Edge of Eternity Early Impressions
From the March 2023 Humble Choice bundle, I took a look at Edge of Eternity. This wasn’t the original plan. Originally, I was to take a look at Biomutant. And… I did. Briefly. I made the fatal flaw of daring to play it, on PC mind-you, with a mouse and keyboard. It was hate at first contact. There is a weird swing in camera position that happens before it starts to pivot, and on PC’s native controls at least, it feels truly awful.
I gave controller a go — I’ve certainly softened my position on using a controller for PC games over the years, but at least so far as Biomutant was concerned… The damage was done. Controller was better, but not good enough to keep me going. Fortunately, Stalkingvengeance over at Cubic Creativity picked Biomutant up and played it instead, with much greater success.
So we swapped. And I got to play Edge of Eternity as well — an RPG in the stylings of the PlayStation 1 and 2 era Final Fantasy titles.
I think for anyone who played those types of games as a kid, there is something familiar and homely about playing games in this genre. Certainly, that’s true for me at least. I can barely tolerate grinding in my games these days, but sit me in front of this style of RPG and old habits come out nigh immediately. Exploring every nook and cranny for the chest inevitably hidden there, yes. Also? Taking on every battle I see to maximise XP in the range of systems that demand it.
Which in the Edge of Eternity, so far, includes both your weapons and your characters.
Random battles are not a thing. You’ll be able to see the enemies around you and make a choice as to whether or not to beeline toward them, yelling a battle cry, or to instead duck and weave right through their midst flipping the bird as you leave them in your dust.
Especially given the fact your HP and MP recover between battles though, there is really only one natural and correct answer there.
With the three hours I’ve given the game so far, I’ve unlocked mounts, crafting on consumables, crafting of weapons, gem sockets on said weapons, hunting boards and just in general a wide slew of systems.
And if I was a betting man, I’d suggest that there were still plenty more to come. Or at a minimum, further depth and complexities for the ones I’ve already unlocked. There seems to be a lot here already to keep you going if the systems are what you come for.
Changing tack a bit, to discuss the story… It’s very much as you’d expect. Youngsters find themselves in a world a trouble that quickly ratchets up to 11. Without spoiling anything that isn’t told to you in essentially the opening scenes, your world is under assault by technologically advanced aliens. At first they seemingly came in peace and offered up technology for the betterment of your people.
But… something changed, and it has been all-out war for some time now. To top it all off, there is a disease known as the Corrosion, seemingly a further ‘gift’ from the aliens, that painfully distorts the body before ultimately killing the victim.
It might not be anything particularly revolutionary, but it does the job. I’m invested and can see — or at least, think I can see — some of the twists to come.
The dialog of the game is partially voiced, including for your main character, Daryon. It’s not… excellent. Not all of it at least. Daryon’s voice has grown on me, and some of the others aren’t too bad, either.
But it’s worth bearing in mind that this was not a game developed with the aid of a near unlimited budget. It was rather built up by a rather small indie studio. That the game looks and sounds as well as it does should probably be taken as something of a miracle. But it still could be a little jarring initially. The character models seem just ever so slightly off, particularly faces.
Combat animations, so far, are also on the very basic side, although I will at the very least concede that for a game of this scope, I’m so early in that I cannot really say how this might end up. There are signs, through the spells that I have already socketed via the gems to my characters, that this might be only a short-term problem.
I would say that if you’re already a fan of the genre, then you’re going to be in for a good time here. Well worth making March’s Humble Choice bundle a grab. Hell, if you miss it — Edge of Eternity is not too expensive in its own right, and would support the developers that extra little bit to grab it more directly.
But if you’re not already a fan, if you’ve bounced off these types of games in the past… Don’t expect it to change your mind.
The game is all about the comfy cadence of moving around the world, leaving a swath of death in your wake, before finally working your way toward the next big story beat or boss as the main reward for the time spent so far, all the while moving from youngsters with barely an ounce of power to… well, still youngsters, but with the power to test the gods themselves.