Aeterna Noctis DEALS
Chaos, the supreme life-giving being, was the creator of Aeterna, a world populated by creatures of all kinds and ruled by sages who were to guide the footsteps of its people. But greed clouded their hearts, and, eager for power, two great factions emerged; light and darkness staged an absurd war that enraged Chaos, as they were nobody to decide who should rule his world. Fed up, the god cursed its leaders with immortality, condemning them to an eternal cycle of death and resurrection, a device designed to achieve the balance that they had set out to destroy.
Now the King of Darkness has just been defeated, suddenly descending to the underworld, having been deprived of his powers. His role among mortals is none other than to regain his gifts to regain the long-awaited throne once again, but it will not be easy, not easy at all. Aeterna Noctis begins.
The most demanding Metroidvania of the season
This is how Aeternum Game Studios’ first job starts, a huge work that can take you between 30 and 60 hours with ease and that will delight anyone who likes a good challenge. From the outset, a title is defined as a Metroidvania, and yes, but no. Let me explain: Aeterna Noctis has, in effect, a structure that meticulously complies with the genre’s tropes. However, the exploration and action that we usually find in this type of proposal add a level of demand to the platform, which can recall such meticulous titles in the art of jumping as Celeste himself. So much so that here, on many occasions, the classic problem of where to continue is replaced by how to continue, emphasizing sections of merciless platforms or final bosses of those who are hard to forget.
Starting Aeterna Noctis is entering a world as beautiful as it is dangerous. His smooth start soon gives way to some sections that have made me sweat the most recently. There may be something of not being forewarned and encountering an unexpected difficulty. Still, the truth is that it took me a few hours to acclimatize, to understand that it is not allowed to hesitate when things get serious. Things tend to be pretty serious most of the time.
After taking control of the King of Darkness, we explored Aeterna starting from the Altar of the Kings in Famished City. The rain, the darkness, and the souls of the fallen warriors accompany us in some first steps in which, correctly, the title presents us with the possibility of going through tutorials as simple as they are aesthetically successful. In the beginning, the King will move around and land simple blows of the sword. Thus, the initial tools display a simplicity on which it is very natural to build the rich range of possibilities that we will have access to throughout the adventure.
The core of the experience
Like a good Metroidvania, the title organizes its navigability through the character’s progression but spicing up everything with a veiled touch of RPG (without levels) of the most successful. From the outset, what will most affect our ability to explore are the keys to the Temple of the Kings. Each of them gives access to a door (there are 10 in total) that keeps the monarch’s ancient power with his defeat. To provide you with an idea, in the first ten hours, the protagonist can recover movements such as the dash or the ability to jump after leaning on the wall. To this, the dark weapons, skills, and the progression tree must be added. So there is a reasonably elaborate compendium in terms of character evolution.
Dark weapons await us in the world of Aeterna, and we will almost always find NPCs who will give us an odd clue about their location. For its part, the progression tree gives us the most RPG part. The absence of nievels is one of the decisions that I applaud the people of Aeternum Game Studios the most. That does not mean that we do not accumulate experience, and this is when the adjective of soulslike looms most strongly. This experience is used to fill an orb that, in the end, will grant us will be a point that we can spend in the passive skills tree. Thanks to this, we can decide if we want to focus our progression on the critical damage, the ranged attack, or the accumulation of blood (which serves both to heal ourselves and to execute special attacks that, in turn, will report greater amounts of blood).
However, none of these decisions will be final since the title allows us to reset our build at any time, making it possible for us to change the focus of our character depending on the challenge that we have in front of us. This decision gives it a plus of dynamism that is highly appreciated. Looking for a throne in which we can experiment when we find ourselves with a challenge of those that seem impossible will become commonplace, a way to encourage the player to experiment and take full advantage of the playable possibilities available to them. Something that we will appreciate, especially in the first twenty hours.
Thus, between the satisfaction of the challenge overcome and huge amounts of deaths, we will advance through a world that also has a story to tell us. In this aspect, Aeterna Noctis is a somewhat more classic title. What you want to tell us awaits after the main playable milestones in the form of cinematics. Of course, they are well built and, in addition, they are so well voiced by the incredible voice of Nuria Mediavilla (that you will recognize, mainly from the prologue of The Lord of the Rings) that they work wonderfully. Something that can also be attributed to the setting and the attention to detail exercised by the artists in the spectacular two-dimensional world that unfolds before us… In this sense, the only downside comes from the hand of some secondary missions that do not always accompany either what they tell or how they are structured.
Of course, about sound, as with everything related to production, little or nothing can be blamed, displaying an aesthetic universe as personal as it is beautiful, which works to scandalous resolutions and has exquisite animations almost every time. A section that has only been surpassed by the spectacular soundtrack signed by Juan Ignacio Teruel Torres, a collection of pieces without which, indeed, Aeterna would not hit the same.
Aeterna Noctis is merciless, and that is where a large part of her appeal lies, in that strong character that will make some despair, while others, fascinated by her journey in search of balance, will never forget her … Life afterlife.
Aeterna Noctis is not just another Metroidvania. Its determined commitment to the platform and its lack of scruples when it comes to being demanding to give shape to a video game with a character that, in addition, stands out for its production values, its progression system, to be deployed a world as beautiful as it is huge and for a soundtrack of those that are to be looped.
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