Eternity: The Last Unicorn is a hack and slasher that has a DIY feel to it that earns my grudging respect for Void Studio’s determination to create a challenging experience set within a traditional fantasy world. Everything you see when loading the game tells you that this will be a quagmire of an RPG to trudge through. Grainy graphics and basic animation effects harken back to the early days of the PlayStation. The first impressions suggest that this might be a God of War knockoff, using Norse mythology to follow in another game’s wake. What mitigates this superficial criticism is a clear passion for the format, the people that made this game know the genre and have managed to build their own interpretation of it.
The simplicity and familiarity of the gameplay induces a false sense of security that has you thinking you know Eternity: The Last Unicorn inside out before introductory sequence is over. Mismatched fonts and low resolution images on the start screen are almost laughable, the amusement stops after you die in the same spot for the fifth time. Mushroom spiders, impish goblins and emaciated undead are easily underestimated, with fatal results. When you begin to anticipate the attacks directed against you, new variations and larger combinations of mobs force the player to retreat and rethink.
The Scandinavian legends that the game uses are fleshed out using blocks of text on a loading screen that uses an open book as the background image. Cut scenes of cartoon freeze frames develop the context of the story and characters’ backgrounds. Hymn-like music creates a dreamy ambience that is interrupted by the sudden spawning of hostile creatures. The items picked up after combat are drawn and explained in a style that is simple and consistent with the chosen lore. All of this gives the game a low fidelity appeal that should produce a relaxing, relatively bland game.
The spice to all things nice is frustration. The fixed camera that follows the avatar is jittery and often jumps around, making it easy to bump into environmental objects. Anything less than full focus will have you repeating the same checkpoint over and over again. The payoff for the controller-crushing rage is the satisfaction of pushing through and earning the red crystals that pass for money at the goblin shop. Fixed save points add to the unforgiving experience. Quitting after several attempts to pass undead adversaries will result with you spawning back at the campfire. It is quite laborious having your elven heroine trot around mystical forests to perform arbitrary tasks you completed an hour ago.
Eternity The Last Unicorn
This is a fantasy RPG that is played in a linear fashion. You must navigate set paths that have escalating sets of enemies, traps and rewards. Bottlenecks where your ability to mash attack buttons and activate special abilities at the right time can be overcome with repeated respawns. In this way, the game can be compared to Dark Souls although it is definitely more accessible.
- Use of Norse mythology
- Nostalgic graphics
- Challenging gameplay
- Fixed, character-following camera
- Rehash of a worn-out genre
- Frustrating fixed save points