Edge of Eternity comes to consoles after its release on PC. This JRPG made in France drinks from the Final Fantasy imagery to create an experience that is eager to innovate and surprise. However, the care put into its development may not be a sufficient argument to justify its quality.
From the moment its arrival on Steam was announced, in 2018, Edge of Eternity was a project that caught my attention. Its definitive launch last summer went unnoticed by many, so its arrival on current and past generation consoles is an ideal opportunity to get your hands on one of those JRPGs made in the West that almost always dare to contribute something different to the formula. Edge of Eternity does not want to be less and strives to provide a good handful of ingredients that seek to hit the right key. Probably the first of these is his story and world building.
The title seeks its own hallmarks by mixing in the world of Heryon an alien invasion, with futuristic technology and aesthetics, and a strange disease called Corrosion that devastates a planet with an aesthetic at times medieval and at times steampunk. However, that search for originality translates into a strange pastiche that ends up eliminating any soul that the game could have, not having completely caught me in the 30-35 hours that the title lasts despite, even, having some other script twist interesting as well as dealing with some more raw and adult themes that are well missed in many of the games to which it pays homage. Through the brothers Daryon and Selene we will discover their world moving through wide scenarios interconnected with each other that manage with difficulties to emulate the experience of an open world.
However, the content present in the game in the form of secondary missions is not too extensive or original, often resorting to hunting missions or intricate puzzle solving in the scenarios that take advantage of the displacement system of its combat system. It is clear that a small company made up of no more than twenty workers such as Midgard Studio has preferred to focus on trying to build a solid main campaign above all else. Unfortunately, the dialogues of the game do not accompany this task too much, sinning from a great lack of substance in many of its lines despite arriving fully acted in voices in English and Japanese.
Edge of Eternity combat
Leaving aside the issue of whether the game’s story is better or worse, it is worth highlighting the type of experience that Edge of Eternity proposes during its combats. The influences of the latest Final Fantasy, including Xenoblade Chronicles, can be seen from the beginning, with a scanning system and entry into combat very similar. The scenarios are full of enemies and creatures that swarm freely marking, thanks to a color and level code, when it is better for us to enter the fight.
In Edge of Eternity we will meet up to a total of six new characters who will join our cause throughout the adventure. Within a battlefield organized by hexagonal squares, the program mixes an ATB combat system with the use of some elements present in the scenario such as ballistae and elemental stones that we can take advantage of. The attempt here to mix the classic turn-based combat of the JRPG and make it transcend beyond the mere exchange of blows, looking for offensive tactics that take advantage of the rivals’ rearguard, as well as the use of magic and coordinated attacks is appreciated. In fact, the experience leaves acceptable sensations in this section, but it is far from being satisfactory for what unbalanced of its difficulty in combat both by excess and by default.
The positioning of the camera does not finish feeling comfortableAnother of the great ‘buts’ that the combat system has lies in the camera positioning that, despite having a higher alternative vision aimed at military strategy, does not feel comfortable at any time, leaving some shots that do not benefit the spectacular nature with which many of the magics that we can execute invite to dream. In fact, the elemental weakness system suits the game very well, being the tactical point where Edge of Eternity really works as it should during combat. A feature present in the title is that from the menu you can configure different arrangements for the start of the fights, placing your combatants strategically based on their skills.
The gear upgrade in this JRPG adventure
Knowing that this title is far in its approach from other turn-based systems like King’s Bounty or Final Fantasy Tactics in terms of tactical depth, the RPG section of the title may be what feels best as a whole, although with nuances. Group management is simple and is supported by a fairly light interface that is easy to follow from the beginning of the adventure. Building your party is quite simple. While you can equip various types of armor, the most significant upgrades are tied to your weapons, as each has its own skill tree to unlock as you level up the weapon through combat use.
Exploration becomes fundamental in this section, since the skill tree slots can be equipped using different crystals that we will find scattered around the scenarios or as a reward for having achieved something. specific goal during the fighting. I hadn’t mentioned it before, but these small incentives try to clear up the monotony of the confrontations, especially when I’ve had to stand up to a good handful of not-too-complicated enemies that have made the passage from one turn to another not fastest and smoothest in the world. Unfortunately, it seems that these objectives are completely randomly generated before the matchups, so some of them are meaningless or simply not attainable.
Each of these crystals in turn has a type of rarity that allows us to unlock passive bonuses and new spells to use in combat. It is an improvement system that keeps you entertained for a good part of the experience, something that you will appreciate if you are one of those who are looking for perfection in each of the pieces of equipment, but that will become a bit tedious as you go. that you change weapons having to transport all your crystals from one to another or having to rack your brain looking for a way to fit them into a completely different configuration than the one you were used to.
The problem with the weaponry is not so much in the latter, and more in the fact that much of the weapons and equipment of high level are created with manufacturing elements whose location is very random and is rarely marked within the game, so in the end you end up going around more times than necessary or repeating confrontations in search of a drop which may take time to arrive. It’s a shame, since the title here loses a nice opportunity for exploration to make more sense. You will also be able to create recipes to eat during breaks and where unpublished scenes will be unlocked in the style of Tales of Arise, although with a much more austere artistic execution.
This austerity is also reflected in the way we move around its stages. Our characters can only move horizontally, without being able to jump or climb, and the impression that remains in many sections of the game is that of being in a overworld made up by the third person camera which gives it an ARPG aspect without being one, of course. To move faster around the world we have some…giant cats, no matter how you try to express it, that’s what Nekaroos are. These cats attract a lot of attention from the beginning of the game and it is inevitable not to compare them with the Chocobos from Final Fantasy. In any case they are adorable and charming, who can resist a mount that purrs at you!
Edge of Eternity has very interesting exploration mechanics and the cycle of seasons and timeIn addition to the already mentioned crystals in the different shops that we find scattered throughout their cities and settlements, Edge of Eternity gives the possibility of getting hold of specific objects to use as support during clashes. Useful as traps and different types of potions for our health or magic points, they soon fill up the inventory.
Edge of Eternity also has a couple of very interesting mechanics that have to do with exploration and its cycle of seasons and time. We will have to watch the group energyso you will have to rest in camps or inns when it runs out, something that may seem limiting at first, but the truth is that the rate of wear is not so high as to end up being annoying.
To one side of the omnipresent circular minimap during the game we find a series of icons that mark the different elements which we can make use of during combat. An important indicator since these elements will be highlighted cyclically in two aspects. If the element in question is illuminated, it is a good time to use it since it will have bonuses, while if it is marked in red, it is better not to use it since it will be penalized. A proposal that does not condition the game too much, but that well used can be a good advantage at times.
Edge of Eternity graphics: good intentions but…
It shows that Midgard Studio has put a lot of effort into it. This is extracted from details such as the bestiary or the different clothes that we can equip. His world, despite how opposed some of his features are and that suggest a certain anachrony (if such a concept could ever exist within fantasy) becomes lovely sometimes. Boasting a good variety of biomes ranging from grassy plains to sunny beaches to icy wastelands.
Unfortunately the graphic section It does not accompany him with body and facial modeling for NPCs who are from another time. The animations feel rigid and our protagonists do not have a much better finish, although they do have something superior. Being aware of the budget limitations of the project is something that can be forgiven or overlooked. Less forgivable are the constant scratches caused by a very unstable frame rate in the reviewed version on PS5 even in performance mode. ‘Accidents’ like popping and problems with the loading of textures of clothing or buildings are almost a constant when the game populates its scenes with static and lifeless characters.
Probably the choice of an engine as it is Unity for a game of these characteristics it has not been the best, something that is also noticeable in the lighting and particle effects during exploration and combat. As for its soundtrack, a couple of compositions stand out that are repeated a lot during the game, being a good accompaniment, but nothing more. Edge of Eternity arrives translated in texts and subtitles into Spanish. As additional information, the premiere of this version for consoles comes just at the moment in which it has been confirmed that Nacon Games has bought the authors of Edge of Eternity.