Earth’s Dawn
FOR WISCONSIN!
  • Release Date
    11.01.2016
  • Publisher
    Rising Star Games
  • Developer
    Oneoreight
  • Time Played
    6 hrs
  • Playstation 4
Release Date
11.01.2016

Publisher
Rising Star Games

Developer
Oneoreight

Time Played
?
6 hrs
The total time played before writing this review.

  • Playstation 4
Earth’s Dawn is a highly anticipated side scrolling brawler brought to us by Rising Star Games. The game features fine-tuned combat, impressive customization, and plenty of missions to keep you busy but does it all come together well?
THE GOOD
Earth’s Dawn gets the most crucial thing right and that’s its combat mechanics. It keeps things rather simple, you have one button for a sword attack, another button for a ranged attack and the right trigger (on Xbox One) works as a directional warp ability, think Fox McCloud’s horizontal direction+B move from Super Smash Bros. As you fight, you build up an experience meter that allows you to unleash an overdrive mode called Exceed where your attack strength and speed is temporarily increased.

Earth’s Dawn does not hold your hand as far a difficulty is considered

With all that said, like most brawlers, Earth’s Dawn does not hold your hand as far as difficulty is considered. This game is quite hard to get through but it rarely felt unfair. Every enemy telegraphs their attacks and it is mostly your fault if you die. There are some exceptions but that will come later.

Complementing the superb design of the gameplay is art of Earth’s Dawn. While there is, certainly, a healthy amount of grey in this war-torn, post-apocalyptic America, plenty of color is added into the mix to make everything visually appealing for the most part. The character designs, while a bit boring when you first create your avatar, get consistently cooler as you level up.

This game offers an absurd amount of customization

Speaking of that, as you level up, the game unlocks more and more customization options for your character. For example, you start out with a sword and gun combination only and you only have the ability to enhance and upgrade that skill set. As the game progresses, you unlock more and more types of weapons so, by level 22, you have unlocked an option for a broad sword, a crossbow, and the ability to dual wield swords (my favorite!). This game offers an absurd amount of customization for your character both with it’s weapon types and skill focuses. When you go to upgrade your skills, you can actually choose to focus on one certain skill type (Example: I picked Attack Focus) and you receive bonus stats accordingly.

THE BAD
The story of Earth’s Dawn is pretty forgettable. It’s your standard “We need to take back our planet!” story. While the very Evangelion-esque idea of the soldiers being upgraded with alien technology is a cool idea, this idea incorporated into the overall narrative doesn’t really do much to engage the player. There are some odd parts to the overall setup of the narrative as well.

The Story of Earth’s Dawn is Pretty Forgettable

The man giving you orders before every mission looks like he was Mr.Freeze before the war, his skin color a cold grey. He almost looks like the villain of the story rather than a protagonist. That’s not what really bothers me though, what bothers me is that this game apparently believes that Manhattan and Madison, Wisconsin are apparently equally significant in eyes of the world. Rising Star, Manhattan is one of the largest and most diverse business, culture, and entertainment hubs in the entire world. I’ve been to Madison plenty of times in my life and, while it’s a great place and I love going there, it isn’t worth sending your liberation army to retake unless you’re really in dire need of a cheddar cheese brat and a beer (they make really good ones on this bar on State Street). They could have moved this attack of theirs 3 hours south of Madison to Chicago and this wouldn’t have bothered me nearly as much.

While the game rarely felt unfair…certain enemies would stomp me into the ground in only a few seconds

The only other point against Earth’s Dawn is the difficulty of some of the enemies in the game. While I mentioned the game rarely felt unfair, there were a few times where I would encounter one of the game’s “elite” enemies who would promptly stomp me into the ground in less than 5 seconds. Not only did this happen often randomly during a mission, but they would sometimes get mixed in with a group of easier enemies I had to kill to complete a mission. This would make it a necessity to attempt to beat these enemies who I had not leveled up enough to beat yet in order to finish a mission that I was qualified to finish at my current level. This was quite annoying but not enough to derail the experience for me.

THE TAKEAWAY
While Earth’s Dawn is not a perfect game with a relatively generic story and sometimes annoying spike in difficulty, this game is absolutely at its best where it counts. The combat mechanics are fantastic and 99.9% fair, the difficulty is enough where you feel challenged but you don’t feel like there’s too much cheap death, and the customization options are quite deep for a genre where something like that is rarely seen.
If you like side-scrolling brawler games like this at all then I would definitely recommend picking it up. This game is not meant to convert the haters but, perhaps, the skeptics.
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