EOE: Eve of Extinction

a game by Eidos Interactive
Platform: Playstation 2
Editor Rating: 6/10, based on 1 review
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Overview

The relationship between you and your girlfriend just doesn't seem to be working out too well. Not that you don't care for Eliel, it's just ever since you discovered the nefarious plans that your employer 'Wisdom'? was up to and they sent their goons after you, you've really found it difficult to be the boyfriend you want to be. Never mind the fact that they have somehow managed to transfer Eliel's soul into a new type of weapon called 'Legacy.'

What the hell? Your girlfriend has been turned into a cheap imitation light saber and you have been altered slightly to enhance your natural penchant for violence. What kind of company would do this to its employees and what kind of 401k plans do they have?

And so your mission is clear uncover the secrets that Wisdom doesn't want the world to know and change your girlfriend back into something a bit more capable to be romantic with. They'll send assassins and thugs to kill you and inadvertently equip you with more and more deadly weapons. It's time for a little revenge, martial arts style.

Gameplay, Controls, Interface

Eve of Extinction (EoE) is a third person adventure with a mild fighting game engine. As Josh Calloway, the uptight former Wisdom employee, you are charged with the odd task of returning your girlfriend to her original vessel, that of a human being. If the game sounds strange, don't worry' it is. Now as you adventure (3rd person view), the pace is fairly brisk, however, it's everything you have done before in terms of obstacles you run into and items to collect.

This game is absolutely littered with problems with the occasional ray of light that barely keeps its head above water. At first, I had hoped I would be playing an updated version of the game Oni. Nope, this game wishes it was as much fun as Oni was. At one point I even got it out to compare the two.

If game makers are going to make an adventure/action game on one of these next generation systems, one would hope that the ideas would also be more cutting edge. Perfect example'right at the beginning of the game, you must find a key that opens a specific door. Well this key is on the opposite end of the level map, with numerous bad guys in between. Fight all the way to get the key, then fight all the way back to use the key. Another problem comes in the form of how to put out the fire that has a key in the center, gee, should I activate my weapon's water attack (heavy sarcasm), blah, blah, blah.

And speaking of fighting, you will do plenty of it. When the game first starts up, you have a sword, a staff and your bare fists on which you use to dispatch your foes. But unlike a real fighting game (or real life for that matter) Josh only has a couple of moves to perform. The fighting moves are just like the actual fighting' both are boring and repetitive to the point of utter madness. As time goes by and the percentage of each weapon's ability goes up, more moves are unlocked but unfortunately, they too are blasé.

With each of the weapons that you find you will be able to attach 'Ley'? seed(s) to them in order to unlock the weapons special attack. The Ley seeds are located throughout the game's various levels and are found hovering in a magical 'Ley'? line. This Ley line will refresh Josh's health meter as well as his special attack meter. Again, it seems to be really familiar territory for those of us that have played any sort of adventure game. The blue staff has a lightning attack, the red sword has a fire attack and the light blue katars have an ice attack. Again, there was certainly nothing 'special'? about these special attacks. The weapons themselves were only slightly better. My personal favorite was the snake sword.

Of course each of these weapons that Josh finds/takes is a 'Legacy'? weapon, which begs the question, if Eliel's soul is trapped in the red sword and she can communicate with Josh, then why don't the other Legacy weapons talk to your characters? I mean the whole point in creating these powerful weapons is the fact that they have a human soul in them, where's the consistency? It's questions like these that make for an uneven gaming experience.

On the upside, occasionally a certain point of the game will be reached and a mini cut scene will pop up, prompting you to hit a specific button in order to dodge an attack of some sort. It reminded me of those quick action scenes in the game Shenmue. I personally liked this addition to the game. It didn't happen often enough to where you would expect it and it didn't happen so infrequently that it came as a total surprise either. Sadly, if you did happen to press the correct button and managed to avoid getting hit, it showed Josh doing some sort of cool martial arts move that couldn't normally be done in the game. Case in point'when walking down one of the alleys in the game, a pop up cut scene starts where a sword-wielding maniac comes running at you with weapons flashing. If you hit the proper button, Josh runs up the wall (ala' the Matrix) and does a back flip over his assailant, kicking him in the head. I don't have to tell you how useful a move like this could have been in the game's regular adventuring mode, especially when surrounded by multiple bad guys.

Speaking of bad guys, this Wisdom company must be heavily invested in clone research, since you see the same group of bad guys attacking you over and over. I didn't mind the ninja/soldier types because they were wearing masks, which made it seem like it was part of the official Wisdom security force or something to that effect. But the men in suits only had three or four different body styles. I couldn't tell you how much bald, six-foot-six, metal-handed bad guys I beat over the head with my staff, but you can be sure it was a hell of a lot.

Another plus in the game (mixed with a negative) was Josh's exploratory abilities. When the staff is equipped, Josh can do a super jump. When he does performs the jump, it's entirely possible for him to grab on to ledges, signs, ladder rungs, etc. and pull himself up. These types of objects are all over the place in the game. I found myself running around on roofs, leaping from rooftop to rooftop. Admittedly, it was quite fun. Too bad there was hardly anything to do once I reached a particularly difficult location. There weren't any special icons, weapons or even bad guys. On one level I can remember finding no fewer then seven hard to reach locations that yielded absolutely nothing. It was a real shame, given the exploration possibilities this game allows Josh to have. I was surprised that I never found a single item in the time I spent exploring places like that, which makes having a Ley line in the middle of the street that much more silly.

Finally, the camera angles in this game were fine at some points and down right hair-pulling at others. Because Josh is viewed from the 3rd person perspective, expect sketchy camera angles and zero visibility to occur throughout the game. A first person view mode is available when you press the L3 button but it is only used to observe your surroundings. No other action can be performed when it is activated. Also, don't become too reliant on it as it isn't always available when running around, specifically when on the side of a building or in an enclosed space.

Graphics

I will say this'the games graphics weren't too bad, but they weren't too good either. I liked the way Josh moved with a steady pace with no apparent lag, even when the screen was filled with bad guys coming at you. And while the building design and map locations were done accurately, ladders and other important items would practically blend in with the buildings or environment, even if the game were taking place during the day.

The special attacks and the glowing weapons were a bit of a let down. One might argue that the use of lighting effects was insufficient. I have played a ton of Eidos games in the past and I know for a fact that they know what they're doing.

Audio

If I hit you over the head with a blunt instrument, I am confidant that a noise would come out of you in two ways. One, the scream of pain would undoubtedly be loud, especially if I failed to knock you out. Two, the actual noise of a blunt instrument smacking the human head is quite a sickening thud (don't ask me how I know this). Both of these sounds were routinely ignored and frankly, I'm shocked. You would think that with the basic research a game company would take in investigating a melee combat game, the subject of NOISE, would have come up. Now that I think of it, I don't even remember any sort of action music ever occurring. The only thing (audio-wise) that comes to mind is Eliel's very irritating voice. Now, no offense to the voice actress that did the voice, but the repetitiveness and annoying way Eliel seems to order Josh around really grated on my nerves. Come to think of it, Eliel is typical of most girlfriends in that respect. I guess Eidos did their research on that one.

Bottom Line

This is not the answer for you action/adventure gamers. I did find a thing or two to like about the game but ultimately it left a bad taste in my mouth. After several hours of play, I found myself longing for a really fun action game, and popped in Onimusha Warlords to sate my appetite.

If you haven't played a lot of action games then this one might work for you, but fans of the genre will find nothing new in terms of originality and innovative game play. The game company Eidos knew they were putting out a below-average game, and therefore need to come back with a real heart stopper. For fans like me, it can't come out soon enough.

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