Eidolon Review: Sedated Expedition

August 8th, 2014 -

Remember when you wanted to play a video game and it relied entirely on text? Text adventures were something truly wonderful, almost like an interactive book. Adventure games have certainly progressed throughout the years, becoming extremely popular with the likes of Ron Gilbert and Tim Schafer. Nowadays, we have a new type of adventure game, and it is wondrous in an all new way. Though as the genre has always been, it’s niche.

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Eidolon follows in the path that several games have started, but leads to an ultimately different experience. It’s hard to talk about the game in detail without giving it away, but let’s go over what the game involves. As with many survival games nowadays, you start in the wilderness with no direction. You just … walk. Or run, you can run too. You’ll come across things that look like you can interact with them, and you’d be right. As this is a survival game, you are required to put in effort to not die – be that from starvation or the living world around you. This isn’t made especially terrifying though – you don’t have to build shelter by night time, you don’t have to worry about other players killing you, and you don’t have a time limit to get to the end goal. In fact, if you fail to take care of yourself, you’ll wake up safe and sound with all your belongings – how’s that for taking the fear out of survival? It’s like camping out in the backyard as a kid and having your parents taking you inside when they see you’re not doing well, sleeping in the mud while it’s raining. So instead, you wake up cleaned and in your bed – Eidolon is like that with death – the drawback is losing the distance you traveled. You’ll find a fishing rod, food, tinder, binoculars, and much more. Crafting is not a part of this game, so don’t worry about having the Eidolon Wiki open.

Beyond the survival aspect, you are going to be stumbling across what happened for the environment to be the way it is. You’ll come across notes, places of the past, and… well, it’s a magical experience, and something you deserve to see for yourself. I’m not going to say this is the easiest game to get into though. You need to be prepared for a slow start, a lack of any sort of real action (until you meet something like a bear), and be ready to read. Luckily there are some aspects that will pull you in. While aimlessly wandering the landscape, you get to look at the landscape. That may seem obvious, but this game is absolutely gorgeous. I can spend hours looking through screenshots of this. Nighttime in this is better than night in real life. Living in a city for the majority of my life, I’ve only seen a really lit up sky a few times, so when you see the ocean of stars in this, it kind of takes your breath away. The game is very much silhouetted in shapes and colors, but even those refuse to be what you might expect. The color palette changes so much, and while a game like Grand Theft Auto has dynamic lighting, this just seems more impressive. Maybe it’s the simplicity of the landscape, and maybe it’s the way they set it up, but the game is undeniably beautiful.

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The last bit of this world will be pushed with the help of Michael Bell, the composer of the soundtrack. It’s very ambient, but most certainly something to take into account. The game with any other sound is completely different, and not nearly as involving. Peaceful, sad, and quite unsettling. Other times it sounds like something you might hear at your grandparents house, or their old home movies (back when music played instead of recorded audio). Others are legitimately creepy – the amount of emotion when played with the is extraordinary. While you may not be humming the tunes while you go to sleep, you’ll definitely appreciate them while playing.

Eidolon can be thrown into the genre of “walking simulator” on Steam, but if you take the time to discover it, there is a world of wonder here. If you enjoy games like Dear Esther or Proteus, you’ll love this one. If you’ve played Proteus, I could describe this game in a sentence: Proteus, except you can actually do stuff. People love to explore, people love lore, and people love ancient civilizations. If you are included in the people that love those things, you will love Eidolon.

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BUY

Pros

  • Art Direction
  • Night
  • Mystery of the Story

Cons

  • Slow to Start
  • Bugs (constantly receiving patches though)

Eidolon was created and published by Ice Water Games and is available on Steam for $15. The game released on Steam August 1, 2014.

 

Here at FFoP we use a rating method that you may be unfamiliar with, so allow us to clarify. When we review a game, we see what sort of BRA fits. Buy, Rent, or Acquire is the rating we give out – we’ve boiled it down for simplicity. A Buy is worth the full retail value; a Rent is something you may want to try before you buy, or grab at a discount; an Acquire is something you can play, but we’d suggest borrowing it from someone, grabbing it in a game bundle, or some other means. If you want further clarification, please feel free to get in touch.

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