In recent years a large amount of very excellent roguelike games have hit the market such as The Binding of Isaac and Rogue Legacy, but there has also been far more released which have fallen into the ether of mediocrity. Everspace is, at its core, is an action-packed space shooter with many roguelike elements that can’t be ignored – does this roguelike space shooter manage to stand apart from the crowd though?
If we first look at the graphical side, I would immediately say YES it does. Everspace is visually stunning, from the planets and asteroid fields you fly past to the amazing details of the ship you are flying in – as you get damage you will see detailed burn marks and it feels like the game learns a lot from car games such as Forza Horizon and Burnout in their damage models.
By the end of a run going through sectors, each one more gorgeous than the last, you may be forgiven for wanting to immediately start up another one just to treat your eyes once again to the astounding imagery that’s been created.
But what is a beautiful game if there is nothing to do in it? Well, as the pilot you move through procedurally created sectors (dungeons) upgrading your ship as you go along and making sure you have enough resources such as fuel to get to the next area. And of course, you will do a lot of shooting along the way.
In cockpit view, the game really stands up on its own as you are trying to outmaneuver space pirates and get a shot off. It unsurprisingly looks a lot like fellow space game Elite: Dangerous in this view, and controls just as well.
And as those pirates or other enemies blow up, they have a chance to drop blueprints which will unlock all kinds of things for your ship. By the end of my time with the game, I had created one run where I had stealth systems to sneak up on enemies and another where I had created a tank style ship with turrets that could destroy any pirates in my path.
Everspace tries to do something very different with the roguelike genre by creating such a stunning and well-crafted space shooter within it that I sometimes wondered why it even needed the roguelike elements to begin with. I would be flying through a sector wondering what kind of amazing space RPG this has the beginnings of. And I also wonder how many people will be turned off by its roguelike gameplay features.
If you enjoy any sort of sci-fi related entertainment then I would highly recommend Everspace, but if any part of you has burnt out on roguelikes or are just not interested in the gameplay loop style of roguelikes (start, die, repeat until victory) then I don’t know if Everspace is meant for you.
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a digital copy of the game provided by the publisher on the Xbox One.