I love role-playing games, I really do. I love the connection I make with my character and watching them grow, over time, getting more powerful and constantly evolving. This, however, does not mean these games get an easy pass. The game still needs to be interesting, functional and the gameplay needs to be fun. I have been tasked with reviewing Eternity The Last Unicorn, which I have not heard of before my review but will go into with an open mind.
In Eternity The Last Unicorn, you play an elf who lives in a world full of magic and intrigue. You are tasked with saving the last unicorn, the game title kind of gives it all away. Once upon a time unicorns provided immortality to the elves. Now, due to the extinction of the magical beasts, it’s up to you to lift the curse on the last unicorn and return immortality to your race. No pressure then.
The first thing I noticed about this old school RPG was its camera angle. It’s a fixed camera angle akin to that of the old Resident Evil games. I am not a fan of fixed cameras in games but as always, I will work with it and see how it goes. The game screams ‘classic RPG’ all the way through. From its text-based dialogue, clunky combat and it’s considerably basic graphical presentation.
Gameplay is what you come to expect from games like this. Solve small puzzles, collect items and progress through its various environments. There’s some backtracking required to solve puzzles or help certain NPC’s but nothing here is innovative or unique in any way. During your romp through this fantasy world you acquire crystals of 2 varieties, they come in red and green and have distinct functions. Green restores your health and red is used as currency and for upgrades. The system is simple and it does its job admirably.
Combat is serviceable if not unique or exciting in any way. You have a light attack, heavy attack, evade and an area of effect attack that builds up over time. There is nothing wrong with the combat per se, I just found it uninspiring and quite sluggish. Coming from playing other RPG’s of the same ilk, the combat was unsatisfying. Sometimes I even had it being unresponsive, I would press the attack button and nothing would happen. I got over this in the end though and pushed on, accepting it and adapting.
One thing I did like about the combat was the instant death mechanic. After you have damaged an enemy enough, you were greeted with a prompt to instantly kill it. This provided a needed respite in a large brawl and returned some health to your character. On several occasions, this system saved my life and was a really welcomed innovation. It did add a slight strategic element when fighting a large group. You had to decide what to attack, when to attack and use your evade and instakill ability when needed.
Graphically, I was very disappointed with this title. At times it looked OK but overall looked very dated and bland. The foliage was basic, the textures were sometimes very low resolution and the overall look was soupy and very blurry. Creatures clipped through the environment at times, even during cutscenes. I am not a graphics snob by any means but I do appreciate a nice looking game and this is not one of them. While I can appreciate a nice graphical style, this game does not even have that and it’s a bit disappointing.
The sound in this title also presented its own challenges. Even though I found the lack of voice acting off-putting, I do think this is a conscious decision from the developers and I appreciate that. I had issues with sounds not playing or sounds out of sync, this ruined the immersion for me and took me out of this fantasy world I was exploring. A boss screamed at me in the cutscene but no sound played at all, it was very offputting and strange.
I like to do a performance bit at the end of my reviews, as everyone knows. We all need to know if a game plays well and is worth our time and money. Eternity performed, at best, average in this department. I witnessed several crashes during my playtime and due to the infrequent save spots, I sometimes lost a chunk of gameplay. It got bothersome and repeating sections of the game became tiring. I will admit, I did not play a massive amount of the content available but what I did play was, on a technical level, very poor. For instance, it crashed 3 times during the first boss. I had to replay it too many times for it to be fun, especially when the gameplay isn’t great to start with and the save points are few and far between.
The camera angle bothered me at times while playing. Running back towards the screen when I needed to see where I was going became a chore. I often got hit by traps or enemies because they were off-screen as I ran towards them. Some of the button press prompts were very picky about where I stood to activate them, sometimes when opening chests I had to move about to find it’s ‘sweet spot’. Other than that though the game performed satisfactorily.
Overall, I felt my time with this game was wasted. I felt it’s setting and story were fine, if not remarkable. It’s combat system dated and clunky and it’s technical issues were plain to see. If you’re not enjoying a game and it crashes, forcing you to replay parts of it again. It will eventually start to grate on you. I feel more time in development would have benefitted it greatly. Clean up the graphics, tighten up the combat and fix the crashes and technical hitches then maybe, and I mean maybe, it will be an enjoyable experience. At the moment though there are a lot more enjoyable games, even of this variety to spend your hard earned cash on.
*Code kindly provided by the publisher for review*