Aeterna Noctis is a Metroidvania & Soulslike that puts players on a war cycle. But where aesthetics and concept shine through, gameplay stumbles.
Eternal Night It takes the defining elements of Metroidvanias and Soulikes, and combines them into a very stylish package. Developer and publisher Aeternum Game Studio SL is also not ashamed of its inspirations, as the dark fantasy and anime aesthetics scream unapologetically. Castlevania. Eternal Night he also makes a solid attempt at providing the same kind of precise and challenging gameplay, but struggles to do so consistently.
The opening cutscenes set the world of Eternal Night like an eternal war between the Queen of Light and the King of Darkness. Both tried to change the cosmic balance in their favor but Chaos, the creator of Aeterna, cursed them with immortality in an attempt to maintain said balance. However, this selfish struggle between the King and Queen has caused the world below them to suffer, something the King of Darkness is forced to experience after being defeated and brought down once more.
Players take control of the King of Darkness who, as in any good Metroidvania, has just been defeated and stripped of his powers. Players will slowly regain these skills over the roughly 20-hour journey and interact with the skill tree to create a slightly custom build, though it’s nothing too intricate. The first level of upgrades focuses on combat and offers the option to increase things like overall damage or a higher chance of critical damage; And having these benefits is wonderful because the combat is not as solid as it seems it should be.
Not that it necessarily feels bad, but it fights in Eternal Night feels inconsistent and a little slow at times. For example, there are larger enemies who wield an ax early on who can swing their ax faster than the player can with the sword, often resulting in being hit with little chance of avoiding the attack. This is a constant problem that is often frustrating, but not enough to completely ruin the player experience, as some are likely to be better suited than others.
Similarly, the platforms in Eternal Night it’s just as frustrating. This is mainly a problem in dungeons and secret areas, where there are many moving obstacles with large hitboxes or small platforms with a lot of distance between them. Eternal Night does not provide a sense of total control of the air or trajectory in the way that something like Blue FirePrecise platforms do. Moving obstacles are the main culprits in this regard thanks to their seemingly large hitboxes that leave very little time or space for the player to navigate. This will likely be the leading cause of death for many players and will get them out there quickly. Eternal NightSoul-like elements.
Outside of the difficulty associated with both genders, Eternal Night use some specific elements like the bonfire and recovery mechanic. In this case, the “bonfire” is a throne that will appear in certain places for the King to rest, improve skills and fast travel to other thrones. Interestingly, the thrones will respawn enemies in the surrounding areas instead of where they reside. Dark souls-The style death mechanic will also feel quite familiar because every time the player dies, all their money, potions, and other items will be left behind with only one chance to get them back.
General, Eternal Night it’s a solid experience with some notable flaws that aren’t a deal breaker, but could definitely benefit from a little more refinement. What it does pretty well is finding where your two genres intersect and creating a game and world loop that highlights them pretty well. For fans of this type of game, Eternal Night definitely worth picking up.
Eternal Night Releases Dec. 15 for Xbox Series X and Series S, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, and Microsoft Windows. Jugo Mobile received a digital download code from Steam for the purpose of this review.