People are having mixed feelings about space games since the release of No Man’s Sky, but at the end of the day what it shows is that the gaming community really wants to go the stars. Luckily, the EVERSPACE game file saved my progress so far throughout the iterations of their Alpha and Beta programs, making it easy for me to jump back in and see what’s going on since I last talked about it.
But what has stayed the same in the EVERSPACE beta? Much like the alpha game, your main mission is to travel through the different sectors of the semi-linear galaxy map in order to collect resources, credits, and fuel to help guarantee a safe journey. You upgrade your ship by collecting or crafting better weapons and devices, which is helpful as the enemy difficulty progressively mounts a more intimidating force as you go along.
The beta’s differences help expand on this core to the game, giving it more polish and variety as you play. More importantly, EVERSPACE took it’s first story baby steps and decided to add small missions and quests you can encounter in your sector travels. They were simple things, like fetching some towels hidden elsewhere on the map and bringing them back to the Freighter, or helping a small squadron of Terran ships out in a battle. The reward was always a flat $2000 credits, but it’s a nice gesture to show that the player’s actions have some basic meaning behind them. Elsewhere, EVERSPACE added “access key” items to their levels that unlock secure containers that are otherwise impenetrable. Inside, you get a few smaller containers filled with items and goodies. The same sort of reward as other elements of exploration, but presented in a new sort of way here.
It’s also much prettier to look at now, overall. From the fonts, to the UI elements, there’s a more clean appearance to them than in the Alpha. There’s also more usage coming out of them: the map menus now tell you what resources you have in your inventory, and your ship’s screen now alerts you to oncoming missiles. Out on the field, you might come across a new environmental hazard with your ship running into a map filled with dense space fog. You’ll have to brave your way into the thick of it if you want to get some sort of rewards from the area. If you have a hit of bad luck with your scanning probe, your scan signal might get traced, alerting nearby enemies to converge on your position. No matter what you find, even if it’s duplicate technology, there’s now a scavenge feature that lets you break that spare junk down into crafting resources. A welcome addition.
The addition of Traders and Service Stations throughout the galaxy help give you some place to spend (or earn) credits. Trader Ships are the smaller of the two, giving you the ability to buy or sell random resources for cash. Service Stations are much larger, providing a place to repair and refuel your ship, plus trade resources on top of that. You don’t want to miss out on these throughout your adventures.
The friendly Terran units don’t just guard Freighters anymore. They now circle around Service Stations and have mining operations. Additionally, they get really pissed off at you if you steal from any of their marked containers (watch out for that). To help accommodate this, they get a new Light fighter unit plus their own mining drones to help patrol their rackets. They’re useful considering the fact that they still have run-ins with the Outcast bandits, who are as just as fearsome as they were before. But the Alien units themselves have more sophisticated shield technology and drones with their squadrons, making them have a sharper edge in battle.
As far as new gadgets are concerned, the one I found the most use out of is the cloaking device. With the flip of a switch, your whole ship turns invisible for a short amount of time. Incredibly useful for getting out of overwhelming confrontations with the enemy. Trapped in a jump-suppressed space map? No worries! You can now craft a jump stabilizer to cancel it out and make your escape easily. There’s a few new missile types at your disposal: a corrosive missile that weakens enemy ships over time, a mine cluster that shoots out a bunch of space mines, and finally the ARC-9000 devastator that destroys anything within the area of effect. Beyond all that, you now have access to drones too: webbers to hold enemy ships in place, anti-missile drones to take the oncoming heat, or even just straight up combat drones to give you more firepower in battle.
This all comes in handy at the end of the beta in Sector 7. For the first time, the game actually added a proper boss fight into the mix. He was a pushover after using a combination of stasis and corrosion missiles, but I’m glad the team over at Rockfish Games isn’t afraid to venture into this territory with their game. All in all EVERSPACE‘s beta was enough to pull me back in for another few rounds. The team’s focus on the core of what they want to deliver really shines through with these updates.
Check out their website if you want to play their beta or learn more about the release of EVERSPACE.