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    Everspace

    This is a game I discovered only three weeks ago, but which has been out since 2017.

    Everspace.

    Basically, it's a simple space-shooter. You fly a fighter around and blow stuff up and collect resources. You progress from map to map, each map getting more difficult than the last. Pretty simple, huh?

    Well... not really!

    It is very difficult for me to get engrossed in games these days. I just lose interest in playing them pretty quickly, there not being much to them that holds my interest. There have been so many games that I've bought, that I quickly got a sense of ennui with and just stopped playing them, sometimes even wishing I hadn't bought them. The list of games like this for me, is a very long one. I got to the point for a while, even, that I just stopped buying new games all together. Just one more corporate cookie cutout to make money but will have squat for substance. Not something I was interested n spending my money on.

    But then I discovered this game.

    It's by this little studio I'd never heard of before. Rockfish Games. Read up on them. They have a pretty fascinating story.

    Everspace.

    You start out with a basic fighter. You can choose the difficulty you want to play, then you're off. You get introduced to how the game is played by your AI companion. HIVE. Heh, don't ask me what it stands for.

    Then, you get quickly blown up.

    And then get blown up again. And then again!

    Yeah! The game is tough!

    But!

    Every time you get blown up, you get sent back to your hanger. In your hangar, a brand new fighter is waiting for you. What's more, any credits you got before you got blown up in your last outing, you get to spend beefing up your new fighter before you go out again!

    Yep!

    The premise is that you're an endless litany of clones. If you die, you get to start over again, all fresh and new, with whatever credits your last clone got in his run. Then, after your sixth or seventh outing (maybe less if you have some skill for the game), you're breezing through the first maps, and then pushing further than you did the last time you were out.

    Daryn called the game style 'Rogue-Like'. I'll take his word for it, as it's a term I haven't ever heard before I started playing this game.

    Anyway! With your credits, you get to buy things like tougher armor, more hull hitpoints, more speed, better mapping, better repair, and all sorts of other stuff - all of it meant to beef you up for your next run. The more you earn on your previous run, the more you can beef things up. It's kind of like a geometric-progression thing. The better you get, the more rewarded you get. And the more rewarded you get, the further you can progress through the game.

    This is because it all stacks. Yep! You build on whatever upgrades you bought from all of your previous runs. So by the time you're on your ninth or tenth run, you're an absolute hardballer for the enemies to deal with!

    But! That is only the start of it!

    The real beauty of this game, is just how beautiful it is! Absolutely striking visuals make this game really stand out. Check it out:

    file-d11043c50c15f9e700.jpg

    Massive asteroid fields. Nebulas. Striking ringed planets! It is all movie quality, too. Some of the areas you play in are just totally breathtaking.

    But it doesn't quite end there, either!

    You ever heard the phrase, 'Easy to play but difficult to master'? Well, this game is like that. Your fighter is extremely easy to control. It doesn't try to force you into real space physics, but gives you something more like 'movie physics' for how your fighter is controlled. You take your fingers off the controls? You come to a stop. You do a tumble-around? Cool? Stop tumbling and your fighter comes to a nice smooth halt all by itself.

    This game is more about immersion in the fun of exploring and blowing stuff up, than it is with niggling you with too many details. And of course, blowing your mind with incredible visuals.

    I can't say it enough, or loudly enough. This game is a discovery. It's beautiful. It's fun to play. It is just plain enjoyable.

    Oh! One other thing. The game engine uses a random map-generator. So when you go back out, you're never playing the same map or set of maps again. Each outing keeps you guessing. It keeps you on your toes. It makes you, heh, wonder what might be lurking behind that next big gas cloud or asteroid. Or when a squadron of enemy fighters or drones might jump in out of nowhere and start trying to cram missiles up your proverbial tailhole!

    God, it's fun!

    Do yourselves the favor and try this game for yourselves. Like I say, it is very difficult for me to become immersed in a game. Well, I haven't been this immersed in a game since DooM. And that's saying something. Games are extremely difficult for me to get into. But this one? Oh yeah. Probably 30 hours I've got in it so far. And counting!

    You so need to give Everspace a go!

    Edit in:

    Here's a video review of the game:



    Important note: the additional content promised by the developer is out now. It's DLC. I got it for like, $5. But so worth it.

    Another edit:

    Here's some gameplay tips:



    And a tutorial for play:

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  • #2

    What an amazing discovery, for sure! A random bored weekend when you were stuck in a hotel and you find this. I guess some things are meant to be, right?

    Oh, and EVERSPACE 2 is in the works now, too. They're taking what they learned from the first one and expanding on it. So that's something to look forward to, too.

    This was a really nice write-up, and I'm going to watch those videos, maybe I can get into it.
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    • #3

      Well, hmmm!

      After playing the game for a while, I thought I might post some tips!

      Goodness, this game is fun!

      Anyway!

      Check it out:

      character_portraits_overview_06.jpg

      In order in that they appear, here is what these characters do for you/against you as you encounter them in the game. You'll recognize them by their portraits when you encounter them.

      So here they are:
      • Okkar Trader: this guy wants to buy scrap from you. You have to give him a bulk of it though, before you get paid. I think it's like 200. But you can give it to him in installments over several encounters with him. If your goal is to make as many credits as possible, then this is a valuable encounter. For myself, I prefer to keep my scrap. You can build things with it to help you through your run. But it's up to you.
      • Hero: This is you. Heh.
      • Friend: This encounter appears randomly through the game. When she does, she'll sometimes drop pickups for you. If you encounter her, chase after her. You'll be glad you did. She also appears in the final map. There's a story behind her you'll find interesting.
      • Foe: This guy hates you. When you first encounter him, he'll try to destroy you. But if you defeat him, he'll run before you can destroy him. He appears again in the last map. He's a very story-based encounter.
      • Seducer: This guy will ask you to do a lot of work for him that seems like he's just trying to offload stuff onto you he is afraid to do himself. But DO them! You'll be glad you did later on in the game! Meanwhile, he'll pay you some pretty sizeable chunks of credits for carrying out missions for him.
      • Bounty Hunter: Just a random encounter who gives you bounty commissions. They pay well, so do them!
      • Outlaw chief: Defeating this guy pays a lot in credits and pickups. When encountered, do your best to destroy him! A very hard encounter!
      • Shifter: A lot like the Seducer, she'll try to get you to do stuff she doesn't want to do, herself. Doing them pays well. But what she has you do has an odd ending.
      • Scientist: I LOVE this guy! Whenever you encounter him, he gives you data-collecting assignments. Carrying them out pays very well! Also, he has a 'Trading' icon over his ship. Entering it opens up a menu for upgrading your weapons. If you can afford the upgrades, GET them! They seriously raise their power levels. However, buying these upgrades requires a special kind of energy you can only get from killing Corvettes (and larger). So if you encounter corvettes, do your best to kill them. They're very hard encounters in the beginning, but as you get beefed up, they become easier.
      • Admiral: I haven't run into him, yet, but I'll let you know what he is about as soon as I do!
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      • #4

        Just played the game, and it's a lot of fun. Difficult, but fun.
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        • #5

          Oh yes. Loads of fun, isn't it?

          It is hard just starting out, though. Very hard. But here's some tips:
          • Instead of playing with the default fighter, use the Colonial Sentinel. Its shields are a lot stronger and it comes with a more flexible loadout to start. It makes starting out a lot easier.
          • When you earn 10,000 credits, use them to buy the gunship. Don't just keep spending credits to try beefing up the Sentinel. It never gets much stronger.
          • Before you get the gunship, and after runs where you earn less than 10,000, spend as many credits as you can along the top line of perks. That line carries over to your next ship. Things like critical hit chances, map upgrades and mining and the like. Also, the next line down. Try beefing up the Nanobot efficiency. That carries over, too

          Now here's some tips for taking best advantage of what the game offers:
          • Nanobots - these are vitally important. They're used to repair hull points. Every time you see them, race to get them! Every ship has an allotment. The gunship's is 25. Even if you are at max, collecting more will repair your hull on the spot.
          • If you see a Commhub on a map, race to it straight away and scan it! It reveals the locations of all the containers that are in a map!
          • When you see ships with skull icons over them, do your best to kill them! Most of them drop an item called Access Key. These are very important! They let you into locked sections of derelict colonial stations. You'll find enhanced weapons and these floating, glowing squares in many of them that your ship will scan.
          • You'll also find locked loot boxes these keys can open. Skip these. All they drop is more of them same as regular containers, if just more of it. Do your best to keep your access keys for the derelict colonial stations.
          • These floating, glowing squares give you Enhancements. You can add them to help your play after runs, to take into your next run. (You'll need to unlock Enhancements. They're down in the third line in your Perks.)
          • Defeat the red sphere thing near ancient structures. In your first encounter with an ancient structure, you'll see like this weird technical obelisk inside the structure. It won't seem to do anything. When you exit the structure again, you'll be confronted by a red, glowing sphere. It'll be hard to beat on your first try. Also, when you defeat it, it will morph into a black hole. Race away from it! Then, go back into the structure. You'll have this weird red energy racing around your craft. When you go back to the obelisk, the energy will zoom away from your ship and open the obelisk. Which will reveal a pickup! Grab it! It is an Enhancement!
          • After you grab this, do not use the shortcut jump that suddenly appears in the ceiling of the structure. This will make you skip whole sections of the level you're on. And if you were hoping to encounter the Scientist or the Bounty Hunter, it may make you skip over them. Go back out of the structure and use the regular jump point. Using the one inside the structure will cost no fuel, however. So up to you.

          Now for some loadout and upgrade recommendations:
          • Like I say, snag the gunship as fast as you can. It has no shields, but it's got massive amounts of hull hitpoints. Upgrade its hull and armor in the perks menu as fast you can. Especially your armor. The more armor you have, the less each hit damages you!
          • By now, you should have collected some Blueprints. As soon as you're in your first run with your new gunship, open its menu (Tab) and see what new items you can craft. Here are some items you want most:
            1. Anti-Missile Drone - you want one of these hovering with you always.
            2. Gatling Turret - it really helps during combat!
            3. Adaptive Armor - you take even less hitpoints when you have this!
            4. Sensor relay - it makes finding pickups a lot easier!
            5. Tractor Beam - these let you get pickups from further away. Trust me. You'll like it!
            6. Energy Core Extension - the last three above allocate part of your power to them. The extension will give you more power to use for thrust and weapons.
            7. Nano-Injector - this does on-the-spot instant repair to your hull.
            8. Nano Kit - This repairs damaged components

          My favorite weapons are:
          • Laser Beam M3 - it deals mondo damage and its the easiest to track enemies with
          • Flack Cannon - it's the best to use against drones and it makes extracting mine-able resources a breeze.
          • Heavy Missile - avoid the light missiles and the shield-breaker ones. They suck. The mine-cluster missiles are great for taking out things like Corvettes. Some corvettes will die with just two direct hits from mine-cluster missiles. And the mines they explode out, will take out any support craft the corvette might have, too (they like to deploy shield-charging drones).

          Finally, do not just try to race from map to map. Explore! The more pickups you make, such as in ore, gas, plasma, crystal, etc, the more you'll be able to craft! Also, you can never get too much. When you encounter the Trader, you might be given an opportunity to trade some of these excess resources away for great items! I've bought several access keys this way. And access keys are a very important thing to collect!

          Also, do not just skip over items you do not want! If you see weapons and the like floating around after a battle, go to them and pick them up. If you don't want them, recycle them into resources!

          Once you get a good loadout and a great setup of devices, you'll almost be able to breeze through the game. Also, once you get strong enough, start targeting all of the G&B facilities and craft. The point of the game is to get as strong as you can. Once you have, you'll find that the game isn't so hard anymore, but just downright fun!
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          Any questions or concerns, please feel free to address them to me in PM, any time.
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          "When a man swims in a sea of the expectations of others, a man can drown in that sea." - Al'Lan Mandragoran - From the book 'A New Spring' by Robert Jordon

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