Everspace: Encounters (PC) Review

By Tomas Barry 25.10.2017

Review for Everspace: Encounters on PC

Everspace was first made available in Steam Early Access form back in September, 2016. The full release followed in May of this year, and Cubed3 rated it highly for its arcade ethos, strongly visceral visuals and rogue-like gameplay. Earlier this week, developer ROCKFISH Games released its first major expansion for the title at the very reasonable tune of £6.99. This includes new weapons, devices, consumables, character questlines, a new ship, and even adds new G&B factory stations, which offer a range of useful services. The developers have stated that the DLC adds over ten hours of extra gameplay, and introduces fresh mechanics to the mix, and there's no doubt that this package improves the overall variety of the experience. One thing is for sure: the Colonial Sentinel ship is quite a hot incentive for existing fans (who might have burnt themselves out a little) to re-absorb themselves into Everspace.

While it's slightly disappointing that there's only one new ship being rolled out for battle, at least you know it's going have a lot of bells and whistles. Class-wise, the Colonial Sentinel is a medium fighter ship. Its main draws are an EMP generator, used to hack doors and stun enemies, and the Shield ST, which has a much larger capacity, and will take far more punishment than veteran players will be used to withstanding. Since it's the medium class, the ship handles well in most situations (like the Interceptor), though being totally honest, it's a rather minor addition when compared to the array of new weapons and devices that inject some variety into the existing framework of the game.

Everspace was always a visual treat, but some of the weapons now available, such as the Lightning Gun and Neutron Cannon, really do look awesome in motion and add another level of colour and vibrancy to the aesthetic overall. Spraying fire at enemies, or just clipping some real estate to pass through an asteroid belt, has never felt more satisfying, that's for sure. Many of these new weapons, like the Goo Gun, require blueprints, found in the new questlines, but thankfully they haven't been placed too far out of reach. The new arsenal of attacking options breathes some contrast into combat, which returning players, especially, will appreciate.

Screenshot for Everspace: Encounters on PC

Some of the new devices are quite inventive, too. The Damage Converter translates some of the damage sustained during a firefight into utilizable extra energy, which, if used correctly, can be the difference between surviving or perishing. Then there's a Decoy Generator, which helps distract enemies, increasing the variety of ways a skilled pilot can slip out of a tight spot. When all else fails, more basic additions, like the Emergency Shield, offer a buffer to escape when one is truly overrun by enemies. It's nice to have these potential fixes available.

Speaking of which, a new hardcore mode has been added, too, for those who enjoy pulling their hair out. While in terms of the combat difficulty, it's the same as playing on hard, this mode doesn't allow starting conditions to be improved, and only enables ship perks to be upgraded at the end of each sector, using just the credits earned specifically from that run. In addition, when entering a new sector, a handicap must be selected, which stays active throughout that segment. This insanely difficult mode will appeal to rogue-like masters, but perhaps not to those just looking for a space buzz.

The new missions, with rather more interesting new NPC characters, are peppered into the game organically, though they're also marked out on the sector chart. These missions add plenty of environmental contrast, since there are more awe-inspiring views to be found here and interesting locals to dogfight around. Players will get to visit the Okkar Homeworld, and will find out new things about this race, as well as various others. While a good amount of universe context has been added through these additions, it didn't seem as though they varied gameplay fundamentally.

Screenshot for Everspace: Encounters on PC

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

In some ways, then, it appears Everspace: Encounters only exists to freshen up the existing framework, which it does, but without throwing in anything overwhelmingly different. It succeeds in extending the scope through the new missions, characters and weapons. However, added longevity is only achieved because a considerable grind stands between the player and the best new items. There are also plenty of other tweaks that feel like elements of housekeeping, which should have been taken aboard as a matter of course. Falling into this category would be the new factory space stations. These provide pilots the opportunity to indulge in special services upgrades for the duration of the run, as well as making minor ship repairs. The sum of these additions helps Everspace to feel more complete, but ultimately only offers more padding. That's okay, though, since this is such an affordable piece of DLC.

Developer

ROCKFISH Games

Publisher

ROCKFISH Games

Genre

Shooter

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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