The Xbox Game Preview program has been a big hit since arriving on the Xbox One, giving players the opportunity to buy and experience games as they go through various development stages, as well as helping to shape the future development of the various titles it includes. My favourite thing about the Preview program however is the arrival of space games on our home consoles. Whilst this genre of games were previously only something readily available to PC players, last year’s introduction of the Preview Program brought with it the widely popular Elite Dangerous. Now several months on we have another interesting space title available to players in the form of Everspace.
Everspace is a Kickstarter funded single player title developed by ROCKFISH Games. Throughout the game players take on the role of a pilot on-board a small spaceship, with the goal of reaching his destination. At the current stage of development, we aren’t sure of where this is or how long it will take to get there, the only knowledge available to us comes from an on-board computer voice informing us of the direction we need to go and the valuable resources we should be watching out for along the way. However, notes included before you start the game confirm that story missions, extra structures and various other things will be introduced to the game later down the line.
As for what’s currently available, Everspace provides a rogue-like adventure through a beautifully designed space with upgrades, repairs, resource gathering, and permadeath all playing an important part in the game. Players travel through various areas in space known as sectors in order to get to the destination. After several hours with the game, I can confirm that this is at some point past the fifth sector, but how close I was or how much further I need to travel is completely unknown. Whilst each of the sectors in their current state are arguably very similar, future content can only see differences evolve. In each sector players are advised to gather various resources such as credits, scrap, various gases and crystals to aid their cause. These materials are used for the various upgrades that are available to the player such as ship and weapon upgrades.
Being another title to follow in the popular path of the rogue-like genre, Everspace revolves a lot around how you deal with dying. Dying is something that happens a lot, and like every other rogue-like game out there, once you die you lose everything and start over. However with each death, players are given the opportunity to upgrade their ship with whatever credits have been accrued up to that point, with any not spent on upgrades then lost at the start of the next playthrough. This gives players an opportunity to start each run with a slightly better ship and the potential to reach that just out of reach sector you’ve been battling to get to for the last several hours.
Other than upgrades, a few structures and collecting resources, the only other thing included in the current build is enemies. Enemies come in a few different shapes and sizes, with freighter ships and outlaw ships present, and these give a real sense of feeling to Everspace. Whilst the initial developer notes state that more enemies are intended further in development, the current ones on offer are certainly a big enough challenge to keep you tied over for now. Of course, Everspace is fully intended to be a non-linear story driven game and whilst it’s not too fair to speak about that given that it hasn’t yet been implemented, it is worth noting that the current build of Everspace is certainly looking promising.
Sound interesting? Everspace is currently available as part of the Xbox preview program with a release due later this year. Watch out for our full review closer to release.