Everspace: Stellar Edition (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Drew Hurley 30.12.2018

Review for Everspace: Stellar Edition on Nintendo Switch

The "Nindies" showcases regularly deliver some surprising upcoming releases, and Everspace certainly fits that bill. Moreover, a pleasant one at that, from the makers of the Galaxy on Fire series, this space-faring, dog-fighting, rogue-like was originally slated to just be coming to PC and Xbox One. The promise of a Nintendo Switch release was something special, but with ports too good to be true, they usually are. Could this deliver the full experience or is it yet another cheap port?

Playing as an expert fighter pilot with amnesia, the nameless player heads off into deep space in hopes of learning the truth of his past. That is until he quickly gets obliterated by one of the many angry enemy extraterrestrials. An amnesiac doesn't have much chance against a universe of enemies, so death comes regularly and often - but then, there's always the next time around.

As anyone who has played a rogue-like will know, death is an essential part of the progression, and Everspace is no exception. Head out into a few sectors, kill a few enemies, gather up some resources, then die and cash in. Between deaths, return to the Hangar and purchase some upgrades, before heading out into the great unknown once more, this time getting a little further, to obtain a few more rewards and then die once again. Repeat.

Screenshot for Everspace: Stellar Edition on Nintendo Switch

One of the biggest parts outside of this loop is the combat and subsequent loot. There is a whole universe of foes waiting to end the latest incarnation of the hero, and all of them carry things that can be pilfered. The ship comes with a standard setup of slots for primary and secondary weapons, devices, and consumables, and there is a massive amount of these to stumble upon. There are over twenty types of primary weapons, nine secondary, 84 devices, 33 consumables, and 34 mods.

These can be switched out on the fly, but finding the blueprints to these devices are key for kitting out the ship with the preferred equipment. There's something for everyone here, with nothing particularly overpowered, swings and balances to each that have to be addressed. That faster weapon may be good to take down enemy shields but awful to take apart ablative armour plating, so pairing it with destructive missiles is key. Hugely damaging cannons can tear ships apart but their accuracy means landing hits on faster enemies is tricky. Then there are the devices; there are active and passive, decoys, cloaking devices, shields, and turrets - each contributing to creating unique experiences.

Screenshot for Everspace: Stellar Edition on Nintendo Switch

Unlike most rogue-likes, Everspace actually delivers a decent story, one that utilizes the repeating deaths of the player into the tale. Progressing further into the game, more characters begin to appear from the main character's past, along with more memories slowly beginning to come to the fore. The story moments are delivered in a motion comic style that manages to make it look good without delivering the same quality as the gameplay does. The story is further complemented by a codex back at the hangar, which captures movie moments to revisit, along with considerable extra lore around each of the characters and developments over the course of the game.

Screenshot for Everspace: Stellar Edition on Nintendo Switch

Considering this is getting ported from much more powerful machines, it's easy to expect a cut-down experience. This doesn't feel like one. It looks absolutely stunning. Each procedurally generated area delivers gorgeous quadrants: flying through the purple lightning of ion storms, narrowly avoiding huge remnants of destroyed freighters, icy asteroid fields. This is definitely one to play in docked mode to fully appreciate the bigger picture. It's also preferable to play in docked for another reason: the controls. There's also the option to play in one of three modes, either first-person, third-person, or first-person with a cockpit HUD.

This is more Star Fox than FTL, and piloting the starfighter is a fast, smooth, action experience. However, when playing in docked the amount of the screen being cut off really limits the ability to sufficiently react to what's going on. Throwing down enemy ships and trying to quickly chase them down or outmanoeuvre them is infinitely easier on the big screen and in handheld mode, it's all too easy to suddenly spin out in pursuit straight into an asteroid or other such environmental danger that was lurking just off-screen.

Screenshot for Everspace: Stellar Edition on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

The Switch's catalogue of quality indie games adds yet another one to its remarkable line-up. Even better, it's something original - something to stand out against its peers. The combat and exploration elements are smooth and entertaining, the rogue-like elements dig addictive hooks deep, the presentation is surprisingly sharp, and the story is a pleasant surprise. Everspace deserves to be on more players' radars. Another hidden gem, and this one shines more than most.

Developer

ROCKFISH Games

Publisher

ROCKFISH Games

Genre

Shooter

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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