Review by John Hellier
Blimey, this is going to be tricky to get through without swearing. Eternity: The Last Unicorn is a self-proclaimed “classic RPG with lore based on Norse mythology” brought to us by Void Studios.
I believe they misunderstood what RPG stands for though, as instead of a role-playing game this feels like a random pile of games. I can’t count how many different games have been Frankensteined together to make Eternity, but it feels like a long list.
First up is the obvious one, God of War (2018) with the Norse mythology aspect. I was willing to let this slide when I started playing, as rather than trying to emulate the plot of God of War, Eternity: The Last Unicorn just uses the same setting. That’s fine I thought, there is a lack of games in this particular setting, I can accept it may have just inspired the developers to explore this untapped mythology.Whilst writing this review however, I realise this decision was probably intentional.
Next into the mixing bowl that is Eternity is a heaped shovel of God of War (2005). Oh yes, why borrow from a game when you can borrow from the whole series? What we have is a 3rd person game with old school fixed(ish) camera perspective. I say ish as rather than old school Resident Evil games the camera follows you down corridors, pans around to follow you etc. It works surprisingly well for the most part (just wait, I will get to it) showing off the game world fairly well. Not that the graphics are anything to write home about, but I generally give indie games a pass on this area as long as high-end graphics are the realm of the triple A’s.
After preheating your ovens, the next ingredient is a smattering of Metroidvania. I’m not even sure I need to explain this concept, but for those of you who don’t know what I mean, firstly educate yourselves and secondly, explore the world, find McGuffin to open up new areas, backtrack to open up new areas to find the next McGuffin, repeat as necessary. The part that rubbed me the wrong way was with no map it’s very difficult to figure out where you are supposed to go next. I literally spent 3 hours scouring the game trying to find the next plot continuation device, turns out I’d walked right past it twice, not sure if that says more about the games design or me though.
Once cooked thoroughly, garnish with some bad audio. No this isn’t specifically from any game, in particular, however, if I had to choose I’d say it most resembles Ocarina of Time. The overly loud footstep sound effect (of which there is one for dry land and one for wet, so get used to hearing it often) and more importantly the same assertion sound every time you swing your sword.
Speaking of swords, it’s time to cut the cake (see what I did there? No wonder I don’t get paid for this). Combat is influenced by Dark Souls. The same dodge focused, timing and pattern based swordplay that is harder than a very hard thing (They can’t all be winners). Now taken on it’s own, that would have been fine, but those of you who have been paying attention may have already spotted the flaw. Dodge focused combat + fixed camera perspective = ARRRRGGGGHHHHHHH Sorry, I’ve gotten it out of my system for now.
You see it’s bad enough being jumped by hordes of enemies when you have to dodge around the battle waiting for an opening. Add to this the camera hiding somewhere behind a big lumbering enemy whilst you are further away being ganked by 3 smaller enemies and combat quickly becomes an exercise in using the force. That’s not even the worst part, occasionally you will be backing away from an enemy in order to avoid an attack, and the camera switches to an entirely new angle so you can’t even see the sword as it buries into your back. Combine this with boss battles which are typically much bigger than you and you can imagine the difficulty in trying not to embed your controller in the screen.
So I dislike Eternity then, you might rightly deduce. Well surprisingly not actually, as evidenced by spending 3 hours trying to find the way forward. I don’t love it, nor could I honestly recommend it to anyone other than masochists, however it does have a certain charm. Actually, charm might be the wrong word, I’m pretty sure half the time I carried on playing in order to spite the game, but the main thing is I carried on.
The story (oh right, I forgot to mention, you are an elf lady trying to restore the last unicorn’s horn so elves stay immortal, (and a soldier who is just kinda there) is interesting in so much as it’s something that hasn’t been done to death (yet). Time for the all-important score and summation then. I can’t say Eternity: The Last Unicorn is particularly good, and some of the ingredients don’t mix together (understatement of the year) but at least it’s trying.
It’s a bit like Mexican food, a lot of the same sort of things put together slightly differently, only in this case the tortilla has been covered in Nutella.
Overall Score – 5/10
This reviewer takes no responsibility for broken controllers or televisions due to the playing