By Jason Quinn / August 14th, 2019
Legends of Ethernal is a platformer from Lucid Dreams Studio. The prologue opens up talking about a tragedy known as the Uncovering. The narrator apparently has many secrets to divulge about the truth behind the tragedy. The game proper opens up with a boy named Wilfred having a rather unsuccessful day of fishing. When he gets back home, he finds his parents gone and corpses scattered around the house. After grieving for a moment, he decides to set off in search of them.
As this is a demo, it only covers what I’m assuming the first chapter is. So these are just impressions based off of that demo. It does a decent job of introducing what the core mechanics are and the hook of the story.
It’s a fairly simple platformer. You can run, jump, and clamber up ledges. You can swing your fishing rod to attack enemies. There’s no combos or anything, just a straightforward attack. You also get a dodge roll to avoid attacks. What’s unique to the game is the Ether system. You collect these red, blue, and yellow orbs that you can use for a variety of effects. Blue orbs are used for a big super attack, red orbs are for healing, and yellow orbs are for shooting a projectile that slows down enemies. Each of these abilities costs a certain amount of orbs, and you can only hold so many at a time.
Combat is pretty rudimentary, never really getting much more complex than dodging behind an enemy, getting a couple hits in, and repeating until they’re dead. The boss fights in this demo were also very simplistic, the last one only really being a challenge due to enemies spawning in. It’s certainly not bad, but I do hope enemy variety gets better as you progress through the game.
Aside from combat, there’s some exploration and light puzzle solving. Exploring led to finding upgrades for my weapon and Ether pouches that increase the amount of Ether I can hold. So it certainly seems worth it to go out of your way to make sure you’ve seen and found everything. Puzzles were pretty light and self-explanatory, but this is the first area of the game, so I’m assuming they’ll ramp up in difficulty as the game goes on.
Visually, Legends of Ethernal looks nice, though some animations are a little rough. I have to wonder if some things like the animation for the weapon swinging are placeholders, as they just look less detailed compared to the look of everything else. The music was also fairly pleasant and laid back, I’m guessing to compliment the adventurous feel the game is going for. Even the music that played during boss fights wasn’t particularly aggressive, though still upbeat enough to fit the mood.
The narrative hook was a little stronger for me than the gameplay. You eventually come across some plant-like people that sure look really similar to the corpses that you found around your home. Thinking they had something to do with their disappearance, you go into their home inside a massive tree, seeking answers. Unfortunately, they mistake you for an invader, and you have no choice but to defend yourself. Trying to talk your way out of things yields no fruit though. They’re all only concerned with eliminating you.
Eventually you work your way to the Patriarch, having all but committed genocide, when you finally get an answer. These people were charged with protecting your parents, not abducting them. The damage has already been done though, and the Patriach wants to see you dead. You defend yourself, and now have to cope with the fact that a genocide was committed based on nothing but a misunderstanding.
I’m a big sucker for self-induced tragedy. My main interest in Legends of Ethernal will be seeing if the story manages to capitalize on this interesting premise. If it does, it could be pretty compelling. I’m gonna be keeping my fingers crossed that this turns out good. There’s no set release date yet, though it is aiming for 2019, and will be releasing on Steam. If anything I’ve described seems interesting to you, maybe give it a gander.
AdventureLegends of EthernalLucid Dreams Studioplatformer