Title: Eternity: The Last Unicorn Review
Available on: PlayStation 4 and PC
Developer: Void Studios
Publisher: 1C Entertainment
Genre: Action RPG
Version Tested: PlayStation 4
Official Site: https://eternity.voidstudios.com.br
Release Date: March 5th, 2019
Do you ever miss the fixed-camera action games of the PlayStation and PlayStation 2 era? How about Norse Mythology? Are you a fan of Vikings and Valkyrie? If you answered yes then the premise of Eternity: The Last Unicorn from developer Void Studios will probably sound very attractive to you. The game is an attempt to merge the gameplay mechanics of classic titles like Onimusha with the modern sensibilities of various Dark Souls style games. This is all set to the backdrop of a world rich in Norse mythology. So does Eternity: The Last Unicorn pull it off? Or is it another in a long line of well-meaning homages that falls short of it’s potential? Let’s take a closer look and find out.
So I really appreciate what the developers tried to do here, and I understand they spent 4 years working on Eternity, but I didn’t really enjoy my time with it. That’s not to say that the game is complete garbage, it does have it’s redeeming qualities. But for me, it wasn’t worth dealing with the game’s glaring issues to find what enjoyment it was hiding.
The game starts with you playing as the elf Aurehen. She is a cool enough character, with a competent design. But one of the failings of the game is that I never felt particularly attached to her, nor did I really care about her motivations. Bior the Viking joins her as a second playable character, but his story wasn’t much deeper. Speaking of the story, I won’t spoil anything, but it is mainly told through cutscenes with writing text, as this game has no voice acting. I don’t want to sound like a spoiled modern gamer, but honestly having to read everything in the game was a little off-putting for a 3D game that was released in 2019.
But a game can be forgiven for a poor story if it makes up for it with compelling gameplay, and unfortunately, Eternity: The Last Unicorn falls flat in this area as well. For starters, the game is full of bugs and glitches. Only about a half hour into my playthrough, I had my game freeze on a loading screen, causing me to have to reload a previous save. Another time I had the audio glitch and go completely mute until I reloaded the game. Sometimes things in the environment you should be able to interact with become impossible to trigger. These issues made it hard not to quit playing very early on.
I do like the art style of the game, it looks very good at times. That said, the animations themselves can be stiff and strange. The camera doesn’t help. Having taken inspiration from the fixed camera of classic games, Eternity inherited their issues as well. With the direction controls sometimes changing as you enter a new area and the camera angle changes. This is a problem I had with old school games, and it is a problem I have with this game too.
Where it best emulates something like the satisfying gameplay of Dark Souls is in its Boss fights. They are big, over the top, and challenging. I found myself enjoying them much more than the rest of the game. Which led to me trying to rush through areas to get to the next boss, which led to me being unprepared and getting destroyed, which led to me reloading and grinding a bit so I get go back to the boss and try again. Definitely feels like a throwback experience, but in a frustrating way.
I’m not going to pretend that making a video game is easy. And I definitely feel for the people at Void Studios who put some much of their lives into this game. But I just can’t recommend Eternity: The Last Unicorn. It was a great idea, and some parts of it; in particular the boss battles, do show the experience the developers intended to create. But it’s marred with bugs, glitches, and technical shortcomings. This game is a perfect example of a product that lacks polish and could have possibly benefitted from some more time in development or some kind of QA feedback.
Verdict: I really wanted to like it. The classic games it pays homage to are among my favorites. And the Norse mythology it uses as a backdrop is fascinating. But it just fails to deliver enough satisfying gameplay to hold onto the attention of players. Hopefully, if they continue to develop new titles, Void Studios will learn from their mistakes and spend more time on the quality of their game before shipping it out to the public for consumption.
- Cool Norse Mythology inspired world
- Challenging and exciting boss battles
- Filled with bugs and glitches
- Poor animation quality
- The story seems shallow and forgettable at times
- Camera can be frustrating