Finally I can fulfil my dream of dying many times in space while on the bus. That’s right, Everspace arrives on Switch in all its Rogue-like glory.
For those who’ve never come across Rockfish Games’ excellent space opera, it’s a take on the currently popular Rogue-like genre mixed with a 3D free roaming space shooter. Starting out as an amnesiac pilot, it soon becomes clear that things are not what they seem, but before you get time to worry about this, the matter of getting a ship and blasting through sectors of space swarming with dangerous elements is possibly a little more pressing.
Pretty soon you’ll come across enemy ships and you’ll die, a lot. Those who’ve never played a rogue-like before will be a little shocked by the inability of your craft to withstand even a few enemies, but the game has a trick up its sleeve. It starts you off again from your last base with the resources you’ve already gathered and a new ship, then tells you to go do it better next time.
Restarting over and over might be a little tiring if it wasn’t for the fact that going out there and blasting the enemy while trying to get to somewhere that might just tell you a bit more about yourself is so satisfying. Pretty soon you learn the right set-up for you, what to upgrade and how to survive, then you can make some headway. Think of it as Groundhog Day in space.
As you’d expect, later sectors of space can be rock hard and will require a lot of patience and a bit of planning to complete, but it’s all part of the game. The control system does feel a little off, however, which doesn’t really help until you adjust to it, but it’s a minor thing overall.
While there may be a few downgrades from the PC and other consoles, and I can’t pretend it doesn’t look a little rough around the edges compared to the other editions, the artwork on the Switch version of Everspace still impresses. It’s a joy to fly past wrecks and through a nebula and all the lighting work, particularly on fire elements, is wonderfully achieved even in this cut down stage. As it taxed the more advanced hardware of the PS4 and Xbox One, it’s no surprise to see the Switch version running at a 30fps frame rate, and it can still produce a little slowdown when things get a little hectic, but for the most part this does not detract from the game.
To reward Switch owners for their patience, this Stellar edition of the game also includes the Encounters add-on, which adds over 10 hours of extra gameplay to the base game. It was a welcome addition even as DLC and now it’s included in the main game, this becomes the complete package.
Even with the 7 sectors on offer, Everspace’s random encounters and surprises will keep you coming back for another replay. It’s also the way it carves out its own niche area of the growing Space-based genre and means that if you already enjoyed Galaxy on Fire Manticore and Ubisoft’s StarLink, Everspace is another chance to grab your helmet, jump into the cockpit and fly back out in to space.
If you can get over the fact that you’re up against some pretty stiff odds from the start, then Everspace is a great addition to the growing Space genre on Switch and this particular version offers the full experience in one go.