Eden Eternal | Review

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Eden Eternal Review

By: Jeff Davis | Mar 19th 2012
Trust me on this: I've definitely seen my fair share of MMO games that offer a less-than unique bait to get you to try them out. Or those with a mill-ground same-as-usual fantasy epic. Or those formulated within an existing mythology, whether it be Greek, Chinese or even Irish. But when I stepped into the world of Eden Eternal, I knew that I had encountered something special -- one that offered a very unique fantasy adventure with a deeply-entrenched class system and plenty of content that will leave you with a very bright smile up your face.

Like in so many anime-inspired games, Eden Eternal's charming, colorful visuals evoke a sense that reminds me of what you'd see in you'll find in everything from Dragonball to Pokemon, and the dialog and content is also offered in a friendly, "something for everyone" approach -- as opposed to some of the upper-deck maturity in games such as Shaiya and World of Warcraft -- that makes Eden Eternal one for everyone in the family and beyond. There really is something for everyone in this game; and between the quests, creative enemy types and everything else, you'll be surprised to see what comes next. Even the storyline -- which (spoiler incoming!) centers around individuals who are (literally) born of crystals with the destined fate to guide society into paradise -- has that special, "everyone in the house" fantasy appeal that could easily face down against Twilight and Harry Potter. Considering that even your own in-game character is one of these special individuals yourself (though it's not officially evident at first glance beyond a few hints in the prologue cutscene), you're going to have one hell of a time with destiny in this adventure.

Starting the battle process in Eden Eternal is fairly straightforward: simply left-click an enemy to begin the fight, and you'll automatically head over to engage battle. You'll then proceed to swap jabs back and forth until one side is down -- hopefully not you, of course, since it may be a long walk back if you don't plan ahead (more on that later). Once your prey goes down, you'll often see boxes and bags pop up to give you some useful swag for your adventure. Be sure to loot these whenever possible, since you'll have to deliver portions of your looted supplies for progression purposes every so often.

Traditional "left-clicking to move around" is also standard practice here, though you're also free to use the WASD approach as well. Sometimes you may even have to use one over the other in cases where you're trying not to pick a fight with anything (or anyone), or if you get stuck in an unintentional "condition mayday" enemy aggro situation (or anything worse thereof) and need to bail out of there before a whole pile of mushroids hits the fan. Plus, triggering NPC conversations is fairly easy in itself (and is also set to follow the same controls interface), not to mention that the NPC dialog system is very easily interpreted in its own right.

Eden Eternal's dungeon instancing system is perhaps one of the most unusual that I've seen yet. In this case, you don't get to enter a dungeon by yourself simply by walking in there -- well, you DO walk into the dungeon to start, but you have to do it as part of a group with one person going in at a time until everyone that wants to go in has made it through the entryway. If you want to solo, this won't work; however, there is usually a soul guardian at the entrance door who can hack its way through the dungeon walls to get you in by yourself. Even then, you won't get any of the benefits of your kills and treasures (or lack thereof) so you'll miss out on the rewards you could've had with other players involved. You can still finish with a quest that involves running a dungeon to get its reward even if you do go in there by yourself, but that's about it.

Speaking of soul guardians, these oddball creatures show up in any number of locations to provide a very useful service. By going through a ritual process, you can become one with any soul guardian in any one location. Once you've done that, you can reanimate at its location if you've gone flat and dead. Of course, the soul guardian you're linked with may well be a great long distance away from where you actually lost your bucket to begin with, so depending on the circumstance you may be facing a very long walk back to where that can of whoop*** popped up on you, if for better or worse thereof.

There are a few other things you should watch out for as well. In at least one case, you are given a special weapon that must be used to complete your objective, which is very much a necessity for that particular job. In this particular case, using the same weapon (or dual wield combo) for that particular hit job will not work; instead, you must use the weapon that you've been given in order to finish the job properly, and thus allow you to progress further on with the storyline. This is all fine and acceptable where it makes absolute sense (like with the hammer against that golem-type monster in the case being described here), but otherwise I would prefer to use what I already have to get the job done without having to mess with any particular supplies from anyone else. And that's just within the case of the warrior class, for all I know!

Additionally, while a lot of the content is available entirely gratis, the loot wheel, loot forge, and the periodic tiered spender features of the game's website are only usable if you have the necessary allotment of Aeria's points-based item mall currency (officially shorthanded as AP). Generally speaking, you can do just fine without using these facilities -- but you can get one jack of a deal in everything from special noob gear to exquisite fashions and accessories that are not otherwise available.

Other than that, Eden Eternal is a very good free-to-play MMORPG that's worth playing by anyone with a taste for anime-style action and/or fantasy MMO games in general. The game offers its fair share of monsters and quests to kill and complete, is fairly easy to pick up, and aside from a few minor quirks can put up a good showing for its simplicity and appealing visual style. There's no real way to go wrong in Eden Eternal besides the small stuff outlined here, and even then it's only so much of a rough spot that it doesn't really make that big of a difference. Eden Eternal is a fair recommendation for any fantasy MMO buff out there, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Case closed.

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