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Eternights preview: The devil in the details

A promising start that we hope sticks the landing

On the surface, Eternights feels like exactly my thing. An anime-style dungeon crawler, with RPG and dating elements, where you band together to survive a post-apocalyptic world. It’s a story we’ve seen before, which makes it all the more important that something about it is spectacular to make it stand out. From the two hours we had to spend with Eternights, it’s hard to tell if this is the case, but there were definitely promising signs.

Gameplay functions in two ways. The most obvious one is the combat, which is made up of a number of different types of melee attacks. Unfortunately, a lot of this revolves around quick-time events, where missing an input leads to the end of a combo. There is a good mix of standard melee attacks, and big damage follow-ups you can do, but the heavy reliance on QTEs felt a little shallow, particularly from an accessibility standpoint.

Eternights preview combat screenshot

Combat offers a good mix of standard attacks and follow-ups, but its reliance on QTEs felt a bit shallow.

The other part is relationship building. There are a lot of dialogue options, and depending on the options you choose, it changes your personality from expressing, to accepting, to confident. The preview didn’t give us insight into what difference this makes yet, but there were some pretty witty choices, and I’m glad it gave you free rein to express yourself, rather than just rewording the same answers.

My main gripe was that there was a fair amount of polish still missing. Transitions can be messy, and there is a general unfinished feel to the UI and menus. While the world looks pretty and complete, it’s these smaller details that you only notice when they’re not quite right that stood out the most. It’s still in development, and we’re hoping that a little more time will be put into these finer details.

Eternights dialogue options

There are a lot of dialogue options, but some UI elements look unfinished.

The story definitely has promise. I was pulled into the mystery and left asking which is truly the side of good and the side of evil, or whether things are even that black and white. I was interested to see more of the characters we met so far, and the writing stood out as a particularly strong point. You are always eager to find out what happens next, and to learn more.

I’m hesitantly excited for Eternights’ release. There is definite promise in what we’ve seen so far, if some of the rougher edges are smoothed out. There is enough intrigue in the story that I want to see where it goes, and if nothing else, I want to see more of the zany writing. If you liked the very memeable “I’m a dad” line from Persona 5, then this is one worth checking out.