Available on: Xbox One, PC, Mac, IOS, Android
Developer: Dire Wolf Digital
Publisher: Dire Wolf Digital
Genre: Strategy Card Game
Official Site: Eternal
Release Date: September 21st, 2018
Where to Buy: Steam, Xbox Live
Soothing. Satisfying. Simple. Three words to describe the release of Dire Wolf Digital’s Xbox One version of the strategy card game Eternal. In a world where gamers have their pick from several trading card games on the market. Eternal feels different yet familiar. It’s fast-paced fun with a slight twist on the strategy card game genre.
With every strategy card game, players build a deck of an assorted amount of cards and battle opponents. Eternal is no different. Players start with a deck of 75 cards made up of five unique powers. They use the Power to draw sigils; Fire, Time, Justice, Primal, and Shadow, to summon creatures, spells, weapons, and armor to aid them in battles. Starting hand sizes are seven cards each.
Several cards feature exclusive effects that impact gameplay. Players can pick and choose from an assortment of beautifully animated cards to build their decks. Either making them one solid Power or combining them with multiple. The five sigil types each also come with their own mechanic. Fire tends to be more about dealing damage, where Justice builds up a players defenses making them more difficult to hit.
Eternal features solo adventures and player versus player battles. This review will focus on the core aspects of the game not multiplayer.
Where Eternal stands out from the other various card games is in its story mode. As soon as the game is finished downloading it throws the player into the first campaign. This acts as the tutorial process for the player, guiding them on five different Heroes, each with their own Power cards. Which, on one hand, is entertaining, but after the third Hero training session, it slowed my interest and left me wanting to quit. The first few hold your hand and guide your decisions, which I understand, but the point of a card game is to build a custom deck. I couldn’t find a way to skip the beginning. The training scenario is about an hour if played through quickly. It’s fun but takes a while to get to the main purpose of a strategy card game.
The story elements are full of detailed Heroes with their own rich backstories. Eternal’s inclusion of fully voiced characters adds to the overall game, allowing fans to feel immersed in a living world.
Players can continue in other campaigns but not all are available at the beginning. There is still so much Eternal offers.
Eternal features four unique and entertaining game modes each challenging and distinct in their own way. Players can play as different Heroes through various campaigns; fighting against AI controlled opponents. Campaign mode makes Eternal stand out from previous card games. It’s a game steeped in lore that adds to a relatively straightforward concept. Dire Wolf Digital is constantly adding new Heroes to the game’s roster, each with their own backstory.
Forge is another game mechanic that makes Eternal stand out. The game chooses from a list of 25 random cards. Then the player builds their deck by deciding from the various cards. If they make it through all the challenges they earn loot chests full of coins and cards. It’s fun and engaging, but can be a bit maddening when things don’t go the players way.
Gauntlet allows players to pick from their own custom built decks and go through different challenges each more difficult than the last until they lose twice or complete each one.
Puzzles force players to complete a challenge before moving on to more. For instance, one says to beat the opponent in just one turn. The player is left to figure out what they need to play in order to do so. It’s a challenging and an engaging twist to classic strategy card games.
Eternal also includes multiplayer matches. If players are wanting more of a challenge, they can face actual people to improve their levels.
There are multiple ways to add cards to a deck. Aside from winning them in the game modes. Eternal has what are called gems that allow players to buy boosters and cards. Players can buy gems with real-world currency, but it doesn’t take any value away from the game.
Verdict: Eternal is a fresh new take on the strategy card gaming genre. It is packed full of content, story, and lore to keep players engaged and wanting more. It does include gems that are available to buy with real-world currency, but players do not have to use money to get more content. From its simple mechanics to the four challenging game modes. Eternal is enjoyable and a blast to play. It’s a game that feels good and reminds me of playing card games with friends.
- Rich, deep strategic gameplay and counterplay with fast-spells and tactical combat!
- Next-gen mobile-friendly digital design with quick, smooth and intuitive gameplay!
- Fun story mechanic
- Great sound design
- Can be sluggish
- Slow start
- A bit glitchy
Scott’s been gaming since he could hold a controller in his hands. He’s a journalist who loves Dungeons and Dragons, video games, tabletop RPGs, and comic books. He has an intelligence of 6, he knows what he’s doing.