Climb an endless tower and fight your way through hordes of vicious enemies and wicked traps. Take on bosses that want to crush you, collect loot trading cards to better equip yourself for the torturous battles ahead and customise your game in a rogue-like setting. Welcome to Eternal Step…
Eternal Step, developed by Once More With Gusto is a very simple yet fun game. The player is thrown into a tower in which they must aim to find and defeat the final boss, get lots of loot and kill everything else in their path.
While there is no real plot in the game and you have no idea why you are in a tower fighting through it’s floors you still feel driven to go through just due to the challenge and loot system in the game. In what is actually quite a big risk with modern gaming Eternal Step is surprisingly difficult, it doesn’t let you take a lot of hits and you get punished for mistakes. This is good though, it doesn’t feel cheap when you die and you have to start thinking more about what equipment you use. The enemies are well thought out and offer a decent variety to keep the player on their toes. The most interesting aspect of enemies I found is that they can change up their attacks and get different perks, so even when you get used to the enemies you might not have fought them with certain perks (e.g. a slime had a perk in which it had a small AOE explosion upon death, killing me)
The loot system is also done well. It uses ‘cards’ which have the equipment you use on it. The player can use these cards to learn skills (should the card have them), break them down to re-make old cards and even start your new run with them after your inevitable death. In short: you need to grind. The grinding doesn’t force you to sit there hours at a time though since you get at least 1 card for most floors, I did manage to get 4 on one floor but these were early on so it’s possible the higher the floor the more cards you get.
The looting system combines with it’s simple, quick and yet still fun combat to keep players coming back to gather gear and push as far as they can through the tower. There could also be a bit of competitiveness between players to do things such as get to the highest floor or get the best equipment. There is also a levelling system which affects the quality of items you start with should you pick the option but the main reason for levelling up is to get the perks which increase stats after every 5 level ups.
The visuals are very simple, and exactly special. They look good for what the game is but the only problems I have is that when you are close to death the screen gets ridiculously dark so it can be a bit annoying.That, and the design of the floors (mostly the colour) is pretty dull and repetitive. I understand that there is a dark theme in the game but a lot of black and dark-ish green gets a bit boring (I did only get to floor 12 as my best run so the environments may change. Different environments are also shown in the trailers and images). One of the things I do like however is that the levels are different every time in terms of what is spawned which is very good in stopping environments from being exactly the same every run.
The audio is also nothing special. It’s a lot of basic sounds and a basic soundtrack. The soundtrack is decent but it can get repetitive so it would be nice to see some updates to it.