Space shooters aren’t a new genre for VR, we already have at least two that could be defined as AAA titles, Elite Dangerous and EVE: Valkyrie, but when a supermodel walks up to the hot tub my answer is, ‘there’s always room for more.’
Everspace, Rockfish Games’ single player space shooter “with rogue-like elements and non-linear storytelling,” just rocketed past it’s $244k Kickstarter goal today. The game, which the developers say will have VR support, can be played from either the first or the third person perspective, one of many elements separating it from the aforementioned competition.
In Everspace, you have the goal to reach the set destination which seems simple enough except that each attempt is completely different and littered with new challenges meaning that “it is very unlikely you will encounter the same setting twice.” As you traverse the galaxy on your way to the destination you will encounter enemies and all sorts of cosmic anomalies like wormholes and floating ship graveyards and it is up to you to decided the best way to maneuver through the situation, on the fly.
The game combines elements of mining and resource gathering with it’s combat system but strays from going the full ‘space trucker’ route like Elite Dangerous instead aiming at a more “action focused” accessible approach (though it is worth mentioning that Elite Dangerous will be adding a close quarters combat extension that will have a lot more of a pick up and play style of gameplay). Accessibility is something at the core of the game’s design, “we won’t make [it] ultra hardcore and unforgiving,” says Rockfish.
But you’re going to die. A lot. And that is all part of the game.
The game’s story advances with every death, as does your ship which you are able to upgrade before heading back out to your next mission. The game’s plot is still being kept under wraps but the developers say that it “makes perfect sense for you to be re-born after every death and come back with a deeper knowledge of what is actually going on and, ultimately, solve the great puzzle.” The developers believe this will be the first of it’s kind in terms of genre structure.
Beyond original tweaks to classic genres, Everspace is looking to bring incredible visual prowess and epic physics to the genre as well. Eschewing the realism of Elite Dangerous’ physics, for example, Everspace is able to create a game that is much easier to simply pick up and play. And then there are some awesome physics effects like this:
That is how you will mine asteroids, by actually slicing them up with your lasers. So. Cool.
Your ship will also take live and specific damage depending on where it is hit, and those hits will affect its performance in specific ways. Players will be able to choose to spend resources they have collected on repairing parts of the ships. So for example if you are coming out of a fight towing a lot of resources and a busted shield generator you are going to be faced with the difficult decision as to whether you will save those resources to spend on upgrades later, or use them to repair your ship now. Dynamic decisions like these and an on-the-go crafting system will impact the gameplay throughout.
Everspace currently stands at $340,000, about $95,000 past its original goal with seven days remaining. Having already passed its first stretch goal, adding Mac and Linux support, Everspace eyes a PS4 and Xbox one version of the game at the $820k mark – a lofty goal, but one that could potentially bring Morpheus support to the game. We have reached out to Rockfish for comment, and will update when we receive a response.
It is worth noting that while Everspace‘s Kickstarter page does seem to waver somewhat on when we will see the VR version made available. “VR is very important to us as we believe Everspace is a perfect fit,” says Rockfish in the page’s FAQ, “However, before we commit to anyhting[sic] we want to make sure it actually works and the experience is just as good as it can be – we are fully aware that we will have to tone down the quality WHEN running VR to have a solid framerate for two Full HD viewports.” From these statements it seems that Rockfish may potentially release the game without native VR support and add it later, if they don’t have it right in time for launch which is currently estimated to be in October 2016. We have reached out to Rockfish for clarification on this matter as well and will update if we receive a response.