|System: X360, PS3, PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Fuzzy Eyes||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: SouthPeak Interactive||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Q3 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: TBA||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Valerie Hilgenfeldt
December 30, 2008 - Though the term "breathtaking" is too often employed amongst reviewers, it can be applied wholeheartedly to Edge of Twilight's rich, impressive world. Once your eyes feast upon its luscious concept artwork, you'll likely agree. Filled with organic antiquity, its mythical surroundings are touched by only the slightest bit of science, and they craft an irresistibly alluring atmosphere.
As the art impresses, so does its music. Subtle sounds and muted instruments successfully lend themselves to the ethereal ambiance, making you truly feel like you're peeking into a world of fantasy. When you consider the magnificence of the art, and the splendid musical accompaniment, it's easy to hope they'll be melded with an excellent gaming experience. Alas, making such a good first impression is a double-edged sword; the game itself must be marvelous if it's to live up to such beauteous settings. Currently, it is not.
Edge of Twilight's in-game locales are a far cry from what its artists envisioned. Its modelers have replaced the astounding and weathered creations with relatively conventional -- and largely enclosed -- stages. High ceilings alone do not a fantastical environment make, and the beautiful paintings we've seen naturally leave us yearning for better. As for those stages which are outdoors, they're not much nicer. They're certainly good looking, yet disappointingly unremarkable. Tall grass stands strong, rocks appear craggy, and there are abandoned machinery bits scattered about, but none of that makes you feel anything. Everything looks as you'd expect, and it shouldn't - there are no imaginative, awe-inspiring surprises. By adding a greater variety of environmental features and finer surface textures, the in-game could come to mirror its sketch-and-paint origins, and it must if Twilight wishes to visually impress.
Further, the gameplay itself is action-based and patterned after Devil May Cry. So, one would expect its style to rival that; DMC is sensationalism embodied, after all. Unfortunately, Twilight appears to pluck its characters right from Fable II's art book, and drops them into the overly generic stages you'd expect from a middle-ground FPS. It's practically tragic, and the gore doesn't much help. Bloody fantasy isn't new to Western gamers, and its inclusion is an obvious nod to one of the developer's muses, God of War. Yet what good is an impressive splash of blood if you don't care for the character who drew it, nor the magical world he's fighting for? What's even more saddening is the sheer amount of variety that Twilight's concept allows, and how it's presently going untapped.
As the last surviving hybrid born from two opposing species -- the Lithern of light, and the Athern of darkness -- its main character can pass between two supposedly different worlds. That's how Edge of Twilight earns its name, as its world is split into two halves: one of day, and one of night. Yet the reason we say "supposedly different" is because the realms' unique features are largely superficial. The idea of a twisted, dark, fantastical landscape is a tantalizing one, but a lot of the grim stages glimpsed in screenshots are all indoors. Likewise, hardly any vibrant, forest-like environments have been seen on the Lithern side of things, and even they have enclosures - it's as if Twilight's whole world is a bunch of buildings.
Truthfully, we do hope that the mood Edge of Twilight casts will permeate every aspect of the game and yields a mentally mesmerizing experience. Its developer hasn't announced a release date, affording them plenty of time to tweak and polish what could grow into a remarkable action title. With such brilliant beginnings, there's enormous pressure to build a game that deserves to be paired with them. There's a fair chance the end result will be one of two things -- either a terrible disappointment, or a remarkable success. Even if the latter won't apply to its performance in the marketplace -- though that would be fair -- the gaming populace would benefit if Fuzzyeyes turns Edge of Twilight into a digital work of art. Surely, they'd be proud of themselves for crafting something magnificent as well.
CCC Freelance Writer