LifeisXbox’s Edengate: The Edge of Life review | Edengate from developer HOOK feels a lot like the beginning of the first episode of The Walking Dead. You wake up completely alone in a hospital and travel around an abandoned city without knowing what happened. It is clear that something terrible happened as the streets look like a warzone and everything has been left as if Lord Zedd from the Power Rangers appeared to terrorize humanity. This confusing start of the game makes it intriguing but goes downhill with every passing minute, just like the acting performances of the Power Rangers actors. Despite taking only two hours there is a lot to write about as it makes so many mistakes with game design and storytelling. So cue up the theme song from the Power Rangers and go, go read my review, go, go read my review. You mighty trusty readerssssss. (I’m sorry, not sure why I’m in this Saban series today)
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox Series X | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion of the writer.
What we Liked!
- Sound is really the only positive thing about Edengate | Edengate is blessed by having a great voice actress for its main character Mia. I sadly couldn’t find her name but she voices Mia with lots of emotion and in a believable way. It isn’t easy to place yourself in a person with amnesia while all kinds of weird stuff happening around you. The same can be said about the overall sound and music, atmosphere wise it has brilliant work on display. Frequently the music guides you through some troublesome parts of the game. So luckily for developer HOOK they nailed this part of Edengate. Most other things are far below the desired quality, especially if you start to compare them to similar experiences.
- Can someone please explain Edengate’s story? | Mia wakes up and your short adventure starts with finding out what the hell is going on. Where is everybody? Why am I being haunted by a small kid? WTF are those weird things that are introduced in the later half of the game? Why is Mia’s memory gone? I honestly loved the mysterious atmosphere and not knowing what is going on but I wanted an answer too. There are quite a few cutscenes and objects that trigger events in the past but I never figured out what exactly was going on… even after rolling the end credits.
What we Disliked
- Walk around your predetermined path | There is nothing wrong with linear games but it has to be done realistically. Edengate reuses the same assets over and over again and Mia, the generic playable character, has to follow a predetermined path. Visually the game doesn’t look bad and it even has some impressive moments but the world-building is done so unrealistically that I had to roll my eyes multiple times in the two hours I played. How many crash carts can block hallways in a hospital? Mia’s regularly walking as if she’s stuck on a wooden plank surrounded by hungry crocodiles, there is almost no ability to run around and explore. Very rarely you have a few medium-sized rooms where you can find papers or graffiti art or have to solve an easy puzzle. And when the game finally opens up a little your path is once again blocked off by some kind of mysterious ‘thing(s)’, I think a . Another thing I strongly disliked was that Mia sometimes climbs objects, crawls below obstacles, or enters doors or for example, a school bus but a few minutes later doesn’t seem to have that possibility. As if Mia seems to unlearn how to climb. So why could you enter that exact same-looking bus three minutes ago but now Mia ignores that opening? These silly design choices are really annoying for the player, especially as it doesn’t make any sense.
- Pointless puzzles | Puzzles should challenge the player a little. Not every game needs to be like SCORN, where you almost beg to get some kind of help to solve the puzzles but Edengate is so easy that you start to wonder why they even created the puzzles. Extremely basic mechanics like pushing carts to climb a place is HOOK’s favorite thing to create for the player. That Mia could simply climb the thing without a cart is my first frustration and the second annoying thing is how terribly moving carts work. I’m sorry for my international readers, as you won’t understand this reference. Readers from Belgium will immediately understand what I mean when I write that carts control like shopping carts from the Colruyt. Other puzzles have their solutions next to them or a few rooms back. Starting a generator to light up an area, the instructions on what to push are on a note. Or a door that requires a password that was changed for security reasons can be found on the computer IN THE SAME ROOM with a big yellow sticky note. I’m aware more games are guilty of stuff like this but come on… be a bit more original, please.
- Lots of bugs in a short amount of time | When a game only takes around two hours you don’t expect to experience many bugs. Unfortunately, Mia got stuck in the environment a few times. (be careful around impact craters on the ground) Forcing me to reload a checkpoint. More annoyingly is that Mia sometimes refuses to do what is needed to progress. Squeezing through narrow openings, after trying a few times the game finally recognizes what Mia is supposed to do.
How long to beat the story | 2 hours
How long to achieve 1000G | 2 hours
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