It’s thanks to series like Final Fantasy that we have such hard to discern time periods. When you have characters wearing medieval armor and using medieval weapons while flying on a spaceship, you can’t really tell where things fall on the timeline. The strange thing is that this combination is something that’s rarely addressed in the game’s story. It gives us something to wonder and marvel at as we play and that’s something that Midgar Studio hopes to capture. With their game Edge Of Eternity on the edge of leaving Early Access, we’re curious about its final form, the places we’ll go and the creatures we’ll fight.
Where The Story Begins…
Long-form RPG games sometimes have trouble getting the story started and leave us lingering in a long prologue. When it does get started, it’s usually provided in small pieces that may be more confusing than helpful. In Edge Of Eternity, an opening narration and first missions clue us in. An alien race arrives in the world of Heryon and shares its advanced technology with its people. After some time, they decide that Heryon doesn’t deserve their tech and start a war. They release a deadly ailment called Corrosion which begins to decimate the population. Daryon, a soldier on the frontlines, is called away by his sister Selena who tells them that their mother has caught the Corrosion. The two then go on a quest to find the cure and maybe save the world. It’s an understandable beginning that hides a lot of layers.
Exploring a fantasy world can be very rewarding. Around every corner could be something new and wondrous which Edge Of Eternity aims to show. First, it shows off its sheer scale. The world of Heryon is quite massive with a lot of different areas to explore. There plants and minerals to pick up, chests to open, and monsters roaming around these wide-open lands. There are also various ways to get around from teleporting to riding a giant cat-like creature. If you decide to spend time running around, you’ll run into quite a lot.
There’s also a different take on turn-based combat. When you start fighting, the heroes and enemies spawn in random positions on the battlefield. The field is on a hexagonal grid made up of different pieces sort of like Catan. You can move your characters around the field to attack enemies from different angles, regroup or make use of the environment. Since moves are limited, it adds value to each one you make. You’ll find yourself wondering whether attacking or retreating is the best course of action.
Then there’s the amount of thought put into character customization. You can equip your party members with a lot of gear and skills to affect their stats. However, it’s not as simple as leveling up. Skills are gained by finding and earning different colored crystals and equipping them to selected paths. This gives various options to build your characters however you want with your favorite powers.
If a fantasy story has high points, it can also be surrounded by low points. Edge Of Eternity dips a few times in this regard. The most obvious dip is in the visuals. There’s a lot of detail in the appearance of the characters and environment but the problem is how they act and interact. Each character moves stiffly and unnaturally like their mannequins that escaped from a costume shop. They also look kind of flat and lack a certain amount of presence. It doesn’t help that there are points where you can pass through other characters and parts of the world.
The combat has an interesting gimmick but is slow overall. Each character only gets one move so you really need to make it count. Aside from special targeted attacks, there’s no way to protect yourself from getting hit. This is made worse by the fact that magic can take a long time to cast and enemies can hit from quite a range. This turn-based system is a bit more dynamic but still suffers from the same take-turns-hitting problem.
Lastly, there’s the crystal system. Even though it’s cool that there’s a fair amount of customization options, you’re limited by what you have. Equipment is not easy to come by and crystals can be even harder. What makes it more frustrating is that character skills are dependent on what crystals you have and not every crystal grants a skill. So, if you’re hoping to have a wide array of spells and powers, you’d better be ready to comb the land.
The Edge Of The Edge
Edge Of Eternity is an epic fantasy RPG about saving the world from aliens and an evil illness. There’s a lot to see and do with combat and customization adding to the creativity. It struggles with stiffness, clipping, pacing, and RNG as it tries to run smoothly. Feel free to explore eternity, just don’t stand too close to the edge.
TechRaptor reviewed Edge Of Eternity on Steam with a copy provided by the publisher. It is also available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
- A Huge and Expansive World
- A More Dynamic Turn-Based System
- Multiple Options for Character Customization
- Stiff Characters and Glitchy Environments.
- Slow and Somewhat Tricky Combat
- Skills Based on Stingy RNG