End of Eternity Demo Gameplay Video and Impressions
Is the latest RPG from tri-Ace worth your time?
Before we even begin to explain our thoughts on the game, we’re going to explain the controls and how the gameplay works.
There are three characters to control in the demo, Vashyron, Zephyr, and Reanbell, and they are each equipped with guns and ridiculous names. The game allows for free movement throughout the maps, although when in battle there is a limit to how far you can move each turn (think Valkyria Chronicles). Some of the levels contain areas where you can go up to a higher platform, and others are just completely flat and straightforward. Each area has a colored exit point and this will allow you to move onto the next screen.
You can switch to a different member of your party at any point by pressing either Circle, R1, or L1. After each attack you will automatically switch to the next character. There are multiple weapons that you can equip by either pressing R2, L2, or by pressing the select button. Reanbell can throw grenades, Vashyron can switch to a different set of bullets, and Zephyr can use two guns at the same time or he can just use a single gun with either hand.
In the Normal Mode setting you are able to shoot while standing by simply pressing the X button to engage on an enemy. Aiming is pretty easy as there is a lock-on system and you can switch targets with the d-pad. Once you are engaged onto an enemy a circular reticule will begin to charge. The more times the bar fills up (as signified by a bullet), the stronger the attack will be. In order to actually attack you will need to press the X button again. Enemies are able to hit you during this time so it’s very important where you place your character. In addition to that, the closer you are to an enemy, the faster the reticule charges. This also means that the farther away you are, the longer it will take for the charge to fill up. The movement meter depletes rapidly when you’re aiming, so you need to act fast or else you will lose that turn.
It is possible to move freely even after engaging with an enemy, but you cannot shoot while running and your charge stops immediately. Any charges that were gained before moving will be retained and you can continue to build them up as long as you have time left for your turn. For whatever reason the Newcomer Mode only allows for normal attacks to be done under a special circumstance. More on that later.
By pressing the Square button, you are able to do an Invincible Action attack. You guessed it, during these attacks the player is invincible, although they can be interrupted by obstacles and certain enemies. The Invincible Action attacks allow for strategic gameplay to be done and it is also extremely cinematic. After the initial square button is pressed the battle pauses, everything is zoomed out, and a red dotted line appears. By aiming the line, you are telling your character where to run. By pressing square again, this will start the running cinematic. During the run animation there are two options given to the player, jump or shoot. Instead of just doing a single strike, you are able to continuously do attacks as long as you have the meter for it and as long as there’s a charge for your attack. It is possible to attack while in mid-air and the cinematic actions become even more flashy.
When playing in Newcomer Mode, using an Invincible Action is seemingly the only way to attack, although you cannot do this as many times as you want. There is a meter on the bottom of the screen called the Invincible State gauge and that will show you how many times you can do an Invincible Action attack. After you beat an enemy a bar is given back to the IS gauge, but you will lose a bar each time you do an IA attack. In Newcomer Mode there are 15 bars at your disposal. In the Normal Mode there are only three bars, so spamming these attacks is not recommended.
Once all the bars from the IS gauge are depleted you will enter Danger mode. In this mode the characters are unable to do an IA attack and this is the only time when a Newcomer can do standing attacks, although it’s possible that the character will be too frightened to do anything. While in Danger mode dying is almost inevitable as your characters movements become ridiculously comedic and they take much more damage from attacks. It seems like you can recharge the IS gauge and return to normal but death almost always immediately followed after being put in Danger,so we couldn’t see for ourselves.
If you cross paths with your party during an IA attack, the red-dotted line will become blue. Once a character reaches that point your Resonance count will increase. Resonance Attacks allow for triple team or double team attacks to be done for even more cinematic beatdowns. Placement is key here and it is very likely that your characters will run into obstacles if you’re not careful. To use these Resonance Attacks, press the Triangle button when you have a Resonance of one or higher. For every move you do that isn’t a Resonance attack, the number will decrease by one. If you only have one Resonance, your next move needs to either be a RA or you have to cross paths with your allies again to build up the counter even more.
Sometimes after certain attacks you can “Blast Up” an enemy which will then allow you to juggle them in the air. After a couple of attacks with an enemy in mid-air, a new circular meter will pop up. The goal at this point is to land the fast spinning marker onto the yellow portion of the circle. Successfully hitting the yellow mark will allow your character to shoot nonstop, for a limited time, if you press the X button repeatedly. It is also possible for the enemy to bounce on the ground after landing for even more juggles.
There is a lot to End of Eternity and this can easily overwhelm players. Despite the complex nature of the game, it is still very simple and seems to boil down to pressing the X button a bunch of times. This is even moreso true if you’re using the Newcomer Mode, seeing as you can continuously do the Invincible Action attacks almost as many times as you want. The Newcomer Mode will not be available once the game is actually released, so don’t get used to it.
End of Eternity looks great, but the game severely lacks colors beyond brown, blue, and red. Another annoyance is just the simple fact that the cinematic moves happen way too frequently and lose any sort of appeal after the first screen of enemies. Perhaps if the moves didn’t have the constant camera cuts this wouldn’t be much of an issue. By the second playthrough seeing the over-the-top shooting became annoying and you’ll wish that there was some other way to go about dealing massive damage. There are only so many times a sane person can withstand seeing so many gunshots during every single battle against numerous enemies in each area.
The enemy types to fight in the demo are all pretty uninspired in design. Why are there multiple enemies with explosive barrels on them? The enemies just look so plain and completely uninteresting and it’s extremely distracting. The robots are just not fun to fight at all and spamming Reanbell’s grenade is the best way to dispose of them. None of the enemies do any sort of cool attacks and most of the time they are just standing there waiting to be showered with bullets. It’s all very underwhelming.
End of Eternity is disappointing and impressive at the same time. The game is promising and we look forward to seeing the final product, but the combat is already repetitive and that isn’t a good sign. Hopefully there will be enough variety to the action that will keep the game fresh for the 150 hours of gameplay that the developers claim it has. The cinematic action sequences just seem like a just a cheap way to get an initial ‘wow’ out of people and it won’t fool people for long.
End of Eternity releases in Japan on January 28. There is no release date yet for the game in Europe and North America, although we do know it will be called Resonance of Fate. If you’re a fan of RPGs you should just try the demo out for yourself, you might end up liking it. We’d love to read your impressions, so leave a comment and let us know what you thought about the game.