- Total Score: - 7.5/107.5/10
Edge of Eternity brings back memories of classic JRPGs, and although it has a few rough edges, it definitely scratches the itch!
Developer – Midgar Studio
Publisher – Dear Villagers, Plug In Digital, Maple Whispering
Platform – Microsoft Windows (Reviewed) with a future release on Playstation 4 and Xbox One
In a lot of ways I really miss the older entries of Final Fantasy. Things really haven’t been the same since X. While I do enjoy some of the new entries, there has been such a huge divergence in its formula over the past several entries, it has left a gap which feels like developers are a bit worried about going back. Edge of Eternity really reminds me of those older days, and although it has a few rough edges it definitely scratches the itch.
Edge of Eternity starts out like most RPGs. A war is raging between two factions, the inhabitants of the planet Heryon and an “alien” species called the Archelites. The Archelites were friendly at first and even shared their technology with the people of Heryon. Suddenly, for some unknown reason, they decided that they were no longer worthy of the technology and started to attack the people of Heryon. They wiped out entire cities quickly with their advanced technology, and it wasn’t long until they unleashed the worst weapon, the Corrosion. This sounds like a fairly typical story, and it is, but as the story goes on you find out more about the Corrosion, the Archelites, and the military, political, and religious factions on Heryon that adds a bit of spice to the story.
You start the game as a soldier name Daryon. He is a member of a squad in Heryon’s army, The Consort. These are the front line troops fighting against the Archelites. You receive a letter from your sister, Selene, who is a priestess of the Sanctorum which is the religious faction on Heryon. Her letter was sent to inform you that your mother has caught the Corrosion and that Selene needs your help in finding a cure before it is too late.
Of course, everything goes to hell and there is a surprise attack by the Archelites. This attack nearly kills everyone at the outpost you are stationed at. However, you manage to make your way to a bunker where another Sanctorum priest is trying to perform a ritual called “The Ascendance.” This ritual basically absorbs people and turns them into a giant energy weapon that will destory the Archelites. Your character, Daryon, is then targeted by the ritual but you manage to destroy the crystal that is used to absorb people just in time to save your life. You are the sole survivor of this attack and decide to desert the rest of the Consort to go help your sister and mother.
Most of the game you spend as a party of two, Daryon and Selene, but along the way you do meeting other party members to help form a party of four in total. I believe the max amount of characters at any time was 5, but only 4 members could be in the battle. The story has the usual elements of betrayal and politics along the way that do manage to keep the story interesting over its 40 hour run time.
The main issue I have with the story is the ending. It just kind of drops off, in a way it feels like we just hit the halfway point. There is obviously a push to provide a sequel or at least expand the game with future content. There are free updates coming soon, but I’m not sure they are expanding the story from this point. So it is possible for this issue to be remedied in a future update.
Outside of the main story line, you will come across characters and bounty boards around the world that will provide you with additional side quests. The bounty board quests are the standard fair, kill X amount of X enemy. I took my time and finished every quest from these boards and would say that 99% of them are not worth the time. They give very limited experience and rewards in most cases, but I would use them to level up my weapons. The NPC side quests though are a bit more involved and have minor side stories attached to them which were overall decent. I do wish there were more of a focus on these types of quests outside of the bounty boards, but you usually would complete them while doing the side quests as well.
The battle system is one of the highlights for me in the game. As you come across enemies in the world, if you touch them a battle will start. If you can get a pre-emptive strike on the enemy by performing an attack outside you will start the battle with a speed advantage. Once you begin the battle, the map is then divided into a bunch of hexagons. Your characters and the enemies can move around the battlefield and postition themselves to get back attacks and protect other weaker characters with stronger ones. Some characters have abilities and spells that can reach enemies further away and you must position your party to get the most advantage of the map.
The battle field also has crystals which can boost the stats of both enemies and your party if you share the space on the field. The battles themselves are turn based, and based on the characters Speed stat they act faster. There are also other stats such as Incantation Speed and Haste which can augment how fast your characters behave such as lowering the time it takes to cast a spells. Spells and abilities also have elemental attributes, buffing, and debuffing effects. You can use these different elements to take advantage of enemies weakness to increase your damage. Finally, when you spells are being cast, normal attacks can interrupt both your or your enemies spells. There is a nice balance to the strength of those abilities and being able to interrupt them.
Each character has different pros and cons. Daryon is the agile melee attacker, who has limited access to time spells but has a mix of elemental sword attacks. Selene is your caster, she is weak but can cast powerful spells and provide healing effects to your party. You also meet a few ranged attackers, using either guns or throwing knives. A defensive character that is slow but can attack all enemies in a space and taunt enemies to protect the party from attacks. Lastly, a support character who can help provide healing and ranged attacks. The downside is once you finally get access to the full party the game is almost over. This gives an akward pacing feeling to the game and I was more surprised that the game was actually over so soon after finally having a choice of my party composition.
Customizing your character’s abilities are done by equipping your weapons with Crystals. Each weapon has a tree of nodes that you can equip matching crystals into those slots. There are often many different paths that each weapon has that can focus on defensive or offensive abilities. This reminded me of the Final Fantasy VII’s materia system, mixed with the sphere grid of X. The crystals themselves have varying stats and abilities that come with each one and can allow you to customize your character’s abilities. I found that often times the best crystals to equip are ones that augment your speed and incantation speed stats. Speed is key to acting faster, which can allow you to interrupt enemy spells before they cast them. Incantation speed allows you to make sure your spells can be cast without worry about being interrupted themselves.
There is a crafting system for both weapons and armor, however I can say I didn’t craft a single piece of armor but I tried to craft a few different weapons. I found that most of the time, you will get weapons often enough that are strong enough to beat the game without crafting. One issue with the crafting is that it is a bit rough to keeping track of where materials drop and how exactly to farm those materials so you can craft weapons that are worth the effort. I think it is definitely possible to skip the entire crafting system and not miss anything important. I feel like the weapons can definitely use some scaling, or at least make it easier to find and buy crafting materials to make the crafting system worth investing time into.
Graphically, I was quite surprised by how well the game looks for such a small development team. While the character facial animations are a bit stiff, everything else looks pretty well done! The world has a nice variety of environments such as beaches, corroded fields, and beautiful plains. I wished there were visual changes to your characters based on the armor they are wearing, but each weapon has a different appearance which is nice. Spell animations are decent but you end up seeing the same spells for about 90% of the game as the upgrades to those spells don’t really start appearing until late into the game.
Technically, the game ran really well! I did experience a massive amount of screen tearing after one update, but it was fixed the next day. This brings up another great aspect of the Edge of Eternity, the developers are very active with the community and are fixing issues quite quickly. There are also plans for more free content to be added to the game later in the year which is great. The music was also very pleasant and I think it fit the game well! The game is definitely technically solid.
Overall, Edge of Eternity was worth playing. I really enjoyed the story even though it was fairly generic. While a few characters are a little cringy, the main cast of characters that are mostly interesting, especially Ysoris. He has the most interesting character arc and I really enjoyed his dialogue. If the game were made a few years ago it would be a huge hit. In my opinion, if you are looking for a game that is a mix of Final Fantasy and Star Ocean you might really enjoy your time with Edge of Eternity!