Review – Eternity: The Last Unicorn

I first heard of Eternity: The Last Unicorn back at Brasil Game Show 2017. It seemed like a promising title, especially for a Brazilian developer. But it looked rough, as if it was still in its earliest stages of development. The game went into radio silence soon after the show, only to show up from out of nowhere a few weeks ago. After finally playing the final version of Eternity, it feels like I’ve just played the same exact rough build I saw almost two years ago.

eternity4

Ughh…..

Eternity: The Last Unicorn is a small and unpretentious action RPG with some good lore, but a pathetic plot. This game is set in a world that’s some mixture between Tolkien/Lewis fantasy and Norse mythology, as it features both vikings and unicorns, for instance. That bit is actually the best element of the whole game, as it really tries to create a believable world of its own. The loading screens alone feature as much text as your average Lord of Rings book page.

If you’re into this kind of stuff, that’s a treat. Sadly, the developers don’t do a great job in telling a good story in this somewhat rich and detailed world. Your task is to save a unicorn from its impending doom after the other three have passed away due to a curse. The reason to do so is that those four unicorns provided elves with eternal life. Imagine enduring a story as dumb as what I just wrote, but with everything being shoved into your face with tons of text and not a single recorded line of dialogue. Reading a book would have been less monotonous.

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Hey Eternity, 2001 called and it wants its fixed camera angles back.

With that said, Eternity: The Last Unicorn is not an audiobook, but a video game and you must be wondering if it does a good job as a video game. The short and honest answer is a big fat “no”. This game isn’t abysmal, nor is it downright broken, but I had no fun at all while playing it, as this is dated and unpolished beyond belief.

This is an action RPG that doesn’t play like one. Its level structure is more akin to a hack and slash game from fifteen years ago than a Zelda or a Dark Souls. Things start to go haywire not long after the game begins due to the poor decision of using fixed camera angles throughout the entire game. While I can withstand fixed angles in games like God of War and Onimusha, I am also aware they were created decades ago, back when there was less technology and processing power to grace players with free control over the game’s camera. Having to endure this in a supposedly modern game that doesn’t try to act as a retro revival of any kind is just painful.

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This combat is as unexciting as it looks.

The rest of the gameplay isn’t brilliant, either. While the controls are somewhat responsive (or at the very least, not a complete train wreck), everything you do in the game is hindered by how slow your overall movement is. Your character doesn’t move very fast for someone who’s fighting for her life (or the extension of her eternal one). The combat is also very sluggish. It’s your typical action RPG combat system with lock-ons and brief sidesteps just like, well, Zelda and Dark Souls, ironically enough. It just doesn’t work that well in a game where you can’t move the camera around. You become dependent more on the angle of what’s happening onscreen than your actual talents, as there’s little strategy in here. All you need to do is do a few (slow) attacks whenever possible

and do a (slow) dash whenever you feel like the enemy will attack you. Given how they take two and a half months to telegraph their movements, you’ll be fine.

The gameplay isn’t the worst offender in Eternity: The Last Unicorn, however. That title belongs to the sound department. Calling it unfinished is too big of a praise. This is how the pre-pre-pre alpha build of a game sounds like. Granted, the soundtrack isn’t exactly bad. It’s uninventive, sure, but it’s serviceable for a fantasy game like this one. The sound effects, on the other hand, will cause earaches. Picking up any item (and there are loads of them onscreen) will result in a big muffled noise being blasted through the speakers in a way that makes Agony sound polished in comparison. I ended up playing most of Eternity: The Last Unicorn on mute as a result. I did put on an Enya playlist from my Google Music account in order to maintain the elvish vibe, however.

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You’re dead meat, pal.

Eternity: The Last Unicorn is by no means the worst game I’ve played this year, or even this month, but I expected a lot more from it. I first saw the game in an early and rough state nearly two years ago, and after playing it in 2019, it feels like nothing else has been done in order to improve it. It’s a dated and boring action RPG that will only please the most hardcore fans of the genre and even those will get bored after a while.

In short, Eternity: The Last Unicorn would have been considered an average-at-best game had it been released for the Xbox 360. Releasing this game, in this state, for the current generation of consoles is just a death wish.

 

Graphics: 4.0

Colorful visuals and decent character designs… for an Xbox 360 game. This looks very dated for Xbox One standards.

Gameplay: 4.0

The controls might be somewhat responsive, but the combat is a bit sluggish and very repetitive. The camera is extremely annoying, as you have no control over it.

Sound: 2.0

The soundtrack is uninventive, but it’s serene and serviceable for this type of game. The same can’t be said about the sound effects: they are terribly implemented and full of glitches.

Fun Factor: 4.0

A somewhat interesting Tolkien-inspired lore and some character designs can’t save this game from its myriad of glitches and sluggish combat.

Final Verdict: 4.0

Eternity: The Last Unicorn is available now on PS4, Xbox One and PC.

Reviewed on Xbox One.

A copy of Eternity: The Last Unicorn was provided by the publisher.

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