Light and darkness will always dance together in Aeterna Noctis
Time is a canvas, and my hand, its brush. Under the mantle of eternity, the cycles of light and dark repeat themselves. Darkness and light. But something is changing. The fight between the two opposites seems to deviate from what has been established by the God of Chaos and this balance that has lasted for an eternity achieves a new beginning. What is happening? What new doors are opening? What is our role in all of this? You will find the answers to these questions in Eternal night, the culminating work of the Spanish study Eternal game studios, which have shown that with persistence, organization and effort, they can create very interesting games.
There is no light without shadow, no shadow without light
Looks like it was yesterday when we interviewed Fernando and Hugo in our podcast. Six months that we’ve been anxiously awaiting the arrival of his game, and now that he’s finally in our hands (metaphorically) We can only verify the words they once said to us. Lovers of good stories, challenges, impossible jumps and adventures in the purest style metroidvanie, you have a carefully detailed title that we will detail below in our analysis.
Magical chords to get off to a good start
I’ve never started a review detailing their soundtrack before, but I think the occasion demands it. It’s impossible not to get excited and feel something inside when you hear the first words of Aeterna Noctis’ intro. In this case, the culprit is Nuria Mediavilla
More decadent than Hallownest
I’m not saying anything crazy when I compare Aeterna Noctis with other great games of the same genre like Hollow knight or the mythical Castlevania: Sypmhony of the night. Indeed, we are dealing with a metroidvania in essence, although if we scratch we will find details that make it very special. Without going any further (and le aving history aside) It should be noted the enormous difficulty presented by the title. Huge and fair
This is seen very clearly both in the battles with the final bosses as in other moments of jumping between platforms. The enemies at the end of each area will get us in real trouble, and as if they were a Cuphead enemy, we have to learn their directives and blueprints well in order to be able to kill them. Relax, the game is designed to be like this, and although the difficulty is high, there will be few checkpoints that we will have at hand to repeat the zone (or the final boss) as many times as necessary.
Learn to jump to control Aeterna Noctis
The jumps, like I said, are the other strong point of the game. It’s a pleasure to finish each section without dying in the attempt, and although at the beginning it can be overly complicated, later on we internalize the capacities of the Prince of Shadows. Controlling the momentum our hero has is complex, I admit. But once you take the distances, the cooldown, and combine that ability with a new one, the magic takes over the screen. Without wanting to empty too much, simply going up in the Tower of Light (which there are gameplays from a long time ago) is a real pass.
Experience is a mark … and a skill point
Yes, it is not an easy game. To make the road less “paved” We can level up, which will give us experience points. We can manage these points in three branches of our skill tree: our arrows, melee weapons or our magical abilities with the blood collected (to sum up, it’s a bit more complex). Fortunately, we can always modify the skill points spent, and thus build a specific build if we are stuck in a more difficult area than usual.
And speaking of builtWe cannot forget another interesting factor which must be mentioned. As in Hollow Knight, we can equip us with certain gems that will improve our character. Higher attack power, higher damage on critical hits, or more blood for using magic. Combining these gems well will be crucial in the advanced moments of the adventure, therefore it is advisable to explore the map in search of secret areas where to find these powerful gems.
Not everything shines in so much darkness …
One aspect that stands out from Aeterna Noctis is its visual aspect. The scenarios are beautifully recreated, with very different areas within the vast region that we will pass through. In addition, all accompanied by an incredible coloring and a very successful hand-drawn character animation. The “minor” enemies are perhaps a little simpler than I would have liked. While I was fascinated by some final enemies like the bloody Phoenix Bird, others of lesser importance left me blank.
The game is not perfect, far from it. Despite the praise we throw out, I have to admit that the beginnings (once the prologue is over) are generic.
Conclusion of the Eternal Night
Maybe the slab that’s supposed to be a metroidvanie today weigh a lot. We’ve seen similar works in recent years come out with dizzying production values, charismatic characters, and incredibly deep play options. But Aeternum Games Studios did not shy away from such colossi. The care they’ve taken in creating a well-told story, their charismatic battles (especially against the final bosses), and those crazy platforming moments where we have to give our best are the Triangular Stone of their play work.
Aeterna Noctis is not a game for everyone. Although there are many checkpoints which allows us to try the area over and over again, its difficulty level is high. Yes, high but fair. The control of the Prince of Shadows is fluid, and if we “fuck” it will be our fault and not because of the title itself. If the challenges do not weigh you down, and you want to end the year throwing all the meat on the grill, do not miss this proposal which becomes one of the best national games launched in 2021. Without a doubt, a good way to end the year.
- Defiant with rage
- Well polished jump and combat system
- The artistic design is beautiful
- At first it may seem like one more “metroidvania”
- Some enemies are too generic
- If you don’t like demanding games … better stay away