REVIEW: ETERNAL STEP

Eternal Step is a Dungeon Crawler game with a lot of RPG elements and customisation Developed by Once More With Gusto and Published by Green Man Loaded. The game is designed to be a tower explorer where the main character enters a tower and has to fight their way to the top. Along the way they encounter monsters which they will need to fight and these monsters will drop different cards such as weapons or items which the player can then use to their advantage.

The game starts with a fairly decent tutorial which I quite liked as it gives the game a sense of fullness that is sometimes missing from these types of games. You get to see some of the different weapons and abilities and you begin to learn that the game is actually quite complex. I was expecting just a Zelda type dungeon crawler but what I got was a much more detailed game with a lot of customisation. From different abilities transferring to weapons to different weights, speeds and defence bonuses I have to say the game really shines.

Eternal 1

The game looks pretty good as well! It has a relatively simple art style and something I really like is that the main character is both nameless and faceless as well as genderless. Now this may not seem like too much of an important point but I think it’s a fantastic little feature whether it was meant to be or not. Having a genderless character really allows the audience and the player to fill in the gaps. The developers have also stated that the game does have an ending and a story but it isn’t written on any website or blog. It is there for the player to discover and fill in the gaps which I think is another great feature. As I said the art style is relatively simple but does a good job of both informing the player of danger and keeping the animations interesting and innovative without filling the screen with a bunch of junk that actually hinders the gameplay. Though basic I feel it’s a great style, one similar to The Binding of Isaac.

The level designs are pretty damn fun as well, from straight corridors with an easy route to the next level to having enemies hide round corners and catching you unaware. There were many times where I heard the little green Blobby dorks before I actually saw them and it gave me enough time to charge my hammer and decimate them all in 1 hit. I came across a level that was entirely traps and for a moment sat there and found myself taken back to Dark Souls which, as I’m sure everyone is aware, is another unforgiving game and to be honest I loved this aspect of Eternal Step.

Eternal 2

Though I made it across the whole of the trap floor without getting hit, I then came across a boss. Some giant blue slimy son of a bitch who pretty much annihilated me in an instant. This aspect of the game really made me work for everything I had up to that point. My character had died but my equipment remained and I could use the same equipment and through a very simple and interesting crafting system, I could make new weapons by destroying other weapons. Though I had lost my level, my character could still use the equipment and skills I had found previously so all was not lost.

On the subject of enemies, I have seen a few already and they keep the game nice and interesting. You get indicators when some of the enemies are going to attack for example when an archer is aiming at you, you know to dodge out of the way or when a sword wielding skeleton is about to swing you can see it and move or block. The boss in the game seem to spawn at random times or I’m just not smart enough to put 2 and 2 together and make 4 to find out when they spawn but either way they keep the gameplay interesting and the pacing steady as well. It really does make for a complete experience.

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I have to say when I was going into this game I wasn’t expecting a whole lot. I didn’t think it was going to be anything close to the game I ended up playing but I love being wrong and I really did enjoy this game. To my understanding there will be regular content updates as well which will be free and the developers seem to be really switched into any issues that happen with the game. An update they released had the name of the individual who found the bug they were patching and I feel this is a great way to show interest in the community and a bit of recognition to the players who help to make these games what they are.

All in all I would highly recommend Eternal Step to anyone. You can play the game with one hand and it’s a great escape into a difficult world with some interesting mechanics and RPG elements, which need to be utilised to make your character strong enough to take on the Tower. At the moment that game is on Steam for only £6.99 which is small price to pay for a fantastic dev team, great gameplay and interesting mechanics.

Rating: 9/10

+ Great development team

+ Interesting gameplay

+ Solid mechanics

+ Fun visuals and audio

– Can be a little unforgiving at times

CHRIS WALLACE

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