Aeterna however sadly not everlasting.
I’m a fiend on the subject of Metroidvania video games. I at all times search them out when in search of new video games to play and attempt to search each nook and cranny as soon as one will get its hooks in me. Aeterna Noctis admittingly went beneath my radar till its Nintendo Swap launch, and now having performed 5-10 hours I can see why. A lot to my chagrin, I’ve discovered it to be some of the mundane, uninspired slogs of an expertise that works towards what makes this style so fulfilling.
The sport follows the lord of darkness, Chaos, after his defeat by the lord of sunshine within the opening cinematic. The world they inhabit is in an countless loop of battle between whether or not mild or darkish will rule, and this loop has gone on for some time. Since Chaos has misplaced this spherical he should regain his powers to problem the lord of sunshine once more. This plot line is about as primary because it will get, and the sport doesn’t actually do something attention-grabbing with it. Chaos themselves is a boring protagonist and is your typical “everyone seems to be beneath me as a result of I’m so highly effective” edgelord. In some methods, his demeanor is form of hilarious as a result of even essentially the most primary enemy sort like bats and slime monsters can simply beat you in battle. It nonetheless did not make the writing any much less cringy for my tastes, and with the sport’s generic, overly darkish, and grim gothic aesthetic, I do not really feel just like the writers had been going for an ironic take.
Aeterna Noctis is making an attempt to match that specific visible fashion with some brutal and difficult fight, however I felt it to be very bland, with a lot of the extra attention-grabbing stuff locked method too late into the sport to make an influence. One of many first talents you unlock is a touch that’s largely ineffective moreover transferring barely sooner throughout the environments. You’ll be able to solely sprint within the course you’re dealing with, so you possibly can’t actually use it in fight to nice impact. The vast majority of early encounters are actually simply ready for an enemy to assault, then closing in and mashing the assault button until they die. You begin getting some extra fight choices like a charged heavy assault and scythe that powers up your therapeutic talents, but it surely actually doesn’t change up the final fight a lot as a result of a variety of the enemies outdoors of bosses do not actually require too many methods. You even have a ability tree that simply gives some minor upgrades like extra vital assault injury, so even the development isn’t all that attention-grabbing.
Whereas I can let a lackluster story and the slow-to-start development programs slide, one factor that in the end led to me not wanting to maintain enjoying Aeterna Noctis is certainly one of its foremost mechanics. Whenever you die you lose your gained expertise and ability factors and wish to remember it like in Souls video games; nonetheless, not like in these video games, as soon as lifeless you’re put right into a state the place you possibly can’t earn any extra expertise till you gather that XP once more. This implies extra time spent in an already difficult sport the place you commit extra minutes and hours to backtracking to areas you had been already in fairly than attending to discover and discover new areas, one of the best a part of a Metroidvania. The true motive I come to those video games is totally hampered by this method, forcing you to backtrack both to the place you died or all the way in which again to the place you began your journey to speak to an NPC to revive you again so as to begin getting expertise once more. Such a mechanic would not make the sport laborious; it makes it tedious.
Sadly, I did not get pleasure from my time with Aeterna Noctis and do not see myself eager to return to it. It’s price mentioning that the Swap model feels unoptimized for the system. There’s fixed loading between every display screen transition that breaks up a variety of the tempo of the sport. In case you’ve performed another Metroidvania, simply take into consideration hitting a load display screen for each single display screen transition and you may shortly understand why that may be an actual downer. The visuals additionally really feel like they’ve an excessive amount of movement blur on them or some form of video compression impact that simply results in a muddy look. Perhaps somebody on the market can discover some enjoyment right here and have enjoyable with its edgelord protagonist and odd design selections, however this was simply not a sport for me.