The best part of writing launch pieces for TheXboxHub is getting sidewinded by games you’ve never heard of. Legends of Ethernal is certainly one of those games: it’s the first from debut outfit Lucid Dreams Studios, it’s arrived with little to no fanfare, yet it looks the absolute business. Legends of Ethernal is out now on Xbox One, PS4, Switch and PC via Steam.
There’s a little of Limbo in there, a smidge of Shantae and – going back a little here – a dose of Legend of Zelda 2. You play a young boy who comes back to his village, only to find it ransacked and your parents missing. Rather than cry into your moccasins, you’re on a journey to recover your parents, and to reveal the truth of what befell them.
This is an action-platformer with a heavy emphasis on narrative, while the art style is colourful and painterly. It looks like it has been created with real care, and we’re well up for exploring it. Lucid Dreams Studio reassure that the world is chock-full of puzzles and boss encounters, and it’s the bosses in particular that look the spangliest. We’re particularly taken with a frog-like boss that seems to be challenging you to a blowpipe contest.
Slightly unusually for games of its type, there’s a reasonably intricate crafting system in here, while it seems some Metroidvania-ness creeps in (when doesn’t it?), with your character gaining abilities that unlock previously locked areas. Depending on the size of your ambition, there’s a Hardcore Mode and Relaxed Mode too.
- Evolving Gameplay – Enjoy mechanics that are unlocking with weapons and items that you find
- Challenging Dungeons – Solve puzzles and unleash your strategies against boss battles in multiple dungeons
- Crafting System – Gather ethers and craft items during the course of your journey to help you progress through the game
- Unique and Gorgeous Art – Admire beautiful 2D hand-drawn art covering multiple environments, scaling up to a resolution of 4K on supported platforms
- – Enigmatic Events Experience a compelling and linear storyline with great characters
- Melodic Musical Score – Listen to the wonderfully crafted score, produced and recorded by veteran musician William Gough
- Multiple Difficulty Levels – Try the hardcore mode for an intense experience or enable Relaxed Mode to help you complete the game
It’s going to be fascinating to see if Legends of Ethernal catapults Lucid Dreams Studio into the big leagues. From the children’s book aesthetic and the look of the bosses, we’re hopeful. Expect a review soon.
Legends of Ethernal is out now on Xbox One and will cost you £16.74. It’s also out on PS4, Switch and PC via Steam.
Welcome to the World of Arkanys. On a day like any other, a young boy returns home to find it in ruins and his parents, gone. Armed with courage and driven by the pain of his loss, he sets out on a journey to uncover the truth behind his family’s disappearance… But what he discovers will forever change the World of Arkanys… Legends of Ethernal is a 2D single-player action adventure game where you need to explore beautiful hand-crafted environments, solve clever puzzles and battle challenging creatures to uncover the truth about your parents’ disappearance.