Title: Edge of Eternity
Developer: Midgar Studios
Release Date: June 8, 2021
Reviewed On: PC
Publisher: Dear Villagers
It seems like I have been following the development of Edge of Eternity for the past five years. I’m sure there’s a joke about this game taking an eternity to release, but I’m going to lay off. The small team that created this game should be proud of their accomplishments in this launch version. However, a ton of work needs to be done, but most problems stem from a lack of identity.
Edge of Eternity introduces Daryon, a former scout for the Archelites army and a recent deserter after receiving a letter that his mom has caught an illness known as corrosion. While the intro is strong, there’s just too much happening to really pinpoint who the antagonist is and what exactly is going on. You see, there’s an alien invasion underway that threatens humanity, but there’s also corruption at a governmental level.
I never felt attached to the character’s missions
Through the journey, we meet Selene, Daryon sister and priestess, with magical capabilities. She’s impulsive and opinionative and pretty much the reason why Daryon left the army as she hinted at a cure for their mother. The story expands past this, of course, but after such an action-filled opening, it’s strange how Daryon forgets everything that happened and goes on an adventure with his sister.
There are some fun moments during the narrative, and the tutorial acts as a great way to introduce the various menus and systems, but nothing really comes of it. I never felt attached to the character’s missions, and it isn’t until much later that connections are made, but it’s almost too late to care. I think the lengthy development of this game releasing chapters as they are finished ultimately caused strange shifts in tone and left some plot holes as a result.
One problem that will come up often is that everything in this game feels like it was only halfway executed and developed
The gameplay is easily influenced by games such as Xenoblade and The Last Remnant. Players explore an open world at their leisure and initiate fights with enemies found throughout. This takes you to a grid-based battle screen where you can move characters around and launch attacks.
One problem that will come up often is that everything in this game feels like it was only halfway executed and developed. Limiting the systems would have been a much better approach, but it seems like the team tried to implement everything they love about JRPGs into one game, but it doesn’t quite work.
You have an open world with hundreds of NPCs to talk to. The towns feel somewhat lively, but I never felt incentives to explore them. I was always focused on moving from marker to marker to progress the narrative. There are chests scattered around, but the materials in this game aren’t really explained until you find a mission that requires you to craft something. Oh, yea, there is a crafting system, but I rarely used it unless I needed to for a side-quest.
Exploring outside of town is okay, but for some reason, there’s a stamina meter, and you can’t jump. Jumping is only important because the map is hard to read sometimes where the quest lies just outside of the town , but if you try to go through the town to get to it, a little fence will block your way, causing you to go all the way around. There’s also a team energy meter that depletes and requires the player to sleep to restore, but why?
I really liked the design of the environments, but the pop-ins and overall layout caused some confusion. I honestly wouldn’t have minded if something was cut to make these environments the highlight of the experience because the animations also took a hit. Characters look bad during cutscenes. It’s less like a PS2 JRPG and more like a lack of model design. Still, I didn’t mind the voiced character audio and thought it was a great addition to the long-winded narrative, on top of the strange design implementations. You have random camera bugs and unintuitive control schemes that change whether you’re playing with a keyboard and mouse or controller.
The fighting system did not need to be grid-based as this needlessly prolonged encounters and caused normal battles again enemies to last longer than they needed to. What’s worse is that there will come points where you’ll need to grind levels because enemies will begin to one-shot you. These random difficulty spikes happen without warning, but at least you can tell when the enemy name is red on the field.
Magic is a hit or miss, especially when some attacks target a grid and require a charging time to which enemies usually just move out of the way. You’ll be normal attacking a lot, but then I just never felt comfortable with leveling up or accessing the most from these characters.
Weapons have their own level, but they really don’t need it, and then you can attack these gems, but that’s super confusing too. Equipment, in general, is implemented in a unique way that took getting used to. However, I did like the overall UI design of these menus, even though I got lost in them several times.
Regardless of how I’ve received the implementation of these mechanics, I can still see that a lot of love has been put into the development. There’s just too much going on in this game to really appreciate what it does right. The fact that this game works and can be completed is amazing. This time attempted to implement systems found in AAA games and did it to the best of their abilities. I just think they bit off a little more than they could chew.
Edge of Eternity is a beautiful game that is held back by the ambition of the developers. There are just too many moving parts here, and nothing seems to be fully executed. It’s by no means a waste of time, though, and provides hours of fantasy adventures in a new world, but it lacks focus and implementation due to the numerous features and broken narrative.
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