Eclipse: Edge of Light review – stop and smell the alien roses

Eclipse: Edge of Light is a pensive, first-person exploration game developed by White Elk Studios. Comprised of former God of War developers, White Elk Studios originally released Eclipse as a VR game back in 2017, when it won various ‘best mobile VR game’ accolades. So… how does a three-year-old mobile VR game work on the Nintendo Switch?

Eclipse is a walking sim that sees the player crash-landing their spaceship on an alien planet. After coming into contact with a mysterious, orb-like artefact, you have no choice but to set off and explore this clearly once-inhabited place. Along your journey, the artefact shows you remnants of a past civilisation, and of the path of corruption that turned a once-benevolent messiah into a power-consumed despot.

The story is central to the game, and is communicated through the player’s interactions with the various statues and monuments they encounter. While these monoliths don’t necessarily need to be scanned as you progress, the story will be communicated to you via no other means, so it’s worth stopping and smelling the proverbial alien roses every once in a while.

On hearing the phrase, ‘mobile-VR-game-turned-console-FPS-walking-simulator’, you’re probably questioning just how well it all plays. Like a lot of the genre, the pace the player moves at feels slow at first, which is initially frustrating. As the game progresses and the story unfolds in front of you, however, the pace seems more and more deliberate; after all, if you could walk any faster, you may skip through and miss important aspects of the narrative.

Throughout Eclipse, the mysterious artefact you pick up post-crash acts as your trusty one-size-fits-all tool. Not only can you throw the solid, metal orb, but it also grants you abilities such as telekinesis and a jet pack-style propulsion, as well as scanning monuments and hidden items needed to progress. It’s a functional system and sometimes a neat gimmick, but ultimately nothing special.


Unlike other VR games, Eclipse: Edge of Light lets the player actually walk around – no teleporting here.

Visually, things are a bit all over the place, ranging from being quite pretty one moment (the murky, oil-coloured water is a treat to look at), to very much looking like a 2017 mobile game running on a 2020 console, with jagged, sharp textures jutting out of every corner.

Eclipse: Edge of Light is a pensive game with a deliberately slow pace that offers players room to breathe and reflect, all the while unearthing a mysterious and intriguing story over the course of about three hours. While at times it feels like the narrative is dangling a carrot before your nose and leading you on, the entire experience is ultimately an enjoyable one.

Highlight

Drip-feeding the story to the player via the surroundings is an interesting choice, and one I ended up enjoying more than I thought I would. It felt rewarding, and telling the story in real time is certainly more organic than using text or cutscenes

Verdict

A mysterious exploration game, and another intriguing indie added to the Switch’s roster.

62%

Genre: Walking sim | Format: Switch (tested)/ PS4 / PSVR / Oculus Rift / Mobile | Developer: White Elk Studios | Publisher: White Elk Studios | Price: £11.29 | Release: Out now

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