I recently got the opportunity to play the preview of EVERSPACE. For those of you who may not have heard of the game, it’s a single player space shooter being developed by a small indie developer. Here are my thoughts based off the preview build.
You find yourself in space piloting a space ship. The story is not presented to you in the current build so you are left to do whatever you please. The game gives you some basic tutorials and advice but after that you’re off creating your own adventure. You can spend your time flying through space admiring the very pretty graphics or you can get into fights with outlaws and bandits. It can be risky getting into a fight, the enemies are fast moving and aggressive, they will do everything they can to kill you. Even if you try to avoid enemies, sometimes they randomly spawn and start attacking you. Space is not a safe place. You can even attack the rebels that seem to be on your side. Doing so will cause them to turn on you and trust me, you don’t want that to happen. They are extremely hard to beat. However if you do meet your unfortunate end, you are taken back the menu system to pick a ship or upgrade it with the recourses you find scattered throughout the game. You will also spawn with a new name. In its current build, that has no real impact on anything but it’s a nice little touch.
If you decide you don’t want to get into fights then the game offers resource gathering as an alternative. You can hunt for fuel or you can bash your ship into various containers floating in space in hopes to get various resources such as parts for your ship, money or nano bots. The parts you find can be equipped or salvaged for resources. You can use the nano bots to heal yourself and repair the ship. They can be hard to find, so using them at the right time is the key to success. Resources can be found in multiple areas, the game allows you to jump from area to area using your fuel. Keep jumping areas and you can find a jump gate to jump to a new sector. While the game is pretty and some areas have some interesting visuals, many areas feel empty and very similar. That’s not to say there isn’t cool structures/visuals to see, but many areas have either barely anything in it or many of the areas are almost identical. It makes the game slightly slow and less entertaining at times when you grind fuel to jump to a new area just to find a similar layout to what you just left behind. Obviously it’s a preview build and there is promise from the developers of more structures to come, but for now it’s an unfortunate let down. However, based on the few interesting structures and visuals currently in the game, I can’t wait to see what else the developers come up with. I can’t stress enough how good the game looks considering its being made by an indie development team. Seeing lightning flash across space is extremely cool to sit and watch. Why is there lightening in space though? Oh well, who cares, it looks super cool!
EVERSPACE currently also features a degree of random objectives. Every now and then you will be prompted that there is a wanted outlaw to find and destroy. Other times your space ship will be hacked and you need to find and destroy what’s doing it in order to be able to jump to a new area. It’s a nice little touch to give the player more to do, especially if you are not the kind of person who enjoys the grinding loop. The challenges that can be completed during your time in space also helps make the game more entertaining. Ultimately though in its current state I do feel anyone who does not like the never ending grinding for resources may be put off by EVERSPACE. If you are an individual who does not enjoy that, then all there really is for you to do is shoot the same types of enemies repeatedly. Now there is nothing wrong with a game focusing on a specific genre and type of player, a game can be very successful doing so. But if that does not sound entertaining then this may not be the game for you. As it is a preview build, it is worth keeping an eye on the development of the game just in case new features are added that will help it appeal to a wider audience.
It’s nice to see the level of detail put into the way the game looks and feels. As mentioned earlier, the story related content is not in the current build however every now and then the game will tell you some small piece of information related to the in-game world. Whether the small pieces of information is a tease of the story to come is unclear, but it’s still a nice little touch. It’s also cool to see NPC’s using laser beams (to mine?) off in the distance knowing that if you go there you can watch them mine an asteroid. It’s not just a static set piece either, get to close and the laser beam will damage you. While I stand by that the game feels empty at times, when you do find something worth looking at it really makes the game feel more alive. It’s hard to make space feel alive, so I give credit to the developers for have some success in doing so. If they can continue to build and improve on what is already there, their version of space could easily become one the more visually interesting ones seen in recent times.
It’s interesting to see a small indie studio attempt something relatively big. The game has great potential. I can easily see this being very popular, if they continue to build on what is already in the game then there will eventually be plenty to see and do here. Right now I am interested in seeing where this goes, in all honesty these types of games are not for me. However there is something here that makes me stop and think what it could achieve. Sure there is some issues, I am not a fan of the current control system and I get slightly bored by the lack of things to do. However, the planned upcoming content sounds interesting and would help improve the game greatly. If they add a solid story and a deeper set of mechanics, this will certainly be a game to watch out for.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox One code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to email@example.com.
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