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EDGE OF ETERNITY: REVIEW



Edge of Eternity is a final Fantasy-style Japanese RPG developed by the small FrenchMidgar Studio, which has promised to combine the traditions of the Japanese and Western schools. I have about it as something toldBack in 2015, more than $ 150 thousand were raised for the project using Kickstarter, and the release was supposed to take place in a year. But Edge of Eternity did not come out until six years later. How did this affect the game and is it really worth waiting for so many years? All the pros and cons are below.


Arguments for

The epic storyline that raises serious topics

The plot in  Edge of Eternity is standard - aliens attack the planet Heryon, as a result of which pestilence spreads everywhere (literally - Corrosion). Before the eyes of the main character, the owner of a fashionable anime hairstyle and the name Darion, all his comrades die, and he himself becomes a witness to a bad ritual that is by no means aliens. At the same time, a particle of darkness settles in his chest - the Seed of destruction.

Darion then decides to desert to see his mother infected by the pestilence. At home, he meets his own sister, Celeste, who serves as a battlemage and priest in the local church of Sanctorium. Together they go in search of a cure for mom and at the same time for the whole world.

This path will be long, and throughout the course, we are constantly emphasized that brothers and sisters are different people. She is bright and sincere, she wants to help everyone in need. He is more withdrawn and selfish, believing that he must, first of all, solve his problems. Brother and sister often argue and talk about these topics - for example, before relaxing in a tavern. There is a lot of drama and sadness in history. Either the characters themselves die, then someone will ask Darion to finish them off, doomed to death due to infection. Now a sick mother with tears in her eyes asks her brother and sister to take care of each other.

At first, this pathos is annoying (I'll explain later why), but overall it's nice that the authors are trying to make the characters brighter, and the story more emotional and adult. The only pity is that the initially promised choice in dramatic situations is rare.

But the story itself is intriguing. After some time, another priest appears with companions from Sanctorium, who wants to appropriate the laurels of the savior of the world and hates Celeste very much. One of the deceased fighting friends of Darion seems to be alive, but is in captivity; he himself sees strange dreams, and the main villain turns out to be an extremely colorful and mysterious figure. Is he a villain? And how will this whole story with a bit of darkness in Darion's chest end? In general, there are enough questions.

Large open world

Events Edge of Eternity takes place in a large and very beautiful world where change biomes, weather, weather conditions and time of day.

We are free to travel through these open spaces both on foot and on colorful animals, reminiscent of a cross between a huge cat and an ostrich. Moreover, these animals know how to find sources of valuable resources, as well as track down quest characters, if necessary under the terms of the assignment. Plus there is a portal system.

Traveling around the world, we gradually spend energy reserves and get tired - from time to time we need to sleep. If you do this in the city in a tavern, then there you can also chat on a variety of topics that reveal the history of the world and characters, as well as eat - as in all JRPGs, this gives temporary bonuses to characteristics.

There are many large cities, smaller settlements, camps, some kind of obelisks with inscriptions about the history of the world, ruins and special buildings where you need to solve a simple puzzle in order to get to the chests with something valuable. In general, it is interesting to explore the world, especially at first - you can find the same chests in various places, collect resources useful for crafting and come across a side quest.

By the way, there are many additional tasks. In cities, villages and some camps there are boards with orders to kill certain monsters. Or someone may ask you to bring him a dozen special fruit crystals, open 50 chests, catch seven escaped chickens, who for some reason are drawn to where something bad, sad and dramatic happened. But there are more interesting quests - for example, once I met a cunning sly who offered to pay for the opportunity to open the chest behind his back, and when we agreed, he constantly raised the price, creating intrigue.

In another situation, I found a priest who considered himself a sinner. He wanted to die, but always in battle. And in fact, he turned out to be almost the strongest boss at that time, who did not want to die at all. And how do you like the story, when, according to the plot, we first set a huge monster on the camp with prisoners, and then came there and brazenly took the quest (and money) for his murder?

Dynamic battles

On the one hand, battles in  Edge of Eternity , as it should be in JRPG, take place in turn-based mode: characters stand opposite each other and hit, use skills, potions from inventory, or skip an action during their turn. You can also move to leave the affected area or go behind the enemy - this inflicts increased damage.

On the other hand, everything is much more dynamic than in the usual combat systems for the genre. In  Edge of Eternity, we influence how soon it's our turn to walk and how quickly we cast spells/skills. To do this, you need to either use instant abilities or increase the indicators responsible for speed (there is normal speed, incarnation speed and haste).

In addition, it is important to scan opponents to determine their vulnerability or resistance to various types of elemental damage - fire, water, air, earth and shadow. Time in the game runs constantly, and you can see on the mini-map which elemental elements are now more or less active - this affects the strength of the monsters.

Interesting pumping system

As with almost all JRPGs, characters automatically get a little stronger as they level up. But most of all, we influence their strength by installing crystals of varying degrees of coolness and specialization into weapons. They increase indicators and open access to active skills. Red crystals can unlock a fireball, yellow ones - lightning strike, green - healing, blue - freezing. There are many options.

At first, there are few slots for crystals in the weapon, but each blade or staff is pumped as it is used - there are more cells. Although it will not be possible to install everything - there are always alternative branches, and therefore we have to choose which crystals with which indicators are better. Moreover, they are allowed to change at any time and go the other way.

Ordinary crystals can be combined with each other to get more powerful ones.
Ordinary crystals can be combined with each other to get more powerful ones.

Moreover, if you have found or bought a new, potentially cooler weapon, then it will have to be pumped from scratch, which means that many skills will again be inaccessible. All this makes you choose wisely when choosing blades, crystals and abilities.

It is also important to buy or craft new equipment for arms, legs, head, torso. We find or buy recipes, use different types of resources, which can also be found, purchased or made on the machine. Different workbenches - for different types of work. And recipes for weapons are divided into groups - common, dragon, absorbing souls, and more. In general, crafting in  Edge of Eternity  is an interesting process in its own way, and most importantly, useful.

Weapons that consume souls are saturated with them, and then inflict increased damage.
Weapons that consume souls are saturated with them, and then inflict increased damage.

Arguments against

Outdated technical design

The fact that the protracted development has affected the game is really noticeable. The views in  Edge of Eternity are picturesque, but if you look closely, it becomes clear that the picture is still outdated. First of all, this concerns the animation and the character models themselves - they are like plasticine. It looks not so miserable, but somehow archaic, or something. At the same time, optimization limps with such graphics - sometimes locations are loaded for a long time, fps drops regularly, and textures are not loaded immediately.

But if you wish, you can find beautiful landscapes.
But if you wish, you can find beautiful landscapes.

This, of course, is not reflected in the role-playing mechanics and gameplay. But on the perception of the plot and direction - very much even. The story claims to be epic and dramatic, but when it is told with such wooden animation and static cutscenes typical for games from the 2000s, you involuntarily begin to get distracted. Then, of course, you get more or less involved, but at first, it is really annoying.

Two talking dolls.
Two talking dolls.

In addition, the archaic nature of Edge of Eternity, judging by the technical component, is indicated by the fact that the characters we meet during many hours of adventures in cities, camps and other locations do not move - they always stand in their places with exclamation marks or conversational clouds overhead. And this is already reflected in the perception of the world, which is not very much felt alive.

Although the illusion of activity is being successfully created.
Although the illusion of activity is being successfully created.

Jumping difficulty and grind

Finally, I must say about the balance of complexity. At first, on hard, the game may seem difficult - you have to switch to Normal. But in the end, even on Hard, it is often too easy to play and win. You switch to Nightmare - it's a little more difficult there, but still without any special problems. They start only in battles with large-caliber bosses.

In principle, this is normal. But the situation in which in most fights, even at the highest difficulty, we win approximately according to the same scheme (we attack the enemies first, which stuns them for a couple of moves, we take the mage behind the tank and use the most powerful spell that hits the area) normal. Yes, some opponents will still give a light - and fiddling with crystals and craft remain in demand. But I would like more challenges.

And less grind - at first, a large number of resources, chests and constantly reviving monsters in all locations fascinate, and due to this you quickly pump. And then, bored, you just run past.

The inventory and menu of the character are arranged quite conveniently.
The inventory and menu of the character are arranged quite conveniently.

At the  Edge of Eternity has its pluses and minuses, but overall I liked the game. Yes, from the point of view of a modern gamer, a lot is outdated here or looks too budgetary. But you can feel the charm of old RPGs from the 2000s and early 2010s with their warm atmosphere of real adventures.

Pros: intriguing story; well-written characters; large and picturesque open-world; many quests and adventures; dynamic battles; not the most commonplace pumping system, pushing to search for different sets of skills, crystals and weapons; nice music and voice acting.

Cons: The game is technically outdated in many ways; there are optimization problems; leaping complexity.

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