249 people found this review helpful 5 people found this review funny
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 8, 2013
Do you remember that feeling you had as you cowered in the closet, hiding from the monstrosities in Amnesia? Or when you tiptoed along a dimly lit hallway, hoping the monster ahead wouldn't see you in Outlast? You won't be able to find anything of the sort here. Eleusis attempts to emulate the successful horror formula of its' predecessors, but falls flat on its' face. The game manages to take the most annoying tropes of the adventure and horror genres and mash them together to create this mess of a game.
When I say "adventure", I use the term very loosely. The puzzles themselves are few and far between, sandwiched between hours upon hours of endless backtracking between different points in the village. You find a key in a drawer? Better check every single door on the map, because you have no clue which building is what. Oh, you have to collect the ingredients to make a mysterious potion? They are located at points A, B, C and D, at different corners of the map. Have fun walking around at an excruciatingly slow pace. The next stage then makes you visit all of the areas all over again. Even with the additional, and completely unnecessary, padding, I only managed to squeeze about 4 hours of playtime out of the game (Steam says 2 hours, but I first played on Desura).
Of course, backtracking in itself does not destroy a game. I've certainly played other titles that were overly reliant on this concept (Dreamfall, anyone?), but most manage to make up the shortcomings with an excellent storyline or logical and engaging puzzles. Eleusis isn't able to cover either category well. The storyline is nothing special - some mysterious cult trying to raise an evil god - and the twists and turns can be seen from a mile away. The puzzles are drab and uninspiring. Most of them involve searching for keys and the doors they go to. Those scavenger hunts aren't entirely too bad, but there are far too many logical shortcoming throughout. Near the start of the game, the protagonist picks up a wood axe. You'd think the axe would be able to chop through all of the locked wooden doors, wouldn't you? Nope, it's only used for shimmying a hose off a faucet. Eventually, the main character creates a pair of lockpicks, using on the simple tools at hand. The problem? You guessed it. The lockpicks only work on a single door in the entire game. The game is also plagued with knee-high gates, but, being locked, somehow create a infinitely tall boundaries that magically prevents the protagonist from even thinking about walking over.
I have to admit that not everything about Eleusis is terrible. The overall lighting, with the exception of the overly reflective rocks in several areas (thanks to the UDK engine), is certainly reminiscent of other survival horror games. The spooky ambient noises are fitting and the great graphics in general work well to establish a creepy atmosphere. Unfortunately, those two points are essentially the only highlights to this dull and predictable adventure,
I agree with one of the other reviewers here. This game just feels like some kind of tech demo or portfolio project. It just doesn't feel like the developer made an honest effort to create a full fledged game. As such, I would advise to stay far, far away from this game.
134 people found this review helpful 4 people found this review funny
6.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 21, 2013
I was really excited to play this game, long time ago I read about the Eleusinian Mysteries, and seeing this is based on that, it peaked my interest.
Once I started the game, I thought 'wow, this actually looks good, compared to other games in this genre'. And it does, the graphics are really nice and detailed. Same goes for the sound and music, there's not too much distracting music playing, on the few occasions it does, it is very fitting. Other than that you hear your footsteps and the enviroment around you, i.e. water, etc., big plus on atmosphere. However, once I advanced a bit in Chapter one, I started to get annoyed. The fov is horrible. Paths are barely visible, even with a flashlight. After solving my first puzzle, I thought it can't get much worse. Wrong. Throughout the game there's no innovative new puzzles, it's always the same. The most annoying part is the running around back and forth (yes, through the whole map) you HAVE to do. It gets really, really frustrating after a while. Imagine finding a key and having to try pretty much every single door to find the lock it fits in.
When I started I checked the NPC thread option, the first time something pops up, sure it was a bit freaky, but that's it. After that the ecounters became predictable and annoying. Now comes one of the worst things about Eleusis: no manual saves, so enjoy running back and forth again if you go game over.
The game lenght is decent, it takes about four hours to finish it. Without the useless backtracking you could easily complete it in less than half of that time. So keep that in mind. There's nothing exciting about 'exploring', in Eleusis it feels like your wife or mother telling you to take out the trash a hundred times a day.
So, in the end the story didn't intrigue me in the way I was expecting. Eleusis was predictable, boring and very, very annoying. I am glad I didn't buy this full price, and neither should you.
66 people found this review helpful 6 people found this review funny
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 22, 2014
I hate walking.
No I don't mean that in the lazy, "I'd rather sit on my bum and play video games all day" sort of way, but the act of slowly moving your legs instead of opting to run when the situation demands it. So it would stand to reason that I sort of hate Eleusis, a game that consists of 80% mundanely walking at the speed of a crippled elderly person to various points on your map, with the rest being filled in with so many terrible design decisions that I struggled to remember them all.
Eleusis opens with your character being summoned by his mother to visit his hometown. On the way there his car is struck by a cascading boulder, and he has no choice but to leave his vehicle and explore the area around him, which soon leads him to a creepy abandoned village, where everything is miles apart and key objects scattered around in the most convoluted of places.
And this is where you come in, being the newly appointed hidden object finder, tasked with searching what remains of the village to find various tools and keys and use them to make your way past so many locked doors in order to find more doodads and unlock more doors. It's essentially an adventure game, but the puzzles are so obtuse and confusing that it feels like little more than one tedious fetch quest. Only minutes into the game I was already reaching for a guide, as absolutely nothing is done to direct the player, and progression often depends on clicking on the one item out of a dozen that is usable as opposed to needlessly moved around (which even then is restricted to certain items, making it an even more baffling inclusion that is never used for anything meaningful). And of course, all of this sends you walking back and forth across the map, often requiring repeat trips and trial and error as so little is labeled meaningfully, and getting lost is incredibly easy with how little you can see and how tangled the maze of trails becomes.
This might not be nearly as dull as it is though if Eleusis's world wasn't at least three times larger than it needs to be and filled so sparingly with anything consequential. The size of the map might also be connected to the horrendous performance I received on a PC that is more than capable of running the game, which graphically consists of little more than bland textures, pop-in prone foliage, and embarrassing particle effects. There are moments when the darkness almost makes everything look decent, but it's merely an illusion quickly discarded when a light is passed over whatever you may be viewing.
I don't feel the need to delve much into the narrative, as it's so sparse and comprised of so many disconnected strands that you'd almost forget it was there, if not for the requirement to read through long passages of text in find the clue not so subtlety hidden among the rambles. Your character's motivations are never explained, the plot is paper thin, and the ending notable only for the reprieve it gives you from such a horrendous experience.
If you are expecting a horror game, clever puzzles, a decent narrative, or even just some decent eye candy, you will find none of it here. Eleusis is a failure of a game that I can only recommend as an example for aspiring developers at how badly you can screw up a first person adventure game. For everyone else, be glad you have yet to take part in this experience, and for those who already have you have my sympathy.
27 people found this review helpful 2 people found this review funny
3.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 22, 2013
I blew through this in less then 4 hours, so not a lot of play time designed into it. The graphics were stunning, the story was inventive if far too short, if you can find this on sale, I'd say the 4 hours of game play is worth the 10 dollars, but not much more. The game was a bit too linear for an adventure and the clues left in game, made it almost too easy to progress through. It could have been better with more content in it, some of which could have made the main story line a bit less easy to follow to quickly through. There were a ton of unexplored houses left by the end, so over all why I liked it for a short diversionary game, it felt a bit more like a 3d based short story book, and less like a puzzeling adventure game.
71 people found this review helpful 1 person found this review funny
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: May 16, 2014
The most boring game ever.
Everything is slow and there is no excitement to anything. Make sure to turn "NPC Threats" off, because the only enemies are wolves that spawn when you pick up key items, and walking away from these wolves is pretty much the game forcing you to backtrack in order to despawn them which makes them just a waste of time. The setting is really dull too and moving around in it is clunky due to the bad controls. The worst part about the game is the gameplay itself, which is nothing but walking around in a large but empty world at a very slow pace. This makes finding items for puzzles and then bringing them to where you think they would work a major pain.
About the puzzles: They are garbage. The game's progression is tied to you picking up one specific item after another, you pick an item up just to use it on the next item which will then let you do something to get another item. Missed an item? Better search everywhere while moving like a snail. Most of your time will be spent walking around an empty area clicking on everything to find that one item you need. Also, good luck finding the matches. Putting them inside a 80% opacity glass case on top of a grave was not the best idea.
By the way, the game is not scary.
EDIT: I read the Steam Store page for this game and got angry, so I'm gonna pick apart each point.
--High detailed realistic graphics. Not really. The village itself is very boring and weird-looking (many of the houses are one room for some reason), and the forest area is plagued by bad pop-in problems with shadows. The same 3 moveable rocks are repeated throughout the whole game. The lighting is alright.
--Explore open environment with realistic physics in the Greek countryside. "Realistic physics"? You mean like how you can put a chair through a solid wall if you move quick enough? How about whenever something moves along the floor or touches the floor, it makes the same sound at the same volume like 20 times in a row really fast and sounds like♥♥♥♥♥♥ The rocks are easier to throw than a glass jar in this game. Also, can you really call it an "open environment" when 90% of all the houses and buildings are locked?
--Use stealth tactics and agility to survive. "Stealth tactics" is wrong, it is a blatant lie. There is no stealth in this game, enemies show up out of nowhere and you'll never see them before they see you and start chasing you. And there is no running in this game, you walk and enemies walk at about the same speed. They chase you at a walking pace until the game decides to give up and despawn the enemy.
--Use physics-based objects to defend yourself. This statement is solely meant to cover for the lies of the previous statement since running away and stealth are not an option to anyone who doesn't want to backtrack even more than they have to.
--Challenging item–based Puzzles with simple interface. I already discussed the puzzles and why they suck, but the interface is also bad. You get like 12 item slots but you'll never come close to filling that since you use items after getting them. It looks and feels ugly and rushed.
--Dark atmosphere with eerie sounds. What "eerie sounds"? That doesn't even make sense because there are no eerie sounds at all, or anything close to that description. Also the dark atmosphere is not something to be proud of since it makes no sense either. The moonlight is so strong that it creates lightrays around every object, but everything on the ground is still pitch-black???
--Original storyline Sonic fanfictions are also "original storylines", this is yet another meaningless statement.
68 people found this review helpful 1 person found this review funny
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 30, 2013
So, seeing that the game had been Greenlit and fairly well acclaimed, I thought I'd give it a try. The story was pretty promising, as someone who's into Mythology, and it game would revolve around it. So, le'ts get on with it! I t's advertised as "a story-driven game with emphasis on exploration, information gathering and also includes horror-survival elements". Let's just get the "horror-survival elements" out of the way. It is in no way, a survival horror game, that must have been what they've stuck to it since every youtuber and their dog screamed whenever they stepped on a stick. They give you a flashlight. With batteries. Hmmm, surely, I must scavenge for more batteries after these are over. Well... not really. They feel like it's a good idea to give you an unlimited lantern, that lights waaaay more than the said "essential" flashlight. Seriously, if you're going to give us a better lighting tool, don't give us the flashlight at all, it makes no freaking sense! Oh, and I've only found one pack of flashlight batteries anyway, which, of course, I didn't use... it's pointless, really.
Onwards to the "exploration, information gathering": Well, since the whole game is set at night, you can't really see much, which makes for a monotous walk through the forest, and that's your exploration. I'll admit I liked the artstyle, and the village, but there's virtually nothing to explore in the game. You have a semi open-world, but it's essentially a forest, and there's no point to explore on your own, since you'll go everywhere along with the story. I'd have loved to do some exploration, but there was no point, there was nothing to explore.
"story-driven"... this one hurts, I'm sorry to say, but it really does. There's almost no story presented through gameplay... which, well, find it on youtube. As you go from place to place looking for items (I'll get there in a minute), there's no story to be told. Until you reach an house, that is, in which you'll get the feel for the story through some notes, and that alone. Almost every bit of story in this games, is given to you through text. It just feels out of place, and that text is always next to the item you need to progress the game, so there goes exploration, right? Look at Bioshock! The world itself tells the overall story, and those audiologs, just give us the background and some interesting details to complete the world. Now... the gameplay. This is essentially a First Person Point n' Click game! The puzzles are just "Go there a get this, then come back and use that with this..." and so on and so forth. And they feel like they're designed to extend the game's longevity, since you're constantly walking back and forth from one place to the one on the other edge of the map. And it's not fun. It's simply NOT fun... and neither is it scary, there's nothing scary about the game, unless you're afraid of the dark. I could say a lot about how senseless some "puzzles" were, but I feel like I'm going too hard at the game. The supposedly scary/stealthy part would be when you have to run from wolves (which appear out of ♥♥♥♥ing nowhere whenever you pick a piece of the final puzzle) or from a patroling cultist. Aaaand it's awkward. Painfully so.
Now, the only praise I can give to this game, is its looks, and the story potential (maybe?). To the developpers: if you're making a game and you CAN'T do something right, don't do it at all. Do something else. Because, what we get here, is a game that could be so much better than what it is, but it falls flat on its face because of badly implemented features!
Maybe in future titles Nocturnal Nights will shine, and I'll give them another chance. It's just that this game in particular was really bad in my opinion. Full of bad design choices, seemingly to jump on the "survival horror" bandwagon that's been going on lately.
Eleusis was made by two developers and they deserve praise for creating this interesting, yet heavily flawed gem of a game. Story starts when you avoid car-crash and despite the better judgment, decide to investigate the creepy, isolated small village deep in the forest. Because OF COURSE these excursions always end up well ;)
Graphics are quite amazing for a two-man job, with nice and crisp textures, while shadows and ambient occlusion are excellent and provide a decent spooky atmosphere. Story is extremely simple, basic and very predictable. Game is relatively short too, as it will take you 3-5 hours to complete it.
Now this is a point and click adventure with somewhat spooky setting, coupled with annoying and, thankfully, optional enemies you have to avoid, since you are leading an 80-year old crotchety man that's moves extremely slow. It seems grandpas are main stars in most of these kinds of indie "horror" games. And I use quotes, since Eleusis fails on the most important aspect possible: being scary. There is no tension, no buildup to the terror that might await you, two types of enemies you do meet are 100% annoying and 0% scary. The entire game is like this: it tries to be a horror experience, but ends up as a bland walk through the park.
Hence I cannot recommend Eleusis, since you can get so many other indie horror games with a shoestring budget that do Horror aspect much better. But if developers keep honing on their skills and keep trying, I think we'll get something grand down the road.
Sometimes you really want to believe a game is good. Maybe it has a particular look, maybe it has a great hook, or maybe you just want to see an indie succeed out there in the big, scary world. Eleusis was just such a game for me, rising out of the mire of Amnesia clones years ago to offer something new and exciting and maybe even complimentary to the horror walking sim that launched a thousand Unity projects. It bore a haunting style, a mysterious story steeped in folklore, and a promised mix of exploration and frights. At last, years after my fascination with this tiny indie title began, I have finally played it and discovered that hope is indeed a lie.
You play some guy summoned to his childhood village in Greece, but that hardly matters because it’s just an excuse to get you to a scary place and you KNOW it wasn’t his mom that sent for him. On arrival you find the place dark and spooky (you specifically arrived at night to avoid traffic out on all those rural Greek roads, y’know) and begin searching for answers. The village is nestled up in the mountains with some equally spooky graveyards and cliffs and temples to search, all with their own parts in the overall mystery. What you find, then, is a woman in peril, a hooded figure at work in the shadows, and lots and lots and lots of item fetching to do.
This is absolutely a walking simulator inspired by Amnesia: The Dark Descent, all the way down to the trusty lantern and the grasping hand icon moving objects in the world. Eleusis features an open map to explore rather than discrete areas, however, and so to gate off progression in the village the developers used literal gates. Your first hour with the game is going to be scouring the cottages for keys to other cottages, eventually gathering enough items to reach the more exotic cottages to get the more exotic keys. The story isn’t really going to kick in until you get to the text dump textbooks at the mayor’s house, and those are just going to give you a more expansive scavenger hunt to work on than the breadcrumb trail that led you there.
Since the game lacks achievements, I’m terribly curious how many players ever made it that far. Eleusis has a severe flaw in that your objective at any given time is painfully hidden. Your journal helpfully fills in what task you’re on but it’s always going to be finding something, and those somethings are almost never clearly visible. Key items rarely look like key items, like the one sack of special grain in the room full of sacks or the one bottle in a house full of bottles that is an inventory item and not a world item. I imagine the first puzzle in the game will stump most people, wherein you need to grab a bit of hose from a tiny faucet by some stairs and a gas can floating in the middle of a river to siphon fuel out of a Vespa tucked away on the far side of the village.
If you intend on getting through Eleusis, get a walkthrough ready unless you’re willing to traipse back and forth over the expansive map just to experiment and click on everything. Some solutions are needlessly complicated and illogical, like how you have to take items from the mayor’s house to the blacksmith to use them on each other to make a lockpick for the mayor’s house. And then there’s a fetch quest near the end of the game where you have to find items buried in the ground at distant points in the world, with essentially no visual cues for where they are. The game is lousy with puzzles that feel like they were never tested with actual players, instead being tuned to challenge the people who themselves designed them.
Ostensibly this is a horror game, and the atmosphere isn’t bad at all on its own. The Greek countryside is dark and moody, with moonlight streaming in between ferns and bushes rustling at the worst times. Darkened doorways feel like they could hide anything, and you never feel quite safe until you meet the other inhabitants of the village. Eleusis apparently didn’t ship with enemies but they were added in later as an optional toggle, and it shows. There are two, with the first one being a hooded figure who wanders the roads in search of you and can be easily spotted and avoided. The second is a wolf who spawns right on you after certain cutscenes, requiring you to escape across the countryside or chuck rocks at him until he gives up. Escape is always the better option as the throwing mechanics are pretty fiddly, but the last time I had to deal with him I got stuck in some terrain geometry and had to reset the encounter. Whee.
I wanted to like this one, I really did. I like the way it looks, I like the simple premise, and I’ve seen the ending and it’s got a neat little theme to it. Greek mythology figures in a little here but in an effective way and the environments are great for setting the right mood. Unfortunately, all that’s done with this promise is an interminable fetch quest and some awkward, uninteresting encounters. More than anything Eleusis is boring, the one thing a horror game should never be. There’s no amount of benefit I can give this one that would make it a recommendation, because anyone who plays it is going to either be bored or frustrated to death by the end.
16 people found this review helpful 1 person found this review funny
6.5 hrs on record
Posted: February 5, 2014
so far a very entertaining game. tense atmosphere, great looks and quite good sound assets. it's a mixture of old fashioned adventures and a bit of slenderman-esque feeling to it. up to this point the puzzles are too particular difficult but since i'm not finished yet... obviously rather tough when it comes to system-requirements so could use some optimisations, but ok. i'd recommend it to anyone who is into slow, stealthy and athmospheric adventure games.