I don’t think I’ve ever come out of a game feeling as disappointed as I did when I finish RBWY: Grimm Eclipse. I’d been quietly monitoring the progress of this adaptation of the popular anime series created by the late Monty Oum for the ever popular Rooster Teeth Productions. It’s a real shame because the series itself is fantastic, and this game really had the potential to really do the series justice, but the product released on the 5th July for the PC is an unfinished, amateurish mess.
Rooster Teeth are a big deal in the online entertainment and gaming industry, and rightly so, they’ve produced such greats as Red vs. Blue. as well as maintaining a popular YouTube gaming channel Achievement Hunter. So it really baffles me that they would allow this game to be a full release in this current state, this is another one of those dreaded ‘Early Access’ horror stories, the game was actually scoring high reviews on Steam up until its 1.0 release due to the fact that the game is unmistakably nowhere near finished or polished enough to warrant the £18.99 that it’s currently being flogged for.
For those unfamiliar with the games premise or yet the show that it is based on, RWBY follows the story of Ruby Rose, Weiss Schnee, Blake Belladonna, and Yang Xiao Long, four girls currently training to become huntresses, which protect the world of Remnant from demonic entities known as the Grimm. There’s plenty more to the story, which can get from the frankly fantastic show, but you don’t necessarily need to know all this going into the game, as the game doesn’t actually have much of a story to begin with.
There’s not intro at all, you’re just plonked into the game world with little to no direction. There’s a brief set-up but other than that the game doesn’t have any real substance to its story at all, and aside from some one-liners from the voiced cast (nice touch) the characters themselves are virtually mute and what they do say sounds incredibly phoned in. The only real exposition comes from the professors, but this quite often descends into nothing more than rambles of vague backstory that will do little to interest anyone who isn’t a diehard fan of the show. Couple this with the fact that you finish the game in under 4 hours, and then complete the quickplay sessions within 10 hours, and you will really struggle to justify the 18 quid you’ve forked out for this mess.
The gameplay is largely solid, with nothing really setting it apart from any other hack’n’slash, with a normal, heavy and gun attack, and the ability to perform a special combo attack, it’s extremely linear and levels rarely extend from just killing all the Grimms that spawn in the area. Occasionally you will have to do a dreaded escort mission, which is about as fun and interesting as it sounds. You can play as any of the four main characters, but none of them of markedly different to play, making it more or less an aesthetic choice as to which character you prefer, the combo system is unsatisfying and gun attacks are virtually pointless as they do little damage to enemies, with most being able to block them in the later levels. Countering is also here, but it’s rubbish and ruins your combo, and after you build up enough attacks you can unleash an ‘ultimate technique’ but these are just fairly week area of effect attacks.
The game does feature a levelling system in which you can assign new abilities to your character, most of these upgrades are minimal and you’ll struggle to notice them as there’s no move list to speak of. You can’t even upgrade your health bar, which is the only thing I would ever consider worth upgrading in this game as you will die frequently due to the poorly implemented combat system, you can upgrade it to recharge faster but the actual bar stars the same, rendering it mostly pointless when you get to the later, larger enemies.
There’s also a multiplayer aspect to the game, and this is the way you’re meant to play the game, hence the reason I died quite a few times in singleplayer, but this is quite poorly implemented as well down to the fact that you can’t select a specific level meaning you’ll have to join a game from the start. This is a big pain as the game leans so heavily to having 3 other people beside you as you fight, I just wish that the developers would have spent a bit more time making this a more streamlined experience, and put a bloody level select in there.
Graphically, the game looks extremely bland, and whilst the animations look fairly good, the character models look awful with almost no texture to them or any facial details at all. It just doesn’t feel finished at all, and that’s not just the visuals, the entire game feels rushed with bland graphics, bland combat, and no story. I cannot recommend this game to even the most diehard fans of the show, if you want to experience RBWY: The Grimm Eclipse in the best possible way, go and watch the show and avoid this game at all costs.
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