Author Topic: Everspace  (Read 2919 times)

Offline Misery

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Everspace
« on: September 16, 2016, 07:54:16 AM »
Okay, so, this game just came out, much to my surprise.... I'd never even heard of it before, and suddenly it's on Steam.   One look at it, and I had to have it, so I grabbed it up immediately.   As this is a bit of a pricey purchase for a game in EA ($30, right now) I figured it might help if I explain some of how the game works and what it's like, in case it helps anyone to make a decision or understand more of what this game is about.   If you haven't heard of the game whatsoever, have a look at it's trailer and such before reading this.

Anyway.

Firstly, understand that this IS a roguelike.  Procedural generation of each area, random everything, you never know what the game is going to throw at you next, and it has quite a lot of things to throw at you even in this EA state.  But being a roguelike also means that this is a bloody difficult game.  You'll die, over... and over... and over... and over... and over...   Your computer on your ship will make a point of telling you to stop sucking (no, seriously, last time I was nearly dead it suddenly shouted "DO BETTER!", I laughed and smacked into the nearest rock).  The dialogue is so far actually pretty entertaining, and you're not going to be sitting through long-winded cutscenes or any of that stuff here; when you're learning more about the game or it's lore, the talking just happens as you keep flying and doing stuff.  So that's good.

As for what this plays like:  This is a 6DoF game.  Like Descent, you know?   Except you're not going to be exploring Doom-like mazes here.  That's not to say that there isn't stuff to fly into, but... we'll get to that.

What this ends up meaning is that you have ALOT of accuracy and versatility when it comes to your movement.  I'm using a controller, and the left stick is used for "strafing" in any direction, and the right stick is used for turning/banking or whatever the damn word is.  It took me a bit to get used to this, but once I did, it's absolutely effortless.   The ONE problem I have with the controls is that, specifically for controllers, they cannot be remapped.  This causes.... problems.  I used an outside program to solve these problems though, so... whatever.   I cant imagine that most people here would be using a controller to play this though, so for many of you, that's not likely to be much of an issue.

The 6DoF bit also complicates combat quite a bit.  You can do some pretty funky maneuvers, like you could in other such games... and your enemies absolutely can do all of these things too.  Combat, so far, is very exciting and fun.   Enemies tend to appear in what often feels like random encounters, but.... not always.  There are some specific things that can set some off, or other unique threats that aren't like dealing with normal ships.  But one way or another, the big point is, combat is a pretty good time (even though the game will eat your face often).  Ships have shielding, and then a hull with separate HP.  The shields can recharge, for you and them.  Different weapons do different damage to each; the ship you start with will have a pulse laser and a gatling gun, the laser being for pounding on shields, and the gatling for drilling through armor.  Realizing WHEN to use these and on what targets is important, and things will be zooming all over the place, making things tough.  You can have numerous weapons and systems, but not at the start of the game.  We'll get to that.  More about combat though.... This, again, is a roguelike, and so like most such games, just the usual blasting and such isn't enough.  There are things like consumable items and special active items (think Isaac) that you can use to help you in battle (and some things are for non-combat related purposes).  For example, at one point I found this time manipulator thing... when activated it drastically slows down time for awhile, which can make it nice and easy to get a bead on a tough foe and get in some major damage, but this item has a looooooong recharge time.  The items I've seen so far are interesting/fun, but again, the key is knowing when to use them.   

You have the option to craft items with components that you'll find everywhere, though you start with few recipes, so don't expect to be doing much of this at first.   There are ALOT of items and things to be found though, and this is typically what you want to be doing in most zones.  Some items are gotten through mining, which is a very quick process; you can only mine certain things (you cant just dig into absolutely any rock) but the game will mark these things if you're close enough (or if you use a scanner consumable, which scans the entire zone for you).  Mining is very fast and the game will just outright tell you when a rock/crystal/funky thing has nothing left in it.  Satisfying to do, too, these things break up dynamically as you blast them.  There are also a variety of containers (treasure boxes!) to search out for non-crafting related items.  Some of these are safe to go after, others are not so safe, but you want these.   Enemies also drop stuff, so you do want to be participating in combat, not running from it (unless you're in real trouble).   Different enemy types do seem to have different behaviors and such, so that's good too.

Enemies aren't the only threat though, again I'll say "this is a roguelike" so there ARE a lot of really, REALLY stupid ways to die.  This is as it should be.  What's a roguelike without you making yourself look like a total moron every now and then?  Don't fly into the mining lasers from asteroid installations, that's a tip from me to you.  Just... don't do it.  Those things do cough up ore though, which is why I got close in the first place...   I'll not spoil any of the other loopy things that can happen.   Except one:  There was one point where I'm flying around, and these enormous capital ships just warped into place in front of me, I hear my character go "NOT THESE GUYS AGAIN!!!", and well.... yeah.  That "fight" was very brief.  I get the impression that you're not meant to stick around in any given zone too long, which is actually a staple of a lot of roguelike games (so that you cant endlessly farm things).  You have plenty of time to explore and do stuff though.

Speaking of exploring, you'll do a ton of that.  Lots of asteroids and broken things and big ships and whatnot make up each "zone", with these zones being pretty large. A lot of the time you'll be using your booster to get around these quicker, but this does drain energy (used for weapons as well) so you have to be careful with it, but it recharges.   There tends to be a whole lot of things to find in each zone.  Items everywhere, some requiring you to go inside of some old station wreck or giant asteroid to get at (which is where you become grateful for super accurate controls).  There's a lot of things to find in each area.  And since there's so many rocks and structures, you have a lot of terrain to take advantage of during fights, and you'll want to be doing this as much as possible.  Just... don't run into it.

Speaking of super accurate controls:  Those can be taken away from you! :D   Your ship does have systems that can be damaged.  This makes your job a hell of a lot difficult.  If your inertial dampeners get wrecked, for instance, well... say good-bye to easy accuracy of movement until you fix them.  Really damn easy to smack into asteroids and other things without that (naturally, hitting stuff damages you; hitting them REALLY FAST insta-kills you).  You have to use crafting components to fix stuff.  Your gizmos don't get damaged very often though, so this isn't a very oppressive system at all.

As for the progression of the game, you'll go through various "sectors" that are made up of multiple zones.  Each zone can be exited when you're ready to do so, by just, well.... "fly at the green thing" is how I put it.  It's a very simple system that works well, but it's bloody hard to do during combat, and there occaisionally are warp jammers in a zone, which you have to find and destroy before you can warp at all.  You do have fuel, but it's only used for warping. You'll typically get more from containers or enemy drops.


As for meta-progression, yes, this game has some.  Your ship will be all sorts of weak and sad at first.  You'll earn credits over the course of each run; these can be used to buy things from traders during a run (provided you have the foggiest clue what the things they're selling even DO) but they're also taken with you after you explode and the computer yells at you.  In the main screen before a run you have this screen for perks, and you buy them to unlock and improve them; there are already ALOT of these, and they start showing their importance almost immediately.   For example, you'r ereally going to want to get the one that starts increasing chance of rare loot.  The tutorial points out that, yes, things like weapons and other equipment can be found and picked up, but at first I was finding NONE.  I didn't START finding any until I'd grabbed the first level of that perk.   Other perks prove just as important (get shield regen ASAP).

Normally I don't like meta-progression much, but... eh, it's not too intrusive this time, and the gameplay as a whole is so damn fun that for once, I don't really mind.


So, overall:  Do I think this is a good game?  Yes, I think it's bloody fantastic.  But you have to understand just what you're getting yourself into here.   The nice thing is that the game explains things really well.  The not nice thing is that it will explain things, and then tear you to pieces shortly afterwards.  Which is a sarcastic way of saying "expect dying and related frustration".  Aside from the "OMG CAPITAL SHIPS" moment though I haven't had any incidents that seemed unfair in any way.  There's always a way out, if you're good enough.   And if you didn't manage to aggro like 20 otherwise-neutral ships at once.  Don't do that.   A lot of roguelike stuff here, but it's definitely a very skill-based game.   But expect it to take some real getting used to.   When I started, I musta died like 5 times in thirty minutes, not getting even remotely close to the end of the first sector.  After a couple of hours, I've gotten the hang of combat a lot better and it's not hugely difficult to get there, as long as I pay attention to what I'm doing and fight well. 

So yeah, there's some first impressions on a game that might be appealing to many on this forum.   Yes it's in EA, but this is one of those where it's really freaking polished even now.


EDIT:  I almost forgot, there are also quests and such that will pop up every now and then.  One time it was a request to assist in a combat situation (the bad guys don't ONLY attack you).  Another time it asked me to.... find the towels.  Which is the exact message it gave me, "find the towels".   There's others too, but I haven't seen all that many yet.  Very random as to when they'll appear.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2016, 08:05:04 AM by Misery »

Offline Mánagarmr

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Re: Everspace
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2016, 07:58:12 AM »
I hate you. I was already salivating over this game, and your write up did nothing to help alleviate that...Goddamnit xD
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Offline kasnavada

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Re: Everspace
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2016, 08:04:03 AM »
;D

As Mánagarmr said. The price cools me a lot. :-\

Offline Misery

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Re: Everspace
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2016, 08:08:13 AM »
I hate you. I was already salivating over this game, and your write up did nothing to help alleviate that...Goddamnit xD

I kinda figured as much, hah.   I got a whole bunch of messages from various people soon after I started playing though (most of whom are on the forum here) so... yep, time for a write-up.  Hopefully it helped explain things, then, without missing stuff.... I don't *think* I missed any major mechanics but my memory just isn't very good.




;D

As Mánagarmr said. The price cools me a lot. :-\


Yeah, I'm honestly surprised that it starts out at $30.  Granted, I can see where it comes from... the production values on this game are pretty freaking high.  This is VERY polished and frankly gorgeous, and I've not run into any problems so far.   But even despite that, 30 is still odd for a just-released early access game.  Usually they at least do a starting-discount price or something.  So that's moderately annoying.

Offline Wingflier

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Re: Everspace
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2016, 08:52:59 AM »
This game really did come out of nowhere and the fact that it's early access means I'll probably wait but I really like that it's single player only. Seems like it gives them license to really focus on what makes these games great instead of trying to create an entire universe and failing miserably. I'll definitely be checking it out soon.
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Offline Kruztee

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Re: Everspace
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2016, 08:56:27 AM »
Many thanks for the write-up, Misery. As always, you articulate your opinions with equal amounts of eloquence and humour.

Think I'll go ahead and pick this one up =)

Offline Misery

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Re: Everspace
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2016, 12:08:12 PM »
Okay, for those that might care, I have some random screenshots here:    http://imgur.com/a/iY47g

Did I mention this game is freaking gorgeous?   You can pause and hit "freeze action" to go into a cinematic screenshot mode, which is how some of those were taken. 


I have to stop for today (because it's bed time, which is the only reason I'm stopping at all here...), but that last run was a good one.  Got into sector two and ran into new stuff, such as elite ships, which are... unpleasant.   Also drone servers, which are even more unpleasant (and very different from fighting normal ships), and which get even worse when the aforementioned elite ships decide to say hi while you're trying to deal with the damned servers (character's line of "THESE THINGS ARE SO ANNOYING" came right on time, too).  I can only imagine what other nasty variations of those things might appear later.   A variety of missile turrets guarding things, boxes stapled to asteroids (which were then covered in mines), and at one point a ship dropped some sort of key when destroyed... I never got to find out what it was for, because "OMG CAPITAL SHIPS!!!" followed by an explosion.  Seems I stayed there just a tad too long.  But I wanted shiny things.   Ran into more traders, and a full refueling/trading/shopping station, which has way more stuff than a normal trade ship.

I also found an item that "mind controls" a targeted ship for awhile, forces it to fight on your side.  Now that was fun.  And a consumable that does the same to all enemy drones nearby (that one doesn't work on actual ships).

Found more weapons, too. 

I also bounced off of some more rocks.  Good at that, very skilled.

The game also gave me another weird mission.  Towels just weren't goddamn strange enough, so it wants me to destroy 50 spotlights in one run.  Not like, 50 ships, or 50 drones, or maybe 50 rocks, nooooo.  SPOTLIGHTS.  I just.... what.


Quote
This game really did come out of nowhere and the fact that it's early access means I'll probably wait but I really like that it's single player only. Seems like it gives them license to really focus on what makes these games great instead of trying to create an entire universe and failing miserably. I'll definitely be checking it out soon.

Yeah, I usually prefer the focus on singleplayer with a lot of games like this too.  I think that was one problem Elite had... Elite was a decent game but it ended up having a lot of problems and got VERY VERY GRINDY.  They seemed to not really know where they were going with the game, in some ways.   THIS game is very clearly focused on a certain type of gameplay and every mechanic so far just furthers that idea.


Quote
Many thanks for the write-up, Misery. As always, you articulate your opinions with equal amounts of eloquence and humour.

Think I'll go ahead and pick this one up =)

Glad it was helpful.

Lemme know what you think of it after you've had some time with it.

Offline crazyroosterman

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Re: Everspace
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2016, 07:27:56 PM »
this honestly looks fantastic and something id love.....but it looks like it'll crap all over my frame rate unfortunately.
I will try it when it comes out of early access though it might surprise me.
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Offline Misery

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Re: Everspace
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2016, 06:43:24 AM »
this honestly looks fantastic and something id love.....but it looks like it'll crap all over my frame rate unfortunately.
I will try it when it comes out of early access though it might surprise me.

The good thing is, the game is REALLY well optimized.  Heck, Kruztee (I think it was him) told me that he was running it on a 4-year old PC that just wasn't very good, but he was still getting it to run very well on highest settings.  Highest settings level is "epic" which is what I'm running on too, but you absolutely don't have to go THAT high for this to look gorgeous.



But anyway....

For some more info on the game that I've found as I keep going:


Right now, the game's main issues are, much to my surprise, NOT a lack of content or anything like that.  There's some balance issues mostly, but I expected that, and it's nothing game-wrecking.  So that's good.  I'd thought I might quickly hit a point where the game just suddenly runs out of stuff to throw at me, but... that aint happening.  And then I looked at the codex, which shows the current grid of unlockable whatsits; there's a ton of them.  A freaking ton.   I'm wondering, actually, just how long this game has been in development before it hit Steam.   This is NOT a game that's in some sort of pre-alpha state, that's for sure.  This is more like a polished "lots of content" beta-phase thing to me.

Also I've found that getting new crafting blueprints is a REALLY REALLY SLOW PROCESS.   You need blueprints to craft things (and crafting things is very important!).  Blueprints, once you have them, are permanent... they're part of the game's meta-progression.   You find them in various places, but.... they're VERY rare.  You'll get one once every squillion years or so.  It takes a bit too long to get more of these, and considering how important they are that can make things a little frustrating when you start out being able to craft hardly anything at all.

And the start of the game is what's going to frustrate players the most just because your ship is so weak, and you have hardly any item/weapon slots, and all sorts of other issues.  It's something I think the devs will have to address, because just looking around the Steam forums there are already a few people that will start the game, die horribly 20 times in an hour, and not persist because the very beginning is simply too rough.   I personally didn't have nearly that much trouble (and after a bit of persistence, that starting difficulty breaks down into the normal difficulty curve), but some players will have trouble reaching that point due to frustration.   So, hoping the devs can come up with a solution to that.


Other than that... Honestly, I keep playing this, keep finding more and more stuff, and I honestly could just play this all day.   Which I pretty much did. I was intending on doing some AI War today and other non-gaming stuff too, but.... got too absorbed into this game.

And I discovered a new thing to crash into:  Shield generators.  Nasty little buggers, those.  Big tip, DONT ram the shield wall.  Just don't.  Find some other way into whatever structure it's guarding.  Granted, I didn't mean to run into it, but... still managed it :D

Also discovered enemy ships with what I'm assuming are heavy shields.  Normally you cant actually see shielding as a visible effect on things, but I ran into one that might as well have been a big glowing bowling ball of lasery doom.   Everything went south after that so I didn't get to really see what that guy could do.

Did I mention that this game is super fun?  Just... you know... that starting bit.  Other than that though, a real blast here.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2016, 06:45:12 AM by Misery »

 

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