Rockfish’s take on the still barren genre of epic space shooters is not only a wonderfully addictive arcade blast, it’s also one of the prettiest games available with VR support there is.

I’ve waffled on about my hopes for Rockfish GamesEverspace, a rogue-like arcade space shooter, before. My nostalgic yearning for a spiritual successor to Freespace (1999), which took the majesty, scale and unapologetic spurning of realism of a true space opera’s battles and made it easy to play but difficult to master. That title was developed by Volition way back in 1999 and, if I’m completely honest, there’s not been an awful lot to rival it in all this intervening time.

Now, in Everspace, not only do we have a spiritual successor to Freespace of sorts, but the title has also been developed with VR support pretty much from the get go. After languishing in early access for some time now, Rockfish has finally announced that the first ‘full fat’ version of the title is now on release, with support for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift headsets.

First off, this is not a full review of Everspace by any means, merely a very brief preview of the title after spending a little time with it on the Oculus Rift since its full release last week. But even after such a short spell, Everspace seems to have the accessible combat and ludicrously OTT space pyrotechnics I crave from a space shooter.

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As with many indie titles across many genres these days, Everspace adopts the fashionable rogue-like structure for its core gameplay. For those unfamiliar with the term (and it’s applied somewhat loosely in this case), this means every play session consists of a ‘run’, a play through whereby you progress a little further with each successive attempt, acquiring persistent upgrades and perks to extend the length of those runs. It’s a classic loop, and you can see why it’s popular, but after myself building the comparison, in this respect Everspace is entirely unlike Freespace‘s mission based structure. My comparison of the two relates more to the combat style, which gives you punchy gatling guns, homing missiles and lasers to toy with – all of which exude that space opera flair I spoke of earlier.

With the full release of Everspace comes a story of sorts. Instead of being thrown into the majestic void to blast things indiscriminately with no idea as to why, you’re now thrown into the majestic void to blast things indiscriminately prefixed by a brief series of hand-drawn cut scenes instead. As I said, my time with Everspace is as yet brief, but although I understand the need for such polish in a game costing £23, I suspect the story will be largely inconsequential to your enjoyment of the title in the long run. I’ve been wrong before though.

The VR support is solid, with some thoughtful graphics options (initially auto detected according to your PC’s specs) available for tweaking – including some healthy super-sampling and AA tweaks, very welcome in such a title. I did notice some glitching artefacts on some text HUD elements, but that aside things looked great.

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The visuals are glorious – painterly space vistas punctuated with bright, attractive hues – with some great ship design and a general level of production aesthetic belying its indie roots. The combat feels weighty, with standard lasers and gatling weapons feeling satisfying and punchy and the obligatory homing missiles finding targets in an entirely delightful, if OTT fashion.

You collect scrap, loot, mine ore and collect fuel and upgrades from fallen foes. If you die, you’re returned to the hangar and given the option to upgrade your current ship (those persistent perks and mods I mentioned earlier), or buy a new one should you have enough materials and / or credits to do so. You progress through  the procedurally generated universe via jump gates and .. well that’s about all I know so far.

As I say, these are just some of my very early thoughts. I’ve not played the game enough to recommend Everspace as yet, but what I’ve seen so far looks great, the VR support is solid and it looks to scratch that Freespace itch I’ve had for so long too. If any of that has whet your appetite, you can grab Everspace now from Steam.

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  • Joshua Watler

    Yes, Its great and only going to get better. Although, did you notice if there was much (or any) diversity in the “cast”?

    • sfmike

      Is this a huge selling point?

      • Joshua Watler

        what do you mean?

    • White boys made the game. White boys are in it. Anyone bitching about diversity should make their own game and if you’re not capable just shut the hell up already.

      • Joshua Watler

        Do you make your food? Your own car? Is everything perfect about everything you own or use? Also, have you played the game? I was asking if he saw any diversity. If so, great.

        • ✨EnkrowX✨

          It’s a cockpit game where you shoot at other spaceships, why does any of this diversity stuff matter for this?

          • Joshua Watler

            There are cutscene. Have you played the game yet?

          • They’re jus indie devs giving you a reason to shoot stuff and not a story driven game. Lower your expectations. Everything is gonna be generic.

          • Joshua Watler

            Thats a very decent reply. Still wondering what the reviewer thought.

      • Roger Bentley

        Wow white supremacy even in vr what a entitled comment from a cave troll.

    • Vidura

      Does it matter? What the Fock is wrong with people and diversity these days ? Can’t someone make a damn game with whoever they like without having some social justice basement dweller biching about it ?

      • JonHanger

        Can’t somebody ask a question about his preference without some beta bitch wanna be alpha showing how insecure they are?

        Get over yourself.

  • ima420r

    I played the demo for this on Xbone and I liked it a lot. I didn’t realize you could use VR on the PC version! I will be picking this up very soon.

    • Lucidfeuer

      How is it different from No Man Sky, Elite Dangerous and Star Citizen, what’s different or particular?

      • Arcade like gameplay…maybe

        And VR(NMSky)

        • Lucidfeuer

          That’s what it seems, arcade-like, then I’m interested.

          • Joshua Watler

            Its gives you just enough of most things – and its works very well. Enjoy!

          • Lucidfeuer

            thanks

  • Tomas Sandven

    KreyGasm