This game has been on my radar ever since I saw a gorgeous gif on Imgur a few years ago. It looked extremely beautiful and the premise of being a roguelike game made it even better. And I was kinda let down when it was only available on Xbox One, me being a PS4 super fan. Luckily the game finally released on PS4 and long story short, I really like it.
Everspace is a "simple" game as most roguelikes are. You start your run, fly through gorgeous open space, shoot down enemies, collect materials and weapons, upgrade your ship, fly through the wormhole to reach the next level and so on. Tried and true, Everspace is a really good space arcade flying and shooting experience. The default control scheme didn't feel quite right, it was kinda unnatural, but luckily there were other control schemes that made so much more sense. I wish I had the ability to change the button mapping to my liking as even the scheme that I went with still had a tiny problem, but hey, Everspace 2.
The weapons, of course, are sci-fi inspired (duh!) and there is a great variety to choose from. You have gatling-guns, scatter-guns, ion blasters, lasers, tesla-guns... you get the idea, if you have seen a cool weapon on a spaceship in pop culture, chances are that you will find that here. The same thing can be said about the other equipment, gadgets, and missiles. In space, you will find abandoned or destroyed ships and outposts with loot containers you can shoot to open and inside them, you can find all sorts of things like different types of missiles, armor, shield generators, damage boosters, drones, the space version of the BFG from Doom etc.
All of these things combined with the four (I think) available types of ships you can unlock and upgrade make for a very nice roguelike experience. I am not going to say that "no two runs will feel the same" cause really, there is a finite numbers of enemies, space environments, and items in the randomization pool, but still if you want to try a run with one type of weapon or item, the results will vary and that's nice.
Flying feels nice, the ships, depending on the type, feel different as they range from small and fast to big bulky armored ones. Dogfighting is also really well done and there is a bit of strategy involved as enemies might have drones with different buffs for them or nerf for you that you have to deal with first, they have shields you have to take down first in order to damage their hulls, so you have to use the correct weapon, missile or item for that. And then you have the big enemy ships that will blow your ass to smithereens if you are not careful enough. It's engaging, interesting and I wish Bungie takes a look at this game and give these guys the job of implementing the same mechanic into Destiny 2...somehow...I'm salivating now.
The story is also kinda nice. Of course, it's high sci-fi with clones, conspiracies that span the galaxy with ancient aliens and civilizations throw in the mix, but it's nice that is there. In space you will get to meet interesting characters that will have different propositions, jobs, tasks and even rewards for you and this is another layer that builds upon the replayability of Everspace.
Now since I got to play the game really early on PS4, way before the release date, it had a few problems mainly infrequent crashes and frame rate drops. However, the devs released a patch which fixed and optimized the game a lot more, that's why I didn't post this review earlier or before the release. I have not experienced a single crash since the patch and the frame rate has been more stable than before. Still, there are some cases where there is a lot of stuff going on, multiple enemies shooting at you, explosions everywhere, tons of asteroids in the open space and a giant fricking sun in the distance, the frame rate still chugs a little. Maybe the PS4 Pro guys will not experience this problem...man I need to buy a PS4 Pro and make the most of my newly purchased 4K TV.
I really liked Everspace and if you are a fan of roguelikes, this game will definitely scratch that itch. And that's about it, thanks to the good PR people for sending the code and thanks to you for reading this review.
Everspace is available on PC, PS4, Xbox One.