Everspace blasts out of early access blaring rock music

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I like space ships. I like explosions. And, occasionally, I like rock music. So in theory I should love Everspace [official site], a space combat game that has just launched out of early access to its full release – at least if the trailer’s anything to go by.

Thankfully I don’t have to judge on the trailer alone: Alec tried the game out in early access last year and liked its combination of arcade dog fights and perma-death, but thought it could use more depth. Here’s what he said:

“Right now, what there is of Everspace feels highly polished, but only really like the opening act of something ultimately bigger. It’s got at least a chance of becoming the pop, whizzy, muck-about singleplayer space-battler that Elite Dangerous resolutely was not, and that Star Citizen might be too elaborate to pull off, but with no trading or what I’ll nebulously call ‘discovery’ it also risks wearing thin too soon.”

Since he played through it developers Rockfish Games have added more content, including a “fully voice-acted story featuring missions, cinematic flashbacks, and cut scenes”. There’s also VR support for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.

Whether that addresses some of Alec’s criticisms remains to be seen. It’s certainly very pretty, with lots of shiny ships and derelict outposts, and it’s one I’ll be keeping an eye on.

You can pick it up for £22.99/27,99€/$29.99 on Steam, GOG and the Windows 10 Store.

Check out the trailer below. If you’ve been playing it already then I’d love to hear how it’s progressed since Alec penned his thoughts.


  1. ravenshrike says:

    Looks like an interesting mix between Descent and Freespace.

  2. Butler says:

    I’ve grown incredibly skeptical of space games in a post E:D and NMS world. Playing this was like therapy.

  3. R. Totale says:

    They made a game out of that one bit in Star Trek Beyond?

  4. haldolium says:

    Marvelous game.

    It has really nothing to do with grand scale space games and is pretty much a 3rd person shooter in space with a variety of mechanics borrowed here and there, fit together to its own experience.

    They made a few nice changes during EA, most notable for the 1.0 release so far was the complete removal of scanning probes, which makes exploration much less of an icon hunt.

  5. Hensler says:

    Any chance of working your way up to bigger ships, or is it all fighters like in the trailer? It certainly looks pretty, getting a Freelancer vibe from the gameplay.

    My vigil for a true mission-based, X-wing/Freespace type game continues.

    • Ericusson says:

      You should not hesitate really. The quality of the title is amazing in all it does.

      The game proposes 3 different ships : the average but good star fighter, the recon fighter able to cloak, and the heavier gunship with a turret point.

  6. BathroomCitizen says:

    Sorry for the off-topic, but: how’s Star Citizen faring? Does it look like it can reach its grand-goal or is it still far away?

    • milligna says:

      same nonsense project to fund Chris Roberts’ lifestyle it’s always been, with a big release always just around the corner as the years drag on.

    • Marblecake says:

      It’s chugging along quite nicely, full of bugs but ever-expanding.

      The big 3.0 update is scheduled for end of June, so expect a release in early August. This update will add several moons to land on and traverse on foot or on other modes of transport you might have; several trading posts; trading mechanics; and other stuff I forgot.

      Star Citizen will definitely reach its grand-goal of being a highly complex Space MMO, and the single-player Squadron 42 will most definitely also be released.

      However, the when isn’t quite sure, and whether it’ll be any fun remains to be seen.

      If you’re curious, best wait till 3.0 is released and then watch some YouTube videos.

      • jeremyalexander says:

        A release in early August? No disrespect intended, but are you crazy? It will be years before Star Citizen is an actual product and no, it is certainly not definite that there will actually ever be an actual playable game released. This game is years off with them still tweaking a few planets and basic game mechanics even after all of these years. And if Squadron 42 isn’t a near perfect space combat game that generates a LOT of sales, then the company would likely immediately collapse. Right now Star Citizen is nothing more than a glorified tech demo with miniscule progress being made. In their latest dev video they are showing how they are working on AI characters being able to aim in the first person module. After years of development time even the most basic mechanics of the game aren’t even in place. Personally, I would love to be proven wrong, but I doubt Star Citizen is ever a finished product and if it does I doubt it will actually deliver on half of it’s promises.

        • poliovaccine says:

          Pretty sure what he said is that this 3.0 release is due for August. I dont follow Star Citizen, and have no particular horse in that race, but just from the comment I think it’s clearly about a specific iteration, i.e. this 3.0, not the whole game.

        • Marblecake says:

          Yeah, I meant that 3.0 would be late.

          I wouldn’t even dare to guess at SCs final release.

          However, they are making huge strides, considering the complexity of the envisioned game. AI development was dependent on a lot of other things pertaining to physics grids and other stuff, so, yeah, took a while before they could go forward with that.

          No question, it took them a lot longer than it should have to find their direction with a bunch of fuckups along the way, but they’re on a pretty good path now.

      • Chalky says:

        I’d hardly use the word “nicely” to describe it. The 3.0 update that you talk about was announced as something that’d be out before the end of last year. Since then they’ve catastrophically failed to show even demo videos of the mechanics and features that would be in that patch and it looks like it’ll be delayed for an entire year, if not longer.

        The fact that they thought they’d have this patch ready within a month of their announcement, and yet here we are 6 months later with no sign of it is a testament to the state of the entire project. Utter incompetence from top to bottom, the only way you make mistakes like this over and over is by having no clue what you’re doing.

        The question of “can people with no grasp of scope control make a game if you give them infinite money?” is answered by this point, and the answer is no.

        • Zenicetus says:

          How infinite is that money though? I mean, what’s keeping this whole enterprise running at this point. Are people continuing to buy spaceships for crazy amounts of money, or has that slowed down?

  7. Ericusson says:

    For those hesitating, buying Everspace is a no brainer. This is easily one of the best games I had tried during early access and I had to force myself to wait for the full release after I had bought it.

    The design philosophy is challenging but generous and is a blast to play with permanent stat upgrades to buy after each try.
    The graphics are simply inspired and often left me admiring the views of space proposed, while running beautifully thanks to the Unreal engine.

    Also, the game is better played with a mouse and keyboard. Be warned that using a joypad or joystick can. Or get near enough the nervosité and control of the mouse/on.

    • -Spooky- says:


      I´m with the KS and waited for the full release. I can agree with kb/m on my end, tried the gamepad too.

    • MajorLag says:

      “permanent stat upgrades to buy after each try”

      I’ll give the game the benefit of the doubt if someone can convince me why this design choice was a good idea.

      It also seems really weird to me that a joystick wouldn’t be the best control scheme for a game like this. What’s up with that?

      • Sandepande says:

        Maximum accessibility perhaps. It works like Freelancer so it’s fine.

      • Baines says:

        Keyboard and mouse are better than a joystick because of the aiming in combat. Ships move fast, and it can be difficult to stay on target with thumbstick aiming.

        As for the permanent upgrades, I’m not a big fan. I think games that implement such systems can run into balance issues, and I personally believe it made the early game more difficult for beginning players. But then the dev added in an Easy mode for people who found that starting difficulty frustrating.

        • MajorLag says:

          I was under the impression “joystick” referred to an actual joystick. You know, like for a flight simulator?

          • Baines says:

            The aiming in combat feels more like an FPS than a flight sim.

            Honestly, that might be my biggest issue with the game. I’m not exactly happy with any control scheme. I don’t really want to play a flying/space game with mouse & keyboard, but using anything other than a mouse makes it harder to hit enemies.

          • C0llic says:

            The game is really more like a rogue-like version of Descent than a space sim. If you play it with that in mind it all clicks very quickly; a space sim it is not. It is pretty great though.

      • Ericusson says:

        The game evolves as you learn to play it, and it is a way better design to me that no progress and losing everything upon death with only frustration to console you.

        Besides, if you try it the evolution of the ship goes from meh to begin with (crappy energy regeneration, speed etc.) to proper as you progress in the stats and also discover modules and weapons blueprints.

        It works really well.

        • MajorLag says:

          I disagree. FTL had no permanent upgrades (unless you count the unlockable ships I guess?) and, while incredibly difficult at first, it was engaging enough to keep you playing without the promise of buffs for doing so. The knowledge you gained in each playthrough was your progression.

          Wouldn’t it make more sense to give those buffs as handicaps to new players right away? Then, as they improve, they can turn them off or choose not to use them for the extra challenge.

          • C0llic says:

            FTL does have persistent unlocks though; new ships and new load-outs for existing vessels. You need some form of meta progress for these games to keep you coming back.

            In the case of Everspace the stat increases are needed. The game is balanced around this. You need those perks to progress further in subsequent runs. It’s just a slightly different approach to the same formula. The game isn’t packed with as much game changing equipment (from run to run) as FTL is.

            It’s also a bit of an apples to oranges comparison. The games are very different.

      • bjki1107 says:

        Don’t worry about Joystick. I have been playing this game for 18hours with xbox controller. Since the game provides auto-targeting system for controller, there is no big deal!!

    • Ericusson says:

      Also I am not a fan of the cockpit, for me the best way to enjoy the game is without it (cycle cameras with V).

  8. HoboDragon says:

    Ok, lease enlighten me, I want to like this game, but: I just find it “meh”, if not outright boring.
    Potentially main reason is the frustrations of the controls; I use both keyboard/mouse and controller and still feel like a flailing chicken when it comes to the combat, which led to me not getting far and probably not noticing anything from the story. Thus far it’s just repetitive arcade shoot-em-up for me.

    • -Spooky- says:

      Yeah. It can be very rough the first times. And i can say this much: It is not all about the fighting. Some times just run (jumpgate)!

    • C0llic says:

      It plays like Descent rather an a strict space sim. You need to use the hover up and down while turning to keep on targets. It’s definitely a kb and mouse game.

  9. Chaz says:

    Rogue-like/perma-death, what a shame.

    • Ericusson says:

      Don’t get limited by words, it is a 3D space shooter. It’s more of an arcade experience than a rogue lite per se which alphas become the go to word for non linear games.

      Getting stuck on the word permadeath for Everspace is meaningless really, it has nothing to do with stuff like Vagante or Rogue legacy, is way more accessible and fun for me who don’t like these gritty punishing games.

      Everspace is pure arcade bliss with tight controls.

      • Darloth says:

        Are you sure? It’s really quite a LOT like Rogue Legacy in terms of progression mechanics…

        You take back all your cash after each run… can upgrade several individual classes to make that particular class better, or can upgrade overall stats, or can purchase new classes. Then, any money you didn’t spend is (mostly) lost.

        Yes, the genre of action is entirely different, but I would say “nothing to do with” is a little misleading.

  10. mitthrawnuruodo says:

    Would buy this, if not for permadeath. I have no interest in wasting time to feel hardcore.

    • hellboy says:

      But without permadeath, it would be a completely different game…

      • MajorLag says:

        Exactly, it might be a game he wants to play.

        I’m not at all against permadeath, but I get where the poster is coming from. Market is flooded with rogue-like feature buzzwords right now and you get the impression people add it into their game just to capitalize on the trend, and that usually means they’ve phoned it in and probably took the worst parts of the concept because they don’t really understand why people like it.

        • poliovaccine says:

          People commonly have these more cynical interpretations of trends, but creatives dont spend years of their lives slaving away on anything for such flip reasons, paid well or not. The market is indeed oversaturated with “roguelikes” and “permadeath,” and marketing absolutely is as disposable and cynical as all that, but when it comes to the choice of what features you want in your game, if there’s a trend it’s usually more because, just as it’s popular with gamers at the moment, it’s a popular idea amongst developers, too – who, the vast majority of the time, simply *are* gamers who’ve pursued it to that professional end.

          The words may be cynically tossed into a blurb for a perceived spike in SEO hits or something, but as far as designing your game’s features, these things take too long, take too much work and too much passion to be assembled that way. Which isnt to totally diminish your point, but it seems that it’s mostly coming from tiny, indie teams, ironically, where you’re more likely to see that workmanlike bolting-on of ill-fitting and unnecessary features, since big corporations are more careful with their money than that, and big barge-like projects have too wide a turning radius. It’s the little indies which can be made quickly and by one-man dev teams where that type of haphazard “design” is even possible, and there it tends to be that cynical bid for flash-in-the-pan popularity. Before the indie influx I dont think I’d ever heard the term “shovelware.”

          Anyway, by all accounts this game in particular sounds more like a case where the buzzwords are stretched to the very limit of their meaning in order to be applied to this game at all.

          • haldolium says:

            “Anyway, by all accounts this game in particular sounds more like a case where the buzzwords are stretched to the very limit of their meaning in order to be applied to this game at all.”

            So much this.

            Yes you die and the structure is very similar to FTL. But the actual game is not, and you keep the money you made to make the available ships better for the next run (unlike FTL, where you were based very much on luck or certain achievements to even get a different ship).

            The game itself is much more skill based as the common permadeath penalty game out there. Depends a bit on the available/farmed resources throughout a playthrough, but in general you can get away with much more risk-taking as in most games this horrific vague term “roguelike” is applied to these days. Personally I don’t use it at all anymore since its rubbish (too late at this point probably, but still)

  11. Solastus says:

    I’m going to get this based on the reviews above, but if the soundtrack doesn’t match that video I’ll be real upset!

  12. Thirdrail says:

    Pretty damn boring. It’s all combat. If a third of the systems you jump into were something interesting to see or do or interact with, instead of it just being fight after fight, this would be an amazing and fun game. Instead, it’s a $10 arcade game with $30 graphics.

    • syndrome says:

      it certainly isn’t Mass Effect — I think that the game core is clearly depicted/explained in the video — but I’d give it more time if I were you.

  13. poliovaccine says:

    Gotta say, I dont get why more developers of space games arent more interested in the stations. I mean at least Freelancer and Rebel Galaxy had some stillscreens of bars and shipyards, but the X series just gives you comm ports, as if the station were just a giant ship. I know X Rebirth did super rudimentary stations, but I’ve even seen that players mod those out, either cus they suck too much or cus the players are equally uninterested in station interiors. Which, if your only option was the ones in X Rebirth, would be understandable.

    Sigh, I just want a space game that plays like Freelancer til you board a station, and then it’s Mass Effect. Is that so much to ask (yes)?

    • syndrome says:

      there are stations, though you cannot leave the spaceship. that’s not the point of this game.

    • Caiman says:

      Going inside stations used to be a big deal. Back in the early days, you’d “enter” a station and bang, that would be it. Flying inside a station seemed like a holy grail. I remember when Elite Dangerous first showed a video of flying inside a station; it was definitely a “holy shit” moment for me. Up until that point, the best we had was probably something like… um… I’m struggling to think… maybe Evochron? But yeah, I’d also like better stations, it would make the universe feel more real if you could genuinely interact with one, in the same way as landing on a planet is.

    • C0llic says:

      The reasons pretty obvious isn’t it? It’s a huge technical challenge and costs a shit ton to make this happen.

    • hfm says:

      I haven’t played it much after the first week or so after launch, but I recall No Man’s Sky having a bunch of walking. :)