Eternal Hope – Review
Follow Genre: Puzzle-platformer
Developer: Double hit games
Publisher: Double hit games, Kwalee
Platform: PC, Mac, Linux, Xbox One
Tested on: PC

Eternal Hope – Review

Site Score
8.0
Good: Great attention to atmospheric detail and story, overall well-crafted
Bad: The game gets worse towards the end with a lot of things
User Score
8.7
(3 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 8.7/10 (3 votes cast)

Mankind has always been asking themselves the big questions. Why are we here; what should we do? Those questions often also come with big stories and dilemmas. Think of the Greek gods with all of their human sides, and also of Dante’s Inferno where he travels to hell to get back his beloved. Eternal Hope feels like it represents these stories in more ways than one.

Story

Eternal Hope sells the classic story of saving your loved ones. It’s really great how much attention the story gets in this game, especially in the beginning. When you start, you essentially play through a long cutscene-like tutorial which is the introduction to the main game. Eternal Hope really takes the time to set the mood, getting you warmed up and ready to go. It mainly does this well by giving you a proper incentive to go on a journey, something that other games often somewhat fail in.

A quick summary: The story is all about a boy who’s lonely all his life, looking for love. When he finally finds “her”, their happiness is crushed by a tragic accident. Fortunately for the boy, a keeper of souls (death in a way) offers him a quest to find back the pieces of his lover’s soul that has been shattered. Once he completes the quest, the keeper of souls will return her to this world so they can be together again. It’s, in a way, a tale as old as time. That being said, towards the end of the game, this is a story that gets messy quickly, with an ending that definitely won’t satisfy all. This is the general consensus as well. While the start of this game is strong, and the middle part has some good things in it, the last part of the game seems to go downhill in multiple ways.

Graphics

Eternal Hope bears a close, undeniable resemblance to Limbo. Because  Limbo was one of the first games that massively brought the all-black style to a large consumer market, Eternal Hope will cause a lot of people who play both to make this comparison. That being said, Eternal Hope still keeps its own style by, instead of making everything scaled in black and white, using the contrast of vibrant backgrounds with an all-black foreground.

There’s something amazing about the detailed world of Eternal Hope. Especially during the introduction, you can eat your heart out by looking at the rich, colorful environments. While most of the game feels like a lot of effort went into the design, the last bits are graphically a bit underwhelming in diversity and detail. Also, the animations are clearly made with motion-tweening, which is noticeable by the puppet-like movements of i.e. the main character. Thanks to the generally exciting gameplay you quickly forget about this while playing, so it’s no bother.

Sound

Listening to the music, Eternal Hope suffers from a contrast. Sometimes the music fits great, adding a mystical vibe to the game. Other times, it sounds a lot like there’s simply a royalty-free track looping in place forever and ever. Some of the sound effects are also clearly of higher quality than others. Perhaps the sound is the part of the game that could have used a little bit of extra polish the most, yet it doesn’t make the total game any less great.

Gameplay

Yes, Eternal Hope is a great game despite its shortcomings. For one, it has a classic story that gives the player a good incentive to go on a journey. The graphics are adorable, and like these graphics, the gameplay has also been borrowed from Limbo. Limbo and Eternal Hope are both puzzle-platformers, where you often die by unforeseen causes. It’s a trial-and-error type of gameplay, where you test out the environment by jumping on it, dragging stuff around, activating traps, and more. Once you know what a certain action does, you can anticipate said action and its consequences the next time you try to overcome the same part of the game. After you died, that is.

Eternal Hope does its gameplay well and is often smart in anticipating how the player will approach a certain situation. Just when you think you know what will happen, something extraordinary will occur. It’s a game with plenty of surprises, but there’s also a downside to this. Once you completed an annoying, time-consuming puzzle, and you get to the next part, you might need to re-do the already completed puzzle whenever you die. The checkpoints in the game are just often disputable. This is one of the biggest issues we encountered, as it takes a lot of the fun away and starts to hold the game back from near-perfect scores. A couple of small bugs were also encountered, but they were not game-breaking and far from as annoying as the checkpoint issue.

On top of the classic Limbo-style gameplay that Eternal Hope has, it also lets the player switch between two dimensions. The “upper world” and the “underworld” dimension, if you will. Switching to the underworld dimension allows you to reach different places and encounter new creatures as well, which you will obviously use to solve puzzles. The game is over in a good three hours though, and for some reason, these “switching” mechanics get taken away, which is why the last part of the game feels underwhelming looking purely at the gameplay. Replayability is offered only by trying to find all the hidden “collectibles” in the game, but you probably want to play this game for the experience of a journey anyway.

Conclusion

Eternal Hope is a great game that offers plenty to see and a couple of good surprises. That some elements and the last part of the three-hours-long game might be generally underwhelming, does not break all of the great things the game has to offer. Overall you’ll have an engaging story, smart gameplay, and rewarding puzzles. Eternal Hope is simply well-made, but could have used that little bit more to make it a 10/10 experience.

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Rating: 8.7/10 (3 votes cast)
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Eternal Hope - Review, 8.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
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Find me on youtube to see some playthroughs! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuBrlulGywcb0EiYWBnA1ng

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