Everspace is a roguelike space shooter which places you in the shoes of a pilot trying to recover his past. Luckily, he's joined by a hilarious companion so the voyages are never cumbersome, even though they involve a lot of deaths. The goal is to fly your ship through various levels, collecting currency to upgrade your vessel, and then subsequently tackling even harder challenges as you slowly become stronger and stronger.
Roguelike games require you to replay areas again and again, in an effort to constantly upgrade your character. There are a lot of different types of fighters and components in Everspace, so it's quite the grind. In an effort to provide more compelling content, Rockfish Games recently released the Encounters expansion on Xbox One. Keep in mind that the game runs at 30 FPS on the base console, but features 4K 30 FPS or 1080p 60 FPS modes on Xbox One X.
Encounters adds new story characters, quests, a devastating new ship, lots of new equipment, more enemies, and other mysteries. The Colonial Sentinel is a medium fighter craft that has an extremely powerful shield and electronic warfare capabilities. The Lightning Gun that comes as a standard option for the Colonial Sentinel is extremely deadly and can take down numerous enemies with ease. Additionally, the Seeker Missile Battery launches a barrage on multiple foes and might even be more satisfying to use than the Lightning Gun.
Aside from the six new weapons, the quirky characters have to be the highlight of the experience. Everspace was never meant to be a serious game, but in Encounters you can even go on a "space date" with one of the characters. At least I think that's what it was! However, there are also bounty hunters and alien scientists to encounter. The alien scientist wants you to examine creatures in space so don't be alarmed if you see some tentacles creeping out of a wrecked frigate in some of the environments.
In the base game, it seems like you're always the main target even when a group of bandits is attacking a trader. If you interfere, you'll get shot at from every direction. Luckily, tools like the Electromagnetic Pulse Generator and Decoy Hologram can quickly take care of any unwanted attention. It's a shame they weren't available to begin with.
Another problem the base game suffers from is the lack of spaces to upgrade your ship while you're playing. For example, let's say you end up with 20,000 credits and could easily make your hull much stronger. Beforehand, you would have to wait until you were killed, respawn in the starting area, and then purchase the upgrades. Now you can go to one of the Factory Stations and acquire whatever you need.
It's a shame that the ship upgrades are still so much of a grind, because many of them have multiple levels you have to purchase before you're granted the perk. Rockfish Games should consider eliminating this because it comes across as a little unfair.
If you love space shooters and like Everspace, then the Encounters expansion makes the game even ever. There's so much more to do and experiment with. Even smaller additions like the gorgeous skins looks phenomenal on the detailed ships. More than anything else though, the add-on brings a lot more personality and charm to experience. That's why I think Encounters is worth your time at just $9.99.
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