- Developer: Rockfish Games
- Publisher: Rockfish Games
- Release Date: 11/12/2018
- Price: £35.99 / $39.99
- Review code provided by Rockfish Games
As Ever, space is where our tale unfolds
Everspace is the kind of game that grabbed my attention from the very moment that I first heard it was coming to the Nintendo Switch. As a huge fan of the early days of the Star Fox games, and with subsequent releases having left me feeling just a little bit wary of the space dog fighter, Everspace offered a solar flare at the end of the galaxy, so to speak.
From the outset I was drawn in by the minimalist presentation. Still frames paired with fully voiced dialogue begin to weave an intricate tale of memory loss, amidst an apparently destructive event. And thus begins Everspace.
In (Ever) space no one can hear you scream
From this point, you’re thrown into the cockpit with nothing more than the AI for company, a slightly disconcerting personality that talks you through all the basic controls and techniques required to play this title. Before long, you are being educated on the purpose of warp points and how they consume fuel and then you are directed to one, via a marker screen. Once you traverse light speed, initiate the hyper drive and hit warp 9, you are transported to a brand new area and as you seemingly progress, the presence of hostile troops becomes much more apparent.
After navigating myself through 5 areas, I arrived at the last part of this sector, identified so by the presence of the Warp gate. Again, crossing the sector of space and arriving at the gate was somewhat of a formality, shooting a few hostile out of the sky and hoarding their spilled loot in the process.
I approached the warp gate, made the jump and arrived in sector 2..
I was immediately set upon by a whole group of hostiles and subsequently exploded and died. Not to worry I though, I should be able to pick this up at the beginning of sector 2, right?! Wrong.
The game returned me to a hangar like screen where I was offered the opportunity to upgrade my ship with some of the space cash I had accrued. I happily did so and then head out again. Round two, ding ding, ding – FIGHT!!
And then everything changed. This wasn’t sector two at all, I was back in sector one!! All my progress lost, gone like a thief in the night. I quickly set about heading to the jump point, sure in my own abilities and confident of being able to swiftly get back to where I was. I entered the jump point, and – BOOM, I was being fired upon… also, I haven’t seen a planet in the background with rings around it. And what’s that in the distance? It kind of looks like a millennium falcon…..
Wait, stop firing at me. Please.
Big bad a boom.
Upgrade, head out, go through the motions of the tutorial area, approach jump pad, launch.
Why am I in the wreckage of a massive ship, this wasn’t here before?
Is this game procedurely generated? Am I playing a rouge lite game set in space?
(Ever)space, the final frontier
As the aforementioned ramblings allude to, Everspace is an arcade style Dog fighting rogue lite in space. Essentially, you must navigate randomly generated areas and advance through sectors to progress the story and re piece your memories. The story really is secondary to the game play here as the real bread and butter of Everspace is the infinite playability. The rogue lite nature of this title makes it the stuff of dreams for fans of quality arcade action space simulation.
The controls can take a little bit of getting used to, the layout I personally found a little cumbersome at first, although that really wasn’t the case for long. I later discovered that the button layout was completely mappable which was a revelation for me personally. Being the owner of an Enhanced Wireless Controller from PowerA, I was able to utilise the extra buttons to great effect and give myself a slight edge when taking on hoards of enemy drones.
Visually, Everspace holds up very nicely and isn’t held back too much by the technical limitations of the Nintendo Switch. Saying that, some of the meteors, along with other objects, don’t look too pretty up close and while the game doesn’t struggle it clearly is a little rough around the edges, which is only I imagine due to the Switch’s hardware. Saying that, it looks slightly better in handheld, obviously the 720 resolution on a smaller screen lends itself tremendously to this title.
Everspace is an exceptional title and holds up really quite well on the Nintendo Switch. It’s entirely possible that I’m incredibly biased as some of my most vivid childhood memories are playing Starwing on the SNES, and this title is one of the closest to recapturing that feeling of unknown, in part due to the rogue lite aspect of the game. The assets used are varied enough to keep things spicy and through the time I’ve spent with it there hasn’t yet been a moment where everything felt overly familiar.
A few technical limitations aside, Everspace encapsulates the very essence of the arcade action title.
Everspace is what an arcade action game set in space should be like to play. Incredibly fun.
Nintendo take note.