Sunday, December 23, 2018

"Everspace: Stellar Edition" Review

You wouldn't know it from the waves of roguelikes that have come out in the past few years, but high fantasy isn't a prerequisite for the genre. Space works just fine as a substitute for dungeons, treasures and magic, and "Everspace; Stellar Edition" proves as much with its stylish take on the motif.

An open-concept space shooter with a sprawling play area that suits its title, the effort from Rockfish games slips into a rhythmic orbit of discovery, exploration and upgrades. Divided into sectors, the structure is parced to facilitate segmented gaming that helps break up your path through the story.

Even though the fantasy aspect isn't required for a roguelike, quick, brutal and frequent permadeath is. "Everspace" supplies that with gusto, subjecting you to a gauntlet of dangers. The danger leads to a constant flow of  high tension, which makes your breakthroughs all the more exuberant.

Many of your encounters develop on the fly, and choice abounds. You can dive in to defend or attack sweet loot from adversaries, hang back and wait to swoop in and take what's given to you, or retreat entirely and try your luck in some other zone.

Gorgeous environments abound, somewhat hampered by stiff presentation and wonky textures. The pacing is usually so frenzied that it's tough to notice, and as a whole "Everspace" congeals into a wild, ever-shifting adventure that keeps you guessing, regrouping and adapting.

"Everspace" carves out its niche amid a stream of strong indie titles, giving you a taste of an adventure that's nothing like anything else you'll find on the system. In space, no one can hear you die over and over again and somehow find yourself happy with it.
Publisher provided review code.

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