Remember when there were essentially zero space games? How times change. Everspace [official site] is attempting to carve out its space-niche in the increasingly crowded space-market by focusing on singleplayer, roguelike-style mechanics, "non-linear storytelling," and space combat that intends to be more arcade and action-focused than strictly simulating physics. There's a new trailer below showing some of the crowdfunded game's recent development progress.
The video is billed as the "first playable gameplay trailer," whatever that means, and the Kickstarter update runs through the recent additions it shows:
Check out gorgeous looking Saturn-style asteroid rims, a new boost effect on the player ship and other improved VFX, the all-new modular space stations, some fuel mining, gigantic graveyards of capital shipwrecks, the pesky outlaw chief attacking you with his scatter gun as well as the mysterious black hole trap.
On this evidence, I feel like we've conquered space, at least from a rendering-it-with-3D-graphics point of view. There's nary a space game in production that isn't littered with halo-lit planets, lonely-looking space stations, and dopple-surfaced asteroids.
I'm less convinced generally by space combat. In most of the space games I play, I find the dogfights tedious, as they become above endlessly chasing the tail of the ship in front, firing machineguns till their shields deplete and they explode. There's no cover in space; being flanked is frustrating when you're heavy to turn; and the speed of movement tends to prohibit tactics or teamwork. Elite: Dangerous found a reasonable solution in its system of power management, forcing you to shunt energy pips between shields, weapons and engines as necessary to best opponents, but more aracde-y games like Everspace... I don't know. Do you know? Maybe this is not a problem and these games are simply not for me.
But they are pretty.
Everspace was funded on Kickstarter back in August, netting €420,252 against a target of €225,000. If the above trailer has whet your spacewhistle, you can still buy your way in to various alpha and beta tiers via the Everspace shop.