Eternal radiance is an action RPG PS4 game recently released on the PlayStation store for £13.99 from the developers visualnoveler, previously available on PC via Steam.
The story of Eternal Radiance follows young squire Celeste as she continues on her journey to become a knight. After receiving her first assignment and initiation to the rank of full fledged knighthood, she sets off to acquire a relic of an ancient civilisation who’s magical properties affect the worlds monster population, and even influence humans that are exposed to them over time. Over the course of her journey Celeste will make new allies and encounter shadowy individuals that have their own agenda, as the plot twists and turns with each new revelation.
For the most part the story itself was relatively interesting, if not a tad predictable throughout, a good thing considering the amount of visual novel scenes that will be playing out throughout your journey – something that comes as little surprise considering the developers name.
As well as the main story there are a fairly large number of side quests and optional conversations to be had, the former of these are passably interesting story wise at best, but ultimately 90% of them boil down to simple fetch quests. Once the dialog is over there are rewards for completing them, ranging from almost useless to quickly useless due to the short run time for actual game play. Items are quickly made obsolete by better finds almost immediately after gaining them, in truth the quests themselves became quite repetitive in nature but I have to admit to enjoying the world and characters getting a bit more fleshed out than most typical NPC’s with these quests.
These dialog scenes usually play out in the city hubs, areas that are comprised of 2D scenes and artwork, and navigated via menus to travel to areas of said city. Gathering information while also doing a little shopping and customisation are the only activities really of note in the city hubs. While there’s not a whole lot going on in any of these areas, they get the job done effectively and don’t become too bogged down with distractions.
The artwork is quite charming in the 2D sections even though there’s not a whole lot of variety. Given the limited areas and cast, those that do exist in the game were nice to look at and did a fair job of providing some personality to the characters during the story sections.
The field maps however were somewhat disappointing. While there are some areas that look nice simply due to design, mostly it’s just bland and/or dark with quality akin to that of the PlayStation 2 generation. To add to this many areas of the 3D exploration and combat sections feel quite basic, movement feels akin to floating or gliding while enemies can send you flying with a single blow but tend to react like you hit them with a feather. On top of this I noticed some strange issues/bugs in combat such as dodge rolling randomly launch enemy’s 2 times your size 10 ft into the air. Honestly combat as a whole is not the worst I’ve seen but it’s also far from the best, due mainly to its simplistic nature and design.
The audio design falls in line with what I would expect due to the rest of the title in terms of it simply exists, much like the 3D area of the game there’s not a lot to mention. There’s little verity and doesn’t do much to stand out unfortunately, thankfully it’s not in the realm of awful or even bad just mostly very average.
Game play as you may have gleaned from my above comments is a little (for lack of a better word) basic. Most areas are populated by groups of enemies with little more than design changes setting them apart, plus they’re kinda slow and stupid in most regards. Most enemy’s will either run directly at you and take a second to tell you what attack there about to do giving you time to guard or roll away, or put a big marker on the floor where they’re going to cast their spell or put down a AoA.
Honestly your biggest worry in combat seems to be the ranged attacks that knock you back and stun you for a second. Fortunately the game balances this by also making your companions slow and stupid too, ok I admit that may be a little harsh they heal you quite well and seem to have superhuman dodging abilities, but that seems to be about there limit. Most groups go down thanks to the controlled character before your AI companions can even finish off a single foe. I honestly found the best way to play is by pretending they don’t even exist outside the story, there is a small exception to this that being the boss fights that require relying on your allies a bit more, though can still be quite easily cheesed with the right skills.
Overall when asked about how I feel about Eternal Radiance, my response is simply “Meh”. It’s not wholly uninteresting, but it does however feel very paint by numbers and quickly becomes repetitive with its action and gameplay. Most of said gameplay is made up of fetch quests or going from A to B 10 different times, it took me around 8-9 hours to do everything and apart from the evolution of the story nothing surprised me. While I can’t say I disliked it I feel safe in saying I wouldn’t replay it and ultimately felt indifferent towards it once I’d completed it.
An adventure that has its moments when not bogged down by it’s tedium & repetitiveness