21 people found this review helpful
Recommended
0.0 hrs last two weeks / 6.3 hrs on record
Posted: Dec 7, 2019 @ 9:26pm
Product received for free

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Everreach: Project Eden is a rather short 3rd-person shooter with a fun story. The choices matter here and affect the outcomes of the game. The overall 3rd person shooter is a little weak, but keeping in mind that this is a small indie team, creating this world and putting everything together is rather impressive.

Please know before you decide to buy that you can run through the whole game rather quickly and relatively effortlessly. I died a few times, and most of them were in the 3rd mission where there is a section that you die instantly if you are spotted by the overhead Gunship. Otherwise, the game is relatively easy and should take an average player about 5 hours to go through, even with collecting some side-content items, exploring the map for crates, etc. This is important because the base price of the game is rather high, in my opinion.

Gameplay
Explore, open crates, play some mini-games in between the 3rd-person action sequences. You are either on foot and using one of two weapons, the rifle or pistol, or you are riding the hover bike and shooting a single attached homing energy missle at your enemies.

The mini-games are when you open some of the crates, and you want to be careful whenever you come across any one that has a locked pattern that you need to connect all of the dots and use all of the drawn lines only once. You only get 30 seconds to try this puzzle, fail and the crate locks up forever, reducing your salvaged resources that are useful for making upgrades along the skill tree. The other mini-game is moving a block left and right to avoid the falling blocks for 30 seconds, fail and the timer resets, so you have as many tries as you want.

The game is broken up into an intro, 3 missions, and an ending sequence. The gameplay is linear and the world is sizeable and encourages exploration. Once you are past one mission, you will not be able to go back to that area during this run. But you can always play individual chapters of the game from the main game menu.

Controls
The controller works okay, but the sensitivity of camera movement is not a smooth scroll bar but specific ticks. This may make it so that some people cannot find the settings that they would want. I tried the controller but switched quickly to KB+M. There is aim-assist option that I did not test out.

Graphics
There are a few areas in this game that look drastically different from each other. The world looks rather impressive, and the artwork looks good. There are definitely places where a lot of attention was paid to detail, and others that looked like repeated segmental copying of world elements from other places. But overall there's enough diversity in the environment I would say. The characters have a decent amount of detail. There is only a small handful of enemy types in the whole game though.

Music & Sounds
The music shifts into high-beat intense sounds when you are in combat, and when there are no hostiles left, it mellows out a bit more. After sitting and listening it for a whole afternoon, I did find the music to get a little repetitive. But the overall game is short, so I did not feel the need to turn it off and listen to something else instead. There are only a few sound effects, and to be honest, they were a bit underwhelming. The shooter sound effects did not add to a satisfactory feel of playing a shooter, which is my biggest complaint about the sounds.

Pricing
A bit high for the base price, in my opinion. $24.99 US base or the launch price of 20% off both seem a bit much, given other indie games available for similar price or less and a lot more game content.

Positives
1. The developers seem keen on fixing things up as they already pushed out an update after I ran through the game earlier today to address a lot of what was causing me trouble. They have fixed the inabilty to remap the crouch key, they fixed the issue that caused me to miss half of the ending, they have increased the rifle accuracy, they removed cut-scene camera swaying, etc.
2. The story is quite nice for this game, there's rather extensive lore, and the created game world is interesting.
3. The world is fairly sizeable, although the story and gameplay is very much linear.
4. There are these mini-games that I liked, but I also understand why they would infuriate others.
5. Of the few places where you have dialogue choices, this significant affects the outcome of the game.
6. The skill/ability tree that you will never fill on any single run through make for increased replay value.

Negatives
Looking at the store page right now, it seems to not be getting too many favorable reviews, and I can understand why.
1. The shooter component is rather lacking, as you have two guns for the whole game while on foot, and one more weapon when you are riding the hover bike.
2. Enemy AI have fairly predictable responses and are not realistic at all. I managed to sneak behind an enemy solider in the Desert area and stood behind him with a pistol held to his head for 10-15 seconds waiting to see if he would turn around. When nothing happened after a while, I went for a headshot to end his miserable life.
3. You can predict where chests/crates are by just looking at the mini-map, every far-reach nook and cranny (especially in the first two missions) you can expect to find some loot.
4. The vehicle movement and camera settings are really strange. The camera is set to follow, so if you go into reverse, you cannot see what's in front of you at all, and you only look behind. This is troublesome when dealing with the combat encounters in the Desert.
5. You are only ever looking over the right shoulder in combat mode, it would be nice to be able to switch.
6. Optimization could be improved, I had significant slow-downs every time I hit a checkpoint, and some loading screens felt like they lasted longer than they should.
7. Cannot access video option and key customization during the game, can only do this from the main menu.

Conclusion
Everreach: Project Eden is a short indie 3rd person shooter that is fairly easy with some replay value in the skill tree. However, limited AI adaptability and predictable patterns make for a somewhat dull shooter experience. The story is pretty good and while I have only played it through once, but I think there are multiple endings that may prompt one to go back to replay to see. The game is perhaps a little too short to recommend for the price, but the package as a whole is a fun experience, and you can easily get through it in one afternoon. I think on sale, it's worthwhile to run through it at least once. I think it's worthwhile to support these indie developers so that they can go on from the experience and make bigger and better projects in the future.

Overall score: 6.5/10.

I received the product for free. I did not receive any compensation to write this review. The opinions represented here are entirely my own and were not influenced in any way.
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1 Comments
janner66 Dec 8, 2019 @ 2:22am 
Nice review. Thanks.