Time is the moving image of Eternity.
Love games like Breath of The Wild, Ni-No-Kuni, Final Fantasy, and Horizon Zero Dawn? Want to pick up a JRPG, go on a journey, laugh and cry together? Well, that’s what I found happening to myself when I picked up Edge of Eternity. Created and developed by indie group Midgar studio, it promises to give you, the player a good kick up feels lane. Some of the fans who partook in the beta program insisted that this exciting new JRPG title is “one of the best”. So, is it? Let’s dive in and take a look.
Edge of Eternity’s story starts off heavy and dark and follows a linear questline. It is a world enshrouded in magic, mysteries, and, as you would have it, a pandemic. This virus, “The Corrosion”, originates from an interstellar species currently waging war against humans. Their knowledge and technology far advance our own, and they used this to their advantage to set siege on the mystical land. What’s more, the “Corrosion” takes over the body of the victim and kills the person or organism it has infected from the inside. If you think that’s the worst of it, you have another thing coming. The victim becomes a new host for the predator.
Now you, the player, comes into the picture. You are Daryon, fighting against extinction as a soldier. Your platoon is the last hope of humanity. I won’t spoil very much, but the prologue is immensely heartbreaking. But in saying that, one particular thing didn’t make sense to me. This was during a particular cutscene at the beginning, where a character cuts a chain on a down drawbridge. It isn’t going to make it go up. It’s meant to go down!!! Despite some of those small issues, it’s pretty straightforward. After the prologue, you meet up with your sister, Selene. This is when you find out that your mother has caught the Corrosion. She has a few days left to live. Your sister, now a priestess, claims that someone knows a way to cure the Corrosion. Together, you set off towards the edge, looking for a cure.
Everything that has existed, lingers in the Eternity
One of the first and most prominent things that I’ve noticed about the gameplay, is that it’s a gorgeous and vast open world. It’s filled with plenty of main missions, side quests, items to craft, and things to interact with. Not only is there a map to guide players to the next destination, but there is a tracker on the screen too for all the active things you need to complete. Just like in Breath of the Wild and Genshin Impact, you have a stamina bar for running too. But get this, you don’t get to fully start exploring the world until the first hour into the game. So you’ll have to power through the first hour of content before you can get to explore the wilderness and the world.
And now, into the fighting, and skill tree mechanics. As stated, it is turn-based. So what you do, is fight monsters or people, and sometimes you get additional conditions to complete on the battlefield. This is so you can acquire extra loot, which can include things like equipment, crystals, battle items, currency and edibles that improve your overall stats. The skill tree (dubbed crystal on the menu) is unlockable, you just need specific items for it. Keep in mind though that slots also only unlock after leveling up. As for the combat system, you’ll quickly notice there is a hexagonal grid-based design. Essentially, you can use a turn to move the character to a hexagonal space on the map, much like Fire Emblem. Magic-users can attack from afar, but for characters like Daryon who predominantly use the sword, need to be out in the front lines.
Let’s travel to the Edge of Eternity together.
Like the older turn-based Final Fantasy games, once you’ve made a decision on what to do, you have to wait until it is your turn again. The combat system was at times pretty refreshing, and sometimes rather frustrating. I found it wonderful that we can use other weapons on the field. It was incredibly frustrating sometimes when entering into a battle, and the enemy UI would spam attacks to the point that it felt like I was watching the count-down till my characters died. I can probably blame this on not always equipping the appropriate equipment and gear, though!
The scenery is truly beautiful. I could look at the environment forever, and I am seriously thinking of using one of my screenshots as a background on the laptop. The art for the characters in the dialog is charming, and such a treat to look at. As for the UI and character models… The character models are mostly ok, but a little disappointing. The animation for expressions looks pretty choppy at times, and sometimes things like characters’ eyes would glitch or flicker. It was a little odd, but the developers are steadily looking to squash any and all bugs that are causing issues like what I’ve mentioned. As of writing this though, I’ve had issues with enemies glitching into walls, and buggy UI that persists where it ought not to.
All of Eternity resides in a moment.
The OST in this title is simply stellar. And it is by no surprise too, when French composer Cédric Menendez and legendary J-RPG composer Yasunori Mitsuda are thrown into the mix. Together, they were able to make a soundtrack that really elevated the whole gaming experience for me, and I thank them both for making this possible. The only drawback, in my opinion, was that the OST is in an .MP3 format (l”ossy” quality), as opposed to .alac or .flac (“lossless” quality). You do lose some of the richness of the music with .MP3, which is a shame. Developers, if you see this, please take this advice into consideration!
So about my experience… To start off, I played on a PS4 controller via Steam. The button mapping on the PS4 controller was a bit confusing at first, and I might need to mess around with this more! I found this to be especially true when accessing attack and magic! Didn’t take long to get used to it though, so that was a relief! You can choose in steam to continue saving from launch, which can bypass the main menu, or launch regularly. The website recommends that you have the following graphic settings to run it smoothly. I was happy to see that for my gaming laptop, I was able to run it on optimal settings. I am having a lot of fun exploring the world, and I will continue to do so over the coming weeks!
So, back to the question at the beginning of the review. Is this JRPG “one of the best”? Actually, it’s got a lot of potentials to be, bugs asides. Worth your money? Hell yes! You can tell there’s a lot of love put into this title, by the developers. It’s a kind of game that makes me feel good playing it. I am beyond excited to see what will happen in the coming months with updates. Granted, there are a few bugs that need fine-tuning, but I think that Midgar studios are more than capable of smoothing it out. Is it worth the price at this point in time? I think so, personally! There’s a lot of content in this game, and as it stands you can get a good 50+ hours, and more in.
It will later be available at the Playstation Store, Xbox, and more.