Making video games is hard. It starts with an idea that emboldens its creators to push through the struggles of game development to reach the goal of getting that idea into gamers’ hands. Personally, I’ve worked on game that didn’t come together until the final days. The team at Void Studios spent four years working on Eternity: The Last Unicorn and built something that can never be taken away.
Eternity: The Last Unicorn is a throwback to games of a bygone era. It’s a third-person action-RPG with a fixed camera. Think Onimusha meets Dark Souls, with the developers going so hard to feel retro they ran into problems that not even the Resident Evil games could fix. When you enter a new area that has a different camera angle, sometimes your controls will change with it, and it definitely takes some getting used to.
Elves And Valkyries And Vikings, Oh My!
Eternity builds its story around Norse mythology. The elf Aurehen is the main protagonist of the story as she is searching for a way to save the last unicorn who holds the power of immortality for the elves. Bior the viking is looking for his lost comrades and fears that he is the last of his group. The story is pretty light and there is no voice acting in the game besides some character and enemy grunts. All of the story is told through cutscenes with subtitles which was very jarring at first in 2019.
Being a big fan of classic action-RPG games such as Witcher and Mass Effect I was hoping for a deep RPG system with a story that made me care about the characters and mythology. Unfortunately, I never felt the motivations of the characters and I felt like I was going through the motions hoping the next boss fight was soon.
The animations and sounds are unfortunately not great and I encountered a ton of bugs while playing. In one of the first areas with combat you come across enemies that can poison you. I went back to a previous area after getting poisoned and triggered a loading screen. The sound of the poison damaging me didn’t go away even after it ran its course. I had to exit the game completely and relaunch it to get rid of the sound.
Later in the game Aurehen gets her second weapon and the area is a nightmare. After you get the bow the door closes behind you and you have to shoot the gem above the door for it to open. After accomplishing this you can go back into the previous room and get the bow again. Except this time when the door closes you can’t interact with the gem about the door and are now stuck. Once this happened I loaded a previous save and never returned to the room after getting the bow.
Dodge Or Die
Eternity takes a lot from other games when it comes to combat. It has the souls system from Dark Souls called “shards” that you use as currency. Shards are used to level up your weapons or purchase items such as healing herbs from a vendor. The dodge mechanic also makes an appearance and is vital to your survival. You are invulnerable while rolling, so dodge all day and wait for an opening to attack. Combat is broken down into light and heavy attacks, but just mash on buttons and you’ll be fine.
The places where the game really shines are in the boss fights. The first two are pushovers, but I spent nearly two hours trying to beat the third boss. It was the first time I really felt like I was playing a Souls game as the difficulty far exceeded anything I had encountered. Úlfrstórr had a three hit combo bite that getting hit by once guaranteed you’d get chomped all three times. This early in the game all you could do is grind out a couple levels to ensure you had the damage to kill the wolf.
Take Me To Valhalla
Before we bring this home let’s talk about Eternity’s style. The character models don’t look great and neither do the environments. The cave area is the most stunning with my girlfriend even commenting on how good it looks compared to the rest of the game. As a result my enjoyment in this game came strictly from the combat. I really liked how I wasn’t hamstrung by a stamina system which makes the game easier when the controls or camera gets in the way. Probably the most fun I had with Eternity is fighting the Old King boss which was just a dude with a sword. The boss arena was big enough so the camera didn’t bug out, and it was challenging without being as brutal as Úlfrstórr.
Eternity: The Last Unicorn is not a great game. It’s a game that takes from Norse mythology, but doesn’t really go deep enough to make you feel like you’re on a viking adventure. You can’t skip the cut scenes, the camera is the hardest boss in the game, and it just doesn’t live up to the games it emulates. I like you Eternity, I just wanted better.
Eternity: The Last Unicorn review code provided by publisher. Version 1.01 reviewed on a PS4 Pro. For more information on scoring please see our Review Policy.