A war is raging on Heryon between an alien race and the native population, and from the opening moments of the game it’s obvious that things have not been going so well for the locals. Edge of Eternity’s protagonist, Daryon, is a young soldier who ends up deserting after his whole squadron is wiped out. He decides to return home to his family and sick mother.
Even away from the frontlines things are going badly, with a deadly disease known as the corrosion spreading amongst the civilians. Daryon’s sister is a priestess who thinks she might know how to cure their mother, so they set off together to try to find a way to stop the sickness.
While the story definitely opens with a bang it does seem to lose its way at various points. It also takes an awfully long time for it to circle back to the story threads that you see at the beginning and it never really answers many of the questions that it raises. It’s a shame as some of the characters you meet are highly entertaining, but the story really doesn’t do them justice.
Trying to find a cure will see you running around a large and absolutely beautiful world filled with ethereal looking flora and strange crystals. While the art direction is gorgeous to look at, some areas are just a bit too big, especially when you’re given quests which have you trekking back and forth across the same fields or through narrow corridors. Things improve slightly when you’re given access to an adorably giant cat to ride around on, but the world still feels too big and far too empty.
As you explore, you’ll come across plenty of fearsome creatures that are looking to take a bite out of you. The turn-based battles take place on hex-based grids which give fights a tactical feel. You’ll need to pay attention to where you and your enemies are positioned and how long it takes to activate various skills and magical abilities. Sometimes you’ll also have access to things like turrets or flame traps which you’ll need to defend against waves of enemies.
At times the combat system is pretty fun, especially when the battles have unique environmental aspects that you need to engage with. The problem is that many of the regular battles just feel longwinded, especially when you’re massively outnumbered and have to wait for every enemy to play out its turn. It also doesn’t help that for much of the game you’ll only have access to two party members, which makes these skirmishes quickly become repetitive.
For a game made by a small team it’s very ambitious — but that’s also the problem. Environments are far larger than they need to be, and the title struggles to load in textures and has a fair amount of pop-in. There are also loads of systems, such as party energy levels or crafting, which are never fully explained or seem to be particularly useful. What’s more, tons of side quests just feel like busy work for the sake of it.
It definitely feels like developer Midgar Studio should have reduced the scope of both the story and some of the gameplay systems, because this may have allowed it to add more polish to the areas that work well. It’s a shame, as the game does have plenty of potential, but it’s a little bit too rough around the edges to fully enjoy.