Wednesday, 27 March 2019 12:44

Eternity: The Last Unicorn Review

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Edited by: Tiffany Lillie

Eternal Disappointment

Eternity: The Last Unicorn, developed by Void Studios and published by 1C Entertainment, is a third-person action RPG wherein you control two separate characters, Aurehen and Bior. Aurehen is a young elf in search of a way to restore the power of the last unicorn and reclaim elven immortality. Bior is a Nordic warrior on a quest for revenge after his friends were all killed in a battle with the undead. Together and apart they will hack and slash their way across the nine realms.

As fun as this all sounds…

There’s not much here. In short, this game is bad; very, very bad. For starters, the entire game is rendered in fixed camera angles. You have no control over the camera at all. Considering that enemies can come at you from all sides, battling the camera becomes the first priority. Even then, you're artificially constrained in where you can move by the limits of where the camera will reposition. While fighting on or near these thresholds is uncommon, the sudden shift in perspective can quickly lead to death. This is to say nothing of the combat mechanics themselves. Whereas in other action RPGs you would expect to have to chain together various combos in order to overcome challenges, most enemies can be beaten by spamming the fast attack. The fast attack handily stun-locks opponents and interrupts their attacks. You do have access to a heavy attack but it's so slow compared to your opponents’ attacks that you'll be the one interrupted and stun-locked to death.

Enemies are plentiful and varied, yet they all share the same weakness (to the fast attack) so none really stand out. From what I've seen, they're mostly variations of zombies and wildlife. Each will occasionally have elemental attacks, but they will rarely last long enough to have an impact. The one exception to this is a zombie-variant boss that you attack in two phases. In the first phase, his attacks are laughably slow and easily dodged, but in the second phase, after he had imbued his weapon with flame, the fight is vastly different. He attacks quickly with little warm up, occasionally hitting you before the animation even plays. Frustratingly, this can knock you to the ground, where he can continue his assault while you try to struggle to your feet without invincibility frames.

Price of Progress

Another problem is that progress is only saved at predetermined checkpoints and campfires. Only the latter saves progress between game sessions. These checkpoints seem arbitrarily placed. In the aforementioned boss fight, the checkpoint was close enough to not be cumbersome but far enough away to be annoying. Each time I died I had to run down a short hallway, pull a lever, speak with a dwarf, and then run all the way back to the boss fight. Worse yet, this dwarf was the only voice-acted character I had encountered so far. Even then, the only thing that was voice acted was a single, obnoxious burp. Bear in mind this followed dying to attacks with no wind-up or telegraphing, during a boss fight where I found I had to run into a specific corner to get a reasonable camera angle.

Then there are the puzzles, such as they are. Most that I have seen are simple pull-this-lever-to-open-this-door puzzles. Each character approaches puzzles in their own way. Aurehen, being small and light, can climb ropes and fit into places Bior can't. Bior can apply brute strength to stuck doors and other such things. Other times, you will be tasked with crafting a certain item in order to progress. This usually involves killing so many of a certain type of enemy until they drop the requisite materials. However, these creatures don't always respond correctly. (This is most notable after respawning after death.) Should you have died in a specific area, it seems to break the respawning waves that make up typical combat. Normally, this is a blessing, as it means you have fewer enemies to actually fight. When you need one more random drop in order to progress, however, this quickly becomes infuriating.

Stiff Delivery

Graphically, Eternity: the Last Unicorn looks halfway decent. The landscape looks nice in screenshots, but issues become apparent when things start moving. The two main characters animate stiffly, with their attacks showing barely any weight during combat. Enemies share these problems and add a few of their own. While it may just be the poor camera angles, it appears that the enemy's hitboxes extend beyond their attack animations. Further, the tactic of spamming fast attack frequently interrupts these animations. This causes the enemy to snap between their standing and attacking animations. Depending on how exaggerated the latter is, this can produce jarring results. The audio doesn't fare much better. Most of the audio space during combat is taken up by your character shouting during each attack. There are combat and area themes, but they are so bland and generic as to be unmemorable.


Eternity: the Last Unicorn bills itself as an RPG. I suppose, in a very cursory fashion, that is true. Each character has their own set of attributes that increase upon killing so many enemies. You cannot control these increases, however, as they are all predetermined. With sufficient exploration, you can find upgrades to your characters' health and attack, but those are few and far between. (At least, I assume that new sword that I picked up for Bior increased his damage output.) In all honesty, both characters play roughly the same. Damage output feels fairly uniform, even across different levels within the same character. Your health remains static unless you find the aforementioned health upgrades, so the damage you take feels very consistent as well. This leads to an overall lackluster sense of progression.


The Verdict: Bad

Overall, Eternity: the Last Unicorn feels barren and desolate. The story is bland and generic with most of your time spent wondering why your next destination isn't better signposted. The further you progress the more the myriad problems compound into an aggravating slurry of poor design decisions. It is most certainly not your worth your time.

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John Gerritzen

John Gerritzen is a programmer by education, author by hobby, and game critic by occupation. While he usually favors RPGs, he will play anything that engages him narratively or mechanically. When he's not playing games for fun or profit, he's usually reading or watching anime.