Edge of Eternity for the PS5 is a big game. So big, I haven’t finished the final chapter, so I wanted to be crystal clear on that. I know how gamers get if I don’t declare that. However, I am enjoying it but wanted to share some thoughts seeing as it’s now out.
You play Daryon, a deserter who loses his friends and returns to his sister and mother after a rather miserable prologue. Something nasty’s going about in the land of Heryon called The Corrosion, which his mother has. Daryon’s sister, Selene, writes to him to say she has found a cure and needs his help.
Cue our classic JRPG with its main quest that can be almost instantly forgotten by committing sidequests and bothering NPCs. This was perhaps the downfall in getting the game finished in time, as it’s fun to explore and grind a few areas. Not to overpower them, but enough clout to glide through the main arc without too much resistance.
Edge of Eternity doesn’t feel as ‘ complete’ compared to other JRPGs, which I’m no expert on. That’s not a slur to say it’s unfinished, but there isn’t as much to explore other than scattered enemies and a ridiculous amount of chests to open. The open-world element felt more like Xuan-Yuan Sword 7 than Final Fantasy 7, but slowly but surely, there are some beautiful locations to check out.
Without diving deep into the story, we primarily focus on the relationship between the siblings and how they fit in the world, adding party members through their journey. Initially, Daryon was likeable – at least in voice acting scenes, but interacting with NPCs made me change my mind as he frequently made snidey remarks or was condescending to other characters. The same with Selene.
That said, their likeability often shifts, and their shared plight to save their mum was the driving force. I particularly liked the character design for Daryon as he had this Elijah Wood Frodo appeal of innocence, making him somewhat vulnerable. However, chuck him in battle, and you’ll see a different side.
Edge of Eternity is a turn-based game set out on grids. On the PS5, L2 will display a magic menu, R2 for attack, movement and fleeing (the latter is actually very reliable!). It was a bit tricky to get used to this at times – not that it was complicated, but the button selection didn’t feel natural. Said battles have a slight arcade feel, but with the added depth of working out elemental weaknesses using the built-in scan feature.
As can be expected, you can swap out your gear – armour and weaponry, and equip and fuse crystals for added buffs and spells. The crafting element and trees to unlock were easy to understand, but they only change stats. Ignoring the weapons, equipping new armour won’t change the character’s appearance. No biggy, but it would have been nice.
I can’t recall if there was an English option, but I’ve been playing in Japanese, and the voice actors were very good, and the soundtrack exceptional. The downside was the lip-synching: it didn’t match and had comical effects. Because of the length of time I was playing, my wife followed along. She was then in hysterics when a speaker finished a sentence; their mouth would go from closed to open like a ventriloquists doll, or as seen in Team America. Considering that the story is enjoyable, this spoiled some moments.
The same could be said with the frame rates. If I mention it in a review, that’s not good. For every fleeing scene, the characters would glitch, NPCs would teleport between cutscenes, and there were areas where the wrong sound loop of, say a beast, would be playing when fighting humans. Bear in mind that there were no beasts in the area. Also, the Prologue was glitchy as hell, and I had to restart twice.
However, loading times are good, and despite these flaws, I’m very much enjoying Edge of Eternity. If I wasn’t, I would have smashed through all the chapters by now. Instead, I’m grinding areas, levelling up, and speaking with the locals for any new gossip. Irrespective of Midgar Studio being a small team, I wouldn’t stick with it if it wasn’t any good. But I am sticking with it. Ignoring the technical bits, the gameplay is enjoyable, the story is entertaining, and it’s a pretty big world if you get as sidetracked as me.
Is Edge of Eternity worth it? Well, I did say that I haven’t finished the story (but just about there). In that context, I’d still recommend this to JRPG fans who have time on their hands and want some new lore that doesn’t revolve around Cloud and his stupid chocobos. I know how that sounds. Don’t overthink it.