This is why I got a PSVR; to lure in non-gaming friends or relatives or failing that, enter a world where I can comfortably perform my best gaming face, not knowing that everyone around me is taking photos. You know the face; mouth half-open, gormlessly staring into space. Eclipse Edge of Light, from White Elk Studios, is an excellent example of what ‘entering a completely different world’ is all about.
Forget about headshot trophies or getting the fastest lap, every once in a while a game like Eclipse Edge of Light shows up to give us a different perspective on gaming. Least, that was my noob view on what to expect from a VR experience. Ever since the Lawnmower Man, I’ve always assumed VR was about encountering something more than it a showreel of what pretty polygons could do, and to some extent, Eclipse Edge of Light meets that standard.
If you’re relatively new to the PSVR catalogue, why not have a look at our top 5 PSVR games of 2019 to get you started.
Eclipse Edge of Light isn’t a showreel for a new kitchen or proposed play area in your local park – we want something to get stuck into that we can play, not just something that makes us go “aaahhh”. Eclipse Edge of Light is a puzzle game of sorts, sometimes a platformer but down in a way that makes you feel like you’re doing tai chi. There’s no rush to get through; it’s about taking your time and exploring and uncovering the plot.
Not much is clear from the story. You arrive on an alien planet, your wrecked spaceship to the side of you. As you start to explore your surroundings, you analyse mysterious statues and decorations, building a better picture of your environment. The narrative isn’t overly deep, but without spoiling too much, the planet is dying and needs to healing. Your ship appears to have been brought down by a magnetic pull, and gradually you piece together a resident religion or cult.
My first impression was that of an old LucasArts game entitled The Dig mixed a little with an ever older title called Another World. I’m sure you’ve heard of it or played it. Look up a playthrough on YouTube, and perhaps you’ll agree. Anyhoo, the visual style is pretty good and sets the tone for wanting to explore further.
I’ll have to admit that when first starting out I was a little impatient as you can’t do anything other than look around. There’s nothing dynamic happening at first and then suddenly you get the power ball. Not the type to build up your wrist strength, there are plenty of other activities that can do that, but an orb that can reanimate seemingly inactive objects to smashing breakables into space dust, it’s a pretty cool little multitasker. It’s a bit like a Pokeball, in fact.
My daughter to try (possibly because of the similarities to a Pokeball). For a while, she had a decent experience. Eclipse Edge of Light, as I mentioned above, is slow and there’s no rush to do anything. She took her time scanning objects and interacting with the creatures you encounter. After a while though, the puzzles get a little more time consuming – nothing taxing as such, but she lost interest, and I think from there on, it stays about the same, so not a game for younger players.
For me, it was fine, and I would say that I completed the majority of the puzzles as quickly as I encountered them. Not that I was in a hurry, but while the world is pretty big, everything is linear, and it’s clear there’s only one path you can take throughout. Occasionally there was a puzzle or two that I had to rethink, but it wasn’t hard at all, more fiddly in some places as one puzzle, in particular, needed the assistance of a creature. The AI was… well, terrible. I ended up killing myself to reset the puzzle a couple of times.
While there’s no health and theoretically, no combat, you can die. Almost all deaths can be associated with falling off an edge, occasionally by statues that shoot you with a laser (but pretty easy to avoid) and a section in the game that has booby traps where walls close in on you. However, while I took my time having a look around, it only took me a couple of hours to finish the game.
There are five acts to Eclipse Edge of Light. The first one is over so quickly that I almost thought the game was going to be 45 minutes long. Act two was a little longer as were three and four. Five was more of an epilogue. Around about act two or three, I started building up a picture of what the story was about and again, without spoiling anything, I became more invested in where it was going.
However, as I progressed further, scanning each statue or workman’s tool I found, I realised that they were starting to repeat a little and there was a recurrent theme about paths leading to the dark and one for the pure of heart. By the time I got to the conclusion and realised that the narrative was also linear in that you couldn’t choose a path, I was quite disappointed, and I think I liked where my imagination was taking me instead. Still, it was a good story nevertheless and left a few areas for interpretation that I don’t want officially answered. It just takes my experience further past the game, which is a good thing in my book.
There’s no spoken dialogue in the game, and the sound effects are mostly through a jet pack you use, lasers shot from statues and the sounds of your power ball (that’s not the official title) hitting the deck. The score, on the other hand, is fantastic. Very minimal in its approach, it reminded me of something by Brian Eno. Ask your grandad.
Jumping back to the jet pack (see what I did there?), there is a lot of jumping in this game, but due to gravity and the physics, it’s prolonged so you can position yourself with ample time. There were a few moments where you have to traverse chasms, and as your pack is limited, you have to rely on these gas clouds to keep going. In this case, you need to plan your direction, but it was usually the third or fourth attempt, and I got it right. Again, nothing taxing.
Eclipse Edge of Light is a pleasant experience. Even though I completed it in one sitting, I will most definitely come back to it again. Not because I can take a different path and perhaps learn something new, but because of the escapism it provides. There was a sense of tranquillity playing the game. It was quite refreshing not to have to beat a timer or perform a ridiculous combo to progress. That said, if you’re looking for trophies, you’ll 100% it no problem. Alas, there isn’t a platinum so play Eclipse Edge of Light for the right reasons.
Eclipse: Edge of Light PSVR Review
- Overall - Very Good - 7/107/10
Although it has a short playtime and no extra features, Eclipse Edge of Light is an experience worth having and sums up what I expect from a VR experience. I was a little disappointed with the conclusion, but I’m just a tart as it didn’t match my imagination.
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Reviewed using PS4 Slim.
For more VR reviews, be sure to check out our Reviews section, as well as our friends over on VR Game Critic.