I absolutely loved Limbo when it first released, and was dazzled and disturbed by Inside. There have been many copycats to the particular style of puzzle platformer that Playdead created, which I’m glad for. Games like Far: Lone Sails wouldn’t exist without Limbo, and neither would the upcoming Eternal Hope.
Eternal Hope is a side scrolling puzzle platformer that has clearly taken inspiration from Limbo. You play as Ti’bi, a boy who has witnessed the death of his love. You make a deal with the devil—or something very close to it—who imbues you with powers to see into the shadow world—a mirror realm full of horrible but helpful creatures. Your quest is to find all of the scattered pieces of your beloved’s soul, and once you have them, you are promised she will be brought back to life.
Much like in Limbo, Inside or Far: Lone Sails¸ you can jump, push, or pull your way over and around obstacles. And while Eternal Hope still has a little while before its official release date, I’m hoping the developers use the time to iron out the movement and jumping. I’m going to reserve my final judgement for the complete product, but right now, jumping and moving as the boy doesn’t feel that great. Further, if you do die, checkpoints are farther back than I’d like—and load times are long. I even had to watch a small scene several times because I wasn’t completing the puzzle correctly.
I do hope that the controls are tightened and become more satisfying, because Eternal Hope has a lot going for it–like its music, art, and even gameplay mechanics–like being able to peer into the shadow world. While having a mirrored world you can look into and manipulate to solve puzzles isn’t unique, it hasn’t been employed specifically in a Limbo-esque platformer—at least not that I’m aware of, and not to this effect. The shadow world allows you to pass through certain obstacles that would normally block your way, or see ways to progress that you normally couldn’t. It opens the door to many clever puzzle possibilities.
With better load times, closer checkpoints, and tighter controls, Eternal Hope could be a classic. The prologue offers only a small slice of the full game that promises to be full of mysterious creatures, and secrets to uncover. The one question I want answered is, what is the intention of the devilish creature that gave you the power to peer into the shadow world? He seems less than trustworthy.
The Eternal Hope prologue is available to download and play for free now on Steam.
Eternal Hope releases August 6th on Steam and Xbox One.
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