Review: End Space (PSVR)

Long ago, when PSVR was first announced, I was super excited for the amazing space sim possibilities that a game like EVE: Valkyrie seemed to suggest. I even bought a special Thrustmaster Hotas 4 Flight Stick, that’s compatible with both PC and PS4, in anticipation of glorious VR space combat. Well, EVE: Valkyrie disappointingly turned out to have almost no single-player content and shockingly turned out to have no flight stick support, so my dreams of blasting my enemies into high-speed vacuum-packed corpse-icles were crushed.

Luckily, End Space has appeared to give me my fix and justify my purchase of that stick. End Space is a pretty simple space sim, but it’s also a very effective one. To put it in space sim fan terms, it’s more Colony Wars than Wing Commander. To be more specific for everyone else, there’s only the barest bones of a story here, but once I found myself in that virtual cockpit, I didn’t much care. The combat is relatively basic for a space sim, with minimal ship upgrade capabilities and no micromanagement involved, but it’s very solidly designed, and a whole lot of fun.

The game offers a nice variety of missions, including many classic types of the genre like patrols, escort missions, a mine field, and ambushes aplenty. There are a few different types of enemy fighters to dogfight with, and of course it wouldn’t be a space sim without some huge, nasty capital ships of various types to blow up.

The game can be played with a standard controller, but the addition of flight stick compatibility was a much appreciated bonus. All the controls worked perfectly and didn’t need any tinkering or rearranging. It’s a nice treat to be actually manipulating a stick and throttle and look down and see your virtual hands also operating the stick and throttle.

I think the only complaint I really had was about the severe difficulty spike in the last level. Results may vary for others, but I had a pretty easy time getting through most of the game until the final level, which just becomes insanely difficult out of nowhere, putting you up against an enormous number of fighters and capital ships. I was able to clear it out after many failed attempts, after I figured out the exact right order to take all the enemies out in with minimal damage to my ship, and then how to survive the deadly final surprise wave. It was pretty rough even for someone with a lot of experience with this kind of game, and I can see it being a source of some serious frustrating for many others.

Overall though, it’s an excellent VR-exclusive game and a more than worthy space sim. It is another short VR game, clocking in at around 4-5 hours, which is unfortunate (because I need moooooore of this!), but you can pick it up for $20 or less, so it’s not a bad deal at all for what a well-made, enjoyable experience it is.

End Space is available now digitally on PS4.

Disclosure statement: Review code for End Space was provided by Orange Bridge Studios. A Most Agreeable Pastime operates as an independent site, and all opinions expressed are those of the author.

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