Midgar Studios’ ambitious RPG Edge of Eternity just received a new prologue chapter for its early access version – a great time for us to jump in and check on the game.
What we know
Edge of Eternity has been around a while. We first heard about the game in its Kickstarter phase, and back then the release of the game was estimated to be in December of 2016 (!). Needless to say, it’s been delayed, but Midgar is a very small studio and the game is incredibly ambitious in scope. It’s been out in Steam’s Early Access program since the end of 2018, and has been steadily receiving updates and new content since then.
A lot of the early buzz about the game was about how it looked similar to a game like Final Fantasy, but was made by an exceptionally small team (of under 10 people) rather than a giant studio. And although the game didn’t meet its original release window (it’s now scheduled to come out of early access later this year), its developers have held on to their original scope and backer/player response has been mostly positive.
The game takes place in a world called Heryon, where your struggles with the forces of the Archelites take a turn for the worse when they unleash the “corrosion”, a plague that turns your people into dreadful monsters. When your own mother contracts the corrosion, it becomes a very personal struggle for life or death, kicking off a campaign that should eventually be about fifteen hours long.
What we saw
We actually met with Midgar Studios back in 2018 for a hands-off demonstration of the game, when the attached publisher was Playdius. Since then, the publisher’s been rebranded as Dear Villagers and the game launched into early access. It’s been there for just over a year now, and we recently played the new prologue chapter to get re-acquainted with the game.
What we thought
Despite a lengthy development process, Edge of Eternity’s visuals have held up well – utilizing the Unreal Engine 4 to achieve a level of visual fidelity rarely seen in an indie production. That’s not to say there aren’t any rough edges and that this is the equivalent of a AAA title though. The locations look great and evoke memories of recent Final Fantasy and Monster Hunter games, but the character models and (facial) animations aren’t as detailed as you’d expect if you use those games as a benchmark.
The music and audio/voicework are both excellent through, which an orchestral score to complement the on-screen action and good voiceover performances from all of the characters involved. These are two elements where smaller productions often take the easier route and go with 16-bit inspired music and written text, and clear testaments to the ambition that Midgar is pouring into this one.
The gameplay, from the exploration of the game world to the turn-based combat, all feels familiar if you’ve played some of the games that inspired Edge of Eternity. Attacking and defensive moves matter, as does your positioning when you move. It’s certainly not groundbreaking, but it works very well and shows the studio’s determination to make sure every piece of the puzzle fits with what they’re going for. Perhaps not taking any shortcuts has caused some of these delays, but Edge of Eternity – especially for the price it’s currently being sold for – looks like a brilliant game for fans of the genre (which clearly includes Midgar’s own team). Since it’s not part of an existing franchise, it’s a breath of fresh air as well.