Getting a chance to evaluate the new DLC for EVERSPACE (which I recently reviewed) Encounters, gave me two immediate reactions. First, and most obvious, was jubilation that they had produced a new addition to the EVERSPACE system. My second feeling was that of terror: “Okkar Forces Inbound”. Maybe with a new ship and weapons, I wouldn’t die with such frequency. Well, I still died just as much (if not more, as I believe they have ramped up the difficulty!), but it was incredibly fun dying with an assortment of new toys.
The new ship for Encounters is the Colonial Sentinel. For the duration of my time with EVERSPACE Encounters, this would be my ship of choice. From the beginning of the run(s), the ship alone made it play differently. The Colonial Sentinel is a medium fighter which uses an advanced electronic warfare device as well as a superior shield system.
The new ship components are: Lightning Gun, a streaming bolt of lightning which can actually arc over to other enemies; Corrosion Missile, which completely bypasses the foe’s shields to disintegrate their hull (over a little bit of time); Shield ST, which is a Superior Titanium shield with a very high capacity, but is also slower to recharge; EMP Generator, which makes an EMP that both surrounds you and disables nearby enemies; Device Charger, which instantly resets all of your cooldowns so they are immediately ready to use again; and finally Turret Overdrive, which takes control of nearby turrets to fight for you. Personally, I loved the Lightning Gun and leaned heavily on the EMP Generator, which also means I had to build and use a lot of the (consumable) Device Chargers, not wanting to wait on the generator to recharge.
There are also new random gear drops which include, “Seeker Missile Battery, Destabilizer Missile, Emergency Shield, Static Discharger, Remote Energy Discharger, Drone Disassembler, Energy Diverter, Engine Booster and Target Decelerator.” The Destabilizer Missiles, as well as the Static Discharger, are my top two favorites of this group.
Of course, the main draw to Encounters (and hence the name) are new meetings with various NPCs. Although I would like nothing more than to regale you with a multitude of stories about them, I will really have to tip-toe around to avoid any spoilers. You will meet various people (and people-like entities) who will ask you to do certain tasks for them. So far, these have been quite imaginative and have varied greatly, with jobs uniquely tailored to each person you come into contact with. Not only are the encounters fun, but they add a completely new layer to the game.
The best part of the quests? The ones I have completed pay in cold, hard cash. We all know the importance of money after every one of your inevitable deaths. We need the green for after the black. Along with the funds, sometimes their storylines will lead to new blueprints as well. The new part designs are just as interesting (and useful, of course) as the new components and innovative gear drops.
The new and improved factory space stations are intriguing as well. Yes, some are fuel stations, while others are for trading. Now though, you can sometimes repair your ship or upgrade its abilities, while others let you refine and convert supplies.
Overall, I had a great time getting to fly around with the new additions to EVERSPACE. Everything added enhanced the entire experience for me. Yes, sometimes there are a lot of Okkar fighters in the first section, before the first jump. Yes, other times, no Jumpdrive was generated and I had to find out how to circumvent that as well. However, all of the new pieces, parts and people in EVERSPACE Encounters merely add more enjoyment to an already great game. Now, for some reason, I have to go start a flight in Sector 1-1.