, upgrade, and resource management starts out simple but quickly unfolds into a much more complex yet satisfying system that is easy to pick up yet extremely difficult to master. You start out by simply mining crystals, fuel, and gas to travel from system to system, then fighting simple combat drones. "Piece of cake!", I mistakenly thought during the first few system and then, I got my a%! handed to me. EVERSPACE is an extremely challenging yet rewarding space adventure. Yes, it's got combat but said combat is more like a strategy title when balancing weapon and shield boosts, energy mangement, and gear. Weapon types range from missiles, lasers, gatling guns, etc. It's a fine balanced symphony of awe, exploration, and destruction. For what seems so simple and straight forward on the surface, the game can keep you entertained for a very long time. Just remember, every time you die, the game puts you back in the hangar to upgrade, change ships and weapons, giving you opportunity to improve your combat and run through the sectors. It's a very effective and addicting Dark Souls-esque experience in space.
Graphics and Sound
Every screenshot in this article is 4K, straight-from-the game, untouched. Yes, it's absolutely stunning. Honestly, when I first saw the screenshots for EVERSPACE, I thought it would be nothing more than a pretty tech demo style of game. Gorgeous, yet hollow. I couldn't have been more wrong! Not only does the game run like a dream on our 4K rig, it looks absolutely breathtaking. Green puffs of gas, shimmering purple crystals, blazing orange-red lasers, and bright explosions are all perfectly rendered and animated to make one of the best looking games in space ever. I have to emphasize once again that even though the visual quality is through the roof, the game is extremely optimized. Props to the graphical wizards at ROCKFISH Games for doing it right!
The aural portion of EVERSPACE is also solid. The voice acting of your robotic guide is perfect and the voice acted portions of the cutscenes are extremely effective. Music is minimal in the game but it is also very well done. Weapon blasts and explosions put a smile on my face every time and if you've got the system for it, crank this bad boy up and smoke those baddies. I'm impressed by what the devs have pulled off audio-visually, especially for such a small team. This is definitely a title where the talents of dedicated individuals shine through and man, do I want more of it!
What Could Be Better
In the beginning of EVERSPACE, you are thrown in quite quickly. While I appreciate a challenge, the first sector of the game seems a bit unbalanced. What starts off as a breeze, quickly becomes a hail of laser blasts and bullets. While the whole die, improve, rinse, repeat formula is a core component of the game, dying so quickly in combat while you are still trying to get used to seems a bit unfair. The Dark Souls-esque style in the both good and bad in ways. You will die. You will want to punch your keyboard in anger. Yet, through it all, you will celebrate when you collect credits and loot from the fragments of your enemies. It's frustrating yet oh so rewarding. Sometimes, I just wish I could explore a little more, hacking comm systems and exploring systems without being blasted into the vacuum of space at almost every turn. On a different note, some of repair, upgrade, and equipment interface feels a bit bland. It could use a bit more polish similar to the graphics engine.
Consider me not only surprised but extremely impressed. I had very little expectations, besides the astonishing graphics, when I first loaded up EVERSPACE. Maybe those lower expectations boosted my final opinion of the game but either way, the game is a perfect example of easy to pick up yet hard to master and oh how we need more games just like it. While there are other entries in the rogue-type, space combat genre, EVERSPACE is the one of enjoyed the most in recent memory. Not only is the game chock full of things to do and see, full VR (both VIVE and Oculus), it's priced fairly at under $30 as of time of writing. Easily more polished, completed, and FUN than most $60 games, EVERSPACE belongs in your gaming library.