Everspace: Stellar Edition has finally made its way to Nintendo Switch, and for anyone who loves space combat and rogulikes, it’s going to be a must-buy.
For the uninitiated, Everspace has been around for a couple of years, beginning its life as an early access game on PC which I thoroughly enjoyed. It launched as a straight-forward roguelike space-shooter with no story, little variety, and a lot of polish. It was good, and it’s gotten much better since then.
Everspace: Stellar Edition represents the finished product, plus the Encounters DLC, which adds some fantastic depth to the game through side-missions. These are given to you by an alien race with whom you’ll interact as you progress through the story, and the voice acting throughout is more than serviceable — especially for a roguelike most of you will be coming to for quick runs and marathon upgrade sessions.
You see, as you make your way from zone to zone, sector to sector, you’ll be collecting resources, destroying enemies, and exploring your surroundings. As you progress, you’ll collect the materials you need to upgrade your weapons or craft new ones, but when you die, you lose everything. Only the currency you collect (credits) carries over to the next run, and you’ll spend that currency on permanent ship upgrades that persist over time.
Sounds pretty familiar, right? Everspace isn’t breaking any new ground here, but it also doesn’t attempt to punch above its weight or muddy the waters by introducing complex new systems or gimmicks. The permanent resources you’ll purchase between runs all seem vital, and there are a lot of them. You need those map and HUD upgrades in order to sense danger and find more resources. You need extra item slots so you can feel better equipped for combat. You need those extra hit points, and shield points, and reputation perks.
“One more run” is the roguelike player’s mantra, and you’ll be repeating it nonstop once Everspace sinks its hooks in. The pacing is such that you always feel like you’re breaking into a new zone or reaching a new milestone, and there is always an important upgrade right within reach, if not for your current ship, then for the shiny new ship you just purchased.
Performance on the Switch is respectable, but not without compromises. Resolution and frame-rate can both dip at times, but those times are few and far between. Strangely, I found that the game runs smooth-as-silk while in wide-open areas, even when those areas are populated with enemy ships and firefights. Take your ship inside of an asteroid, however, and the game will literally slow to a crawl and the resolution tanks.
The performance issues are rare, and are triggered by things that seem, to me, like they shouldn’t be taxing the hardware at all. This makes me think that a patch could smooth things out in the future, but for now, its definitely tolerable.
Everspace: Stellar Edition is loaded with content, and presents one of the best (and most addictive) roguelike experiences available on the Switch. If you’ve been gazing longingly at this game on your wishlist, go ahead and pull the trigger. If it’s simply a curio and you’re not a space freak, I’d still recommend picking it up on sale.