Designing and prototyping a fan game, only to have it picked up and made into an officially licensed spin-off sounds like a dream come true to many programmers, though a reality for not many. Jordan Scott, creator of RWBY: Grimm Eclipse, however, actually got a chance to live that dream. After five months in development on the game, it was picked up by Rooster Teeth and now here we are, five years after it first launched with a Nintendo Switch version. Does it still hold up?
Grimm Eclipse is set in the world of RWBY and is an action brawler, letting the players control any member of Team RWBY or Team JNPR in their quest to stop the Grimm, monsters that plague their world. The story in the campaign mode is pretty flimsy, basically just a generic excuse to go around and beat up monsters. It’s clearly designed to appeal to people who are already fans of the series, but the mechanics, if not the story, is easy enough to grasp for newcomers.
The game can be played in Single Player campaign mode, Local Multiplayer, or Online Multiplayer. Multiplayer modes can either play through the campaign or choose Horde or Gauntlet modes where you fight waves of Grimm enemies. Online multiplayer mode also gives you the option to link up with friends if you don’t want to play with randos.
The variety of modes is great, but the biggest drawback is that the campaign is clearly not meant to be played in single player. Is it doable? Yes, absolutely. Is it a pain in the butt? Yes, totally. Is it more fun playing on a team? You guessed it, the answer is yes. The different characters' strengths and weaknesses in playstyles also mean that they work well together as a team, which is sort of the point of the web show, to be frank.
At the same time, eight characters with eight different playstyles mean there’s quite a bit to experiment with and a good chance of finding one or more characters that fit with your style. Personally, while my favorite character is Weiss, I found that Pyrrha and Yang meshed best with the way that I play action games being more melee-oriented. And, while all characters have melee and ranged attacks, their particular movesets match up perfectly with the characters’ moves on RWBY, which makes for a really fun fan experience. Running around shooting icicles with Weiss’ glyphs and then taking out the Grimm with her sword? Yes!
One of the most fun parts of the game is the costumes. Almost every character’s outfit from the first two seasons is included, and the definitive edition for Switch also adds battle armor for Team RWBY as well as their Atlas Arc outfits, though I am definitely missing Nora’s. Other than that, characters from both teams can run around in their regular outfits, PJs, school uniforms and dance formalwear. All of these are just cosmetic, but if you think it’s not fun to run around with Jaune in footie pajamas, well, you’d be wrong.
The mechanics of the game are decent enough. My favorite part is that experience in the single-player game is saved automatically, so even if you die you still keep your progress. However, the actual attack mechanics themselves are pretty basic and you don’t have an option to block, only to dodge attacks. Still, as mentioned above, all of the attacks are customized for each of the eight characters, which is fun, and they have different ultimates and one of three skill trees per character is also unique to them based on their strongest suit.
So, does Grimm Eclipse hold up five years later? If you’re not into the series or only looking into the single-player campaign, you’ll probably want to give this one a pass. For fans of the series or those looking for a fun, fluffy multiplayer experience, it’s still a lot of fun.
TechRaptor reviewed RWBY: Grimm Eclipse Definitive Edition on Switch with a copy provided by the developer. The game is also available on PC.
- Fun Movesets That Match The Web Show
- Fun Combat and Characters
- No Block Button
- Campaign Clearly Designed for Multiplayer Mode