I wonder if I’m the only person that thinks the action/beat-em-up category seems to be going down hill. Sure you have those certain gems like SoE, but the majority of titles being released are trying to capture the former magic and grandeur of games like Double Dragon, or Final Fight, and just don’t seem to be getting it done. They seem to be striving for new inventive ideas and keep falling flat on their faces. While Eve of Extinction isn’t complete crap, its close enough to it that you wonder why the developer would have put it out.
Eve of Extinction was developed by Yuke’s Future Media Creators (Yuke’s for short). They’ve developed a sort of eclectic style of production in video games, in that they usually have odd features, strange storylines, and overall very weird ideas, EoE also follows in these footsteps. EoE does have a fairly good ? odd, but good ? storyline for a 3D fighting platformer if thats any consolation for the game being this bad.
You take control of a character named Josh Calloway, he’s an employee of Wisdom Inc. ? a large conglomerate recognized for its advances in genetics (gene therapy, cloning technology, etc?). Your character has been the subject of massive amounts of experimentation, providing him with super strength and reflexes ? and of course ? they’re to be used for the betterment of mankind. Upon finding out the companies true purpose (to conquer the world with the ultimate super weapon), Josh decides to leave Wisdom with is girlfriend/co-worker, Eliel Evergrand. As luck would have it, Eliel gets captured by the corporation to be used in the companies experiments. The project she’s being used for is nothing less than the ultimate weapons project titled “Legacy” that uses a human soul and a rare crystal fused in unison to give the weapon its power. This close-range weapon is supposed to have unimaginable destructive powers, and Eliel has been forced into the core of the most powerful kind of Legacy, the Eve of Extinction (E.O.E, didn’t I say these were odd people?).
Josh retrieves his girlfriend ? now a weapon ? in the beginning of the game, and she is capable of changing herself into different hand-to-hand weapons, talk and also complete other various tasks. Armed with the supposed most powerful weapon, Josh and his? weapon, begin their journey to turn Eliel back into her old self. Though the general premise for EOE comes across as somewhat solid, it’s executed poorly with bad voice acting, often stupid yet humorous situations, and underlining clich? themes that run throughout the game. Combine all of these together, and you’ve got a game that makes for a less than enjoyable experience.
Clearly, the strongest part of EoE is held within its combat/fighting system. The majority of the combat in EoE is weapons based. Your girlfriend can be changed into a variety of weapons ? ranging from katars, to staffs, to double-edged-swords, to halberds, to police-batons, snake swords etc? While this system is somewhat inventive, the majority of the weapons look like they could have been taken from Soul Calibur ? with added glowing effects. The control scheme for the most part is simple, you mash on X, and O buttons to create various combos, you can then even switch off your weapon and use your hands and feet to do some damage. Granted, the combo system is easily the most exciting part of the game.
Yuke’s has made it easy to switch weapons mid combo, allowing for a fairly large amount of creativeness; combo-wise. The only problem is that, mashing buttons seems to be the only requirement, there aren’t any special techniques that need to be used certain badies. By time the end of the game comes around the fighting system has been largely dulled, and the fun has been swept from your thoughts.
The only strategic combat moments in EoE are maintained within the boss battles. The theme is simple; you must vary your combos to knock these guys in the air, which in turn takes off power. With each advancing boss this becomes more difficult, yet mashing buttons is still the most effective method of each ones defeat. These guys surely provide a refreshing break from the massive amounts of normal drones you’ll encounter but Yuke’s doesn’t offer much by way of strategic play. After defeating each boss you gain a new ?Weapon Crystal,’ that allows you the use of a new weapon. With each weapon comes a special attack, they are powered by ley seeds; once found and inserted into your weapon, Josh can unleash an attack called a ?Legacy Drive’ by tracing various patterns in the air with the right-analog stick. These special attacks will do everything from shielding Josh, to destroying enemies.
The rest of EoE is filled with larges amounts of jumping tasks (who really wants to poll-vault around a level?), lame puzzles ? in which you are told the answers, and ?interactive’ cut scenes that seemed to have just been ripped from MGS’s gameplay. As the ?best’ part of the game, the action part of the game is pretty lame, doesn’t say much for the rest does it?
Level details are filled with unoriginal blocky themes, flat environments, and robotic moving enemies. The only special effects in the game come from the combos Josh pulls off with his weapons, and even those have been copied from the likes of SC. The overall graphics aren’t anywhere close to what we’ve recently seen from other titles on the PS2, it doesn’t seem like Yuke’s put much effort into making this title graphically impressive. There’s very few good looking moments, the best looking ones are the ?interactive’ cut scenes, and even those never prove to be jaw-dropping. The poor qualities of graphics are only outdone by that of the music and sound effects.
Gunshots, weapon swipes, footsteps, clanging items, enemy responses, all make for a highly dull experience. The majority of these sound effects sound unrealistic and you’d get more excitement out of watching Metallica do blue grass, and watching Nelly do sign (yes SIGN!) N’Sync’s “Gone;” none of which you really want to experience. The soundtrack is even more disappointing, EoE comes plastered with the typical cheesy hard/dark techno joints we’ve come to expect from those pseudo hi-tech racers (extreme g anyone?). The rest of the songs really aren’t even worth talking about, this game might as well have come with complete silence, because there’s absolutely no appeal here in terms of sonic presentation.
Me eardrums have been assaulted by EoE’s poor quality of voice acting, not only are the actors bad however, the scripts are written equally so. I’m not sure this game could live up to the likes of a D rated movie. Josh’s responses are marked by the only words he knows “WHAT?!” and “Gimme a Break!!” The rest of his lines will just make you cringe with sorrow for the retard that was actually turned down because this guy got the part. And all this isn’t to mention the continuous droning of Eleil’s comments, ?why don’t you do this and this,’ there’s really no need to buy a strategy guide for this game, because you’ll never be stuck; you’ll never be stuck because she tells you how, when and where to every task you must complete. So in the end, you become the performing monkey for an ultimate weapon.
Eve of Extinction is plagued with everything a bad game is supposed to have, a poorly executed story, complete with badly written lines, poor voice acting, poor graphics, poor sound track, and a fighting system that bores you to death after an hours worth of play. I don’t know what they were thinking, but this definitely isn’t the ?next step’ in beat-?em-ups, but it’s more like two steps backward. This game gets a resounding “boooooo!” from me, if you really want to go through the horror yourself, rent it ? but only if there isn’t a better game on the shelves to pick up.