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Everspace: Redefining the Roguelike Genre

Everspace is a single-player, roguelike space shooter with AAA-quality graphics, great audio, and engaging gameplay mechanics.
This article is over 7 years old and may contain outdated information

I have played my fair share of space titles, with many hours poured into games like Eve Online, Freelancer, X3: Terran Conflict, and Elite: Dangerous to name a few but there is a new contender on the battlefield that’s looking to redefine the space shooter / roguelike genre and that is Everspace. Everspace is a new breed of space game brought to us by the newly formed Rockfish Games Studio but don’t be fooled, these guys are far from rookies. Formerly Fishlabs Entertainment, they are responsible for the popular Galaxy on Fire series which boasts over 30+ million mobile downloads.

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After roughly 10 hours of gameplay, and a number of spectacular deaths here is my opinion about the game so far (which is still in its early beta build).

1. The graphics are breathtaking

Sometimes we are disappointed that the screenshots are not what we can expect from a game in terms of graphical quality, this in not one of those games. I am running the game on a Nvidia GTX 760 OC with the settings maxed out and the visuals are much more than I’d expect from an early beta build. The asteroid fields of some of the levels are very detailed, with chunks breaking off of mineable asteroids and beautiful particle effects from the various beam-based weapons. Even the level of detail to the varying degrees of damage to your ship has been meticulously thought out.

A Screenshot of damage taken in-game

2. Adapt and overcome with crafting on the fly

Gathering resources, aside from fulfilling that urge to collect everything that’s not bolted down, is the cornerstone for a successful run as it allows you to craft upgrades and items that can tip situations in your favor. Items can be crafted by finding blueprints, which carry over from run to run. For example, a cloaking module could help you slip through an enemy-dense asteroid field undetected or you can craft more scanning probes on the fly, allowing you to scout the same field for valuable resources. A shield booster can help you survive a few more hits or an energy booster could give you that extra reserve to stay in the fight. It all comes down to having the right tools for the situation at hand.

3. Danger lurks around every asteroid

As if space itself wasn’t inherently dangerous enough with the whole lack of oxygen, black holes, and treacherous asteroid fields, there are plenty of unsavory characters that want nothing more than to kill you and take your loot. We have your run of the mill pirate who shoots first and asks questions never, outlaws who live on the fringe of space, aliens who seem less than friendly, and drones that pursue with the cold calculation of a machine. If that wasn’t enough, there are even creatures that live within the asteroid fields themselves, waiting for the opportune moment to strike out from their hiding place to defend their territory.

4. You will die, and you’ll be okay with that

Similar to games like Rogue Legacy, when you die you go back to the hangar screen where you can spend your hard-earned credits from the previous run to upgrade your ship. Want to try to avoid zones that might be more combat heavy? Invest in upgrading your ship sensors. Feel like being a speed demon, put some points into tuning up your engines. Or maybe you just want to slug it out sector to sector, in that case, upgrade your weapons, shields, and hull armor. You can really customize the game to fit your play style and with the full release, you’ll have access to 2 other ship types for even more customization.

At this point in the development, I am excited to see the direction that Everspace is going in. I look forward to keeping you updated on the progress as the game moves along in development and am excited to see what else Rockfish Games has in store for us. If my review wasn’t enough for you, here’s a clip of gameplay from my last broadcast on Be advised though that some of my language is NSFW, just a warning.

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Justin Michael
From Atari 2600 to TTRPG and beyond I game, therefore I am. Can generally be found DMing D&D on the weekend, homebrewing beer, or tripping over stuff in my house while playing VR. Hopeful for something *Ready Player One* meets *S.A.O Nerve Gear* before I kick the bucket.