FromSoftware completely changed the gaming industry with its own version of an RPG. The Souls genre has become a staple in the community like its Metroidvania predecessors. This includes having a few indies come in and try to give their own take on the genre. Curse of Eternity is Imakeda Games hat in the ring and for their first game, packs a decent punch. They have some great ideas and even execute them quite well. However, it has a lot of flaws and needs a few pick-me-ups before it can be considered a hidden gem.
In the Curse of Eternity, players control one of three heroes to defend the Viridian Empire. These heroes include the murderer Orili, the gladiator Bror, and the wizard Idumon. These heroes will each have certain advantages and disadvantages. Players will first select the hero that best suits them since Bror is strong but somewhat slow, Orilee is quick but susceptible, and the magician Idumon is more vulnerable up close due to his powers. Players must pick one of four difficulty levels, ranging from Historical to Painful, after selecting their hero.
The player’s trip takes them into the Viridian Empire, where they encounter a variety of guardians and foes who will do all in their power to put a stop to it. Players will encounter puzzles that attempt to halt them in between all the combat. They will never be challenging to solve, though. Because everything needed to solve them will be there, close to the puzzle. Additionally, sometimes we discover closed doors or even chests. Finding the keys or figuring out another means to unlock the doors will be required. Along the route, players will encounter quests that add to the world’s lore and provide one of a few opportunities to acquire equipment.
Curse of Eternity is similarly built around the Souls genre. Players will have to fight off against many enemies to earn a currency that will allow them to level up and buy more equipment from NPCs. Players have the standard Health, Magic, and Stamina bars that can be managed with increasing levels and using the stat points earned on certain perks (Agility, Toughness, Strength, and Intelligence). “Bonfires” allow players to restore all their stats and level up. As you can see, nothing different in terms of standard Souls mechanics.
Since Curse of Eternity is inspired by Souls games, third-person combat is standard, and as would be expected, the emphasis is on studying your opponent’s attack to hit and dodge at the proper time, as well as managing your stamina to prevent rolling, blocking, or attacking. The primary issue with melee combat is how brutally sluggish and one-sided each of your assaults is, even when the adversaries might not move at the same rate as you. You won’t often be able to acquire a full analysis of the statistics, and this is true for weapon scaling and the accumulation of status effects. Boss battles, with the exception of the last boss, are at best mediocre. They are impossible to lose even without upgrades or levels since they telegraph their moves.
Except for a few quests, players obtain gear by looting, boss drops, and trade. When players require souls to purchase additional stuff or level up, they may trade in these items—which can be spells, consumables, or weapons—for souls at a shop. When you level up, you receive one point to use for each of the four main qualities and one point for perks connected to that attribute, such as magical mastery, which enables you to use spells of the selected element. These passives are beneficial and have an impact over time, particularly at higher ranks.
If the prior reading didn’t deter you from playing Curse of Eternity, there are a few intriguing concepts hidden therein. With different weapons, talents, and proficiencies to unlock as you level up, you may potentially design some interesting characters. The maps are stuffed with books that are rich with the world’s lore and provide some context that can be fascinating to discover. Another interesting aspect of the shards system is how it functions. These laboriously acquired shards are not readily available after you die every time, which means that they won’t stay in the area where you died but will instead be consumed by a unique kind of adversary that appears when you have enough shards to level up. This only adds a slight touch of originality to the genre and even can be quite cumbersome, if you die often.
Another great addition Curse of Eternity brings is a light and brightly surrounded environment, with a pinch of humor thrown in. This is a welcoming addition to an oversaturated market of dark and depressing environments for which the Souls genre is known for. But in light of the drawbacks, all of this is insignificant. A variety of sound effects that lack the necessary oomph exacerbate the clumsy and stiff combat, with the biggest complaint coming from the muffled underwater filter and slow-motion effect that activate when you are low on health, making the timing issue even more difficult to nail down, rather than the opposite.
Curse of Eternity is a delightful video game with Souls-like elements. It does make itself stick out from the genre’s often gloomy settings because of its vibrant scenery and humor. This game’s degree of originality and polish falls short of what gamers would want to see in a modern release. However, as anybody familiar with Souls-style games will quickly know, battle speed is the most important component. Although the game is slow, heavy, and a little awkward, fans of the earlier Souls games may enjoy it. New players, however, might not. If you are really interested in the Souls-style aspect with a nostalgic setting and loads of heart from this independent creator, you might want to wait till it goes on sale as $19.99 is a bit steep for now.