Caught up in an ever re-birthing fight across the ages, you take control of the king of darkness in his adventure to overcome the light, which the game allows us to very rapidly get into without much hesitation. As you hit boots to ground you are quickly surrounded by a world that looks to be in shambles, but a world that is beautifully designed and hand drawn/animated.
The visuals in Aeterna Noctis are a real treat to experience. From the special effects, to the smooth animations, there is so much here to appreciate. This world, although grim, is very beautiful. Artists who designed this world also used some very crafty imagery to create a real sense of 3d space despite this game being 2d. To accompany the visuals, the sound effects and music really do go nicely with the world as well. From character voice acting to the sound of cracking lightening, this world really feels alive.
Aeterna Noctis is a game styled heavily after the metroidvania genre with a great dose of difficulty to supplement the flow of battle and a nice set of RPG elements as well. You will gain experience, levels and skill points as you kill enemies. Your gained points allow you to invest in a few branching trees that have things such as weapon damage increases, critical chance increases, critical damage increases and dash refresh rate increases making the enemies even more exciting to slay for that next level.
The leveling system is not all Aeterna Noctis has to offer in terms of appeal for evolving combat as the game progresses, however. Engagement is kept refreshing as you move forward by the slow trickle of combat modifying elements that you encounter be it enemy tactics, new skills or ever changing world elements from the level design that create new challenges to overcome.
Metroidvania style games typically are heavily focused on combat, and Aeterna Noctis follows suit here, but with something done a little different. This title also brings dangerous platforming to the table, which is dashed nicely throughout breaking up the reliance of combat. At times, you will find that your largest enemy is your ability to puzzle solve a tricky platforming section, which really does force you to think due to the crafty use of hazards and platforms.
As one would expect, you will also encounter bosses, which I do say was a very refreshing experience in Aeterna Noctis. Unlike many games I played in recent times, there is some real challenge here that went beyond discovering a simple gimmick that crippled the foe, but instead relied heavily on my ability to judge when to attack and how to maneuver myself around the battlefield to victory.
I feel that this game is a fantastic addition to anyone’s library, who really appreciates this kind of game. The player will be able to really feel the love that went into this title and enjoy every aspect of the adventure. This title is one I am glad I got to experience and has definite put this developer on my radar to keep my eye on.