After sending PC and console gamers on journeys across space since 2017, Everspace has now made its way to the Nintendo Switch in the form of the ‘Stellar Edition’, bringing with it the same spaceship-blasting antics and fun exploration mechanics that have made it so popular with gamers already. It just so happens to hold up well on the Switch too, with the quick-paced action of the game perfectly suited for intergalactic dogfights on the go.
Everspace sees you heading through a selection of randomly-generated space environments, with the map of the game divided into sections that you’re tasked with exploring. Each section is bursting with different things for you to see, be it stunning vistas full of planets and stars, mining colonies that you can make a swift ‘visit’ to, and even passing asteroids that can be excavated for materials. There’s a big focus on gathering as many resources as you can, so you’ll have to take up every opportunity to find what you need to survive.
That can be made pretty difficult though given that there are plenty of dangerous foes lingering across space. There’ll be ships out there who’re looking for a fight, so don’t be surprised to find yourself confronted on a regular basis whilst out on the prowl for resources. Alternatively, sometimes you’ll find a group of peaceful ships who aren’t really out for your blood, but given that you need the resources they’re protecting you might have to pick a fight yourself – hey, life isn’t fair in space and you’ve got to go to extreme measures if you want to live. There’s a decent variety of weapons on offer too and since you can scavenge gear (and credits) off rival ships, you’ll always see your arsenal growing in power.
It makes for a gameplay cycle that constantly mixes up exploration and battling, and it really makes for a good time. Each encounter with enemies I had was tense and exciting, whilst simply taking in the vastness of each section always felt great too – I just constantly wanted to explore and uncover all of the hidden secrets that were littered throughout space. Given the randomly-generated nature of the game, you can expect to see a few familiar sights here and then after extended play, but there was nothing that made me grow tired of taking part in the journey.
There are even characters to interact with and a story to see unfold, so there’s more to your journey than just blasting away at enemies. You’ll find side quests and trading opportunities too, so it does feel like you’re a part of this living world where not everyone is just another target for your weapons. It just made it easier to invest myself into Everspace, with some roguelites often lacking that something to really draw me in. I’ve never been a fan of just doing the same things over and over for no reason, but between the different interactions with other characters, the brutal ambushes, and all of the lucky escapes, it’s easy to feel like you’re genuinely a part of a space epic.
Of course, you can expect casualties in space epics and quite often it’ll be the player who meets their maker. Given Everspace’s roguelite approach, this means you’ve got to start your whole space adventure all over again. Got to love permadeath, right? Fortunately, any credits you earned from your playthrough will carry over to next, allowing you to purchase a wide range of permanent upgrades that’ll ensure that your next attempt might be a bit more successful.
It’s a good way of offering a sense of progression to the player, with each subsequent playthrough of the game following a death giving you a better equipped ship (or even a whole new one if you can afford it). It allows you to get a bit further through the sections of space than previously, whilst it’ll also make those initial space battles that take place early on feel like a breeze too – it certainly alleviates the grind of having to do some of the same things over and over. It makes for an addictive cycle and definitely brought on the cliché trope of having a string of ‘one more tries’.
I’ve seen a fair bit of Everspace on the other platforms it launched on and it’s always been a pretty game, so I’m glad to report that it still looks the part on the Nintendo Switch – even when being played in the handheld mode (which was my favourite way to play, might I add). Naturally, it doesn’t look as good as its PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One counterparts, but it still manages to offer a mixture of impressive sights whilst the battles themselves are destructive and action-packed. It does have the occasional stutter during some of the busier scenes, but for the most part it runs at a constant 30fps and it’s difficult not to be left impressed by it all.
Developer: ROCKFISH Games
Publisher: ROCKFISH Games
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch (Reviewed), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Mac, Linux