The Amazing Eternals Preview: Vintage Shooter
Greg Johnson / Sep 8th, 2017 No Comments
Competitive shooters have long been a volatile force in the gaming scene. When I first heard of The Amazing Eternals, an upcoming first-person shooter from developer Digital Extremes, I was concerned that it was going to be another game added to a field that is dominated by titles like Overwatch and Call of Duty. But seeing something as fresh as The Amazing Eternals was a welcome sight.
I got a chance to check out the game at PAX West 2017 and it forced my attention with its free-to-play card-collecting model and vintage art style.
Matches in The Amazing Eternals play like typical first-person shooters, but nothing else about the game is ordinary. From the main menu, you can see the game is meant to feel like a long lost board game you discovered in your parents’ attic.
The characters, levels and overall tone of the game has a very retro vibe. Characters play into 1970s and 1980s tropes. Ray dons a spacesuit that looks like it was ripped from the set of Forbidden Planet, while Dread looks like a cross between Ghost Rider and Frankenstein.
From a creepy castle to a strange alien world, the game’s maps bring classic film genres to life. With the game set to launch in 2018, maps based on kung-fu and superhero movies are also being discussed.
The Amazing Eternals’ unique throwback style also is apparent in the gameplay. While I was playing, the fast-paced matches felt like a tribute to classic FPS titles like Doom. As players compete in matches, they’ll move through the digital game board, gaining new character skins, cards for their digital decks and goodies like temporary experience boosts along the way.
It’s In the Cards
Cards are the biggest game-changer in The Amazing Eternals. Every character has a modifiable deck consisting of 12 cards. Cards offer changes to gameplay that are both slight and major. For instance, a card may allow a support class the power to heal, but another could allow players to call in a spaceship bomb run.
An additional layer of strategy is added to the game through the use of cards. They become available to use in the order you have arranged them during matches, with a brief cooldown period before you can use another card. There are only so many cards that can be used at a given time, so holding onto your cards too long could result in not being able to make it through your entire deck.
Most cards are only available to certain characters, but the game also has a class system with select cards specific to each class. To keep the balance, a customizable deck of 12 cards cannot contain more than two of the same card.
The cards I saw in action didn’t necessarily change the characters, but catered to different play styles and heightened their core abilities. Ray, for instance, has the ability to summon defensive turrets, and cards boosted his turrets by adding more health and extending their range. Other cards boosted how often Ray could use his jetpack ability, making him fly around the map like a pesky mosquito.
The Amazing Eternals
After playing The Amazing Eternals, I was shocked that this is a free-to-play game, which brought up the question of what players actually get without spending money.
For the most part, weapons, cards and skins can be earned through simple progression, but they can also be purchased outright without having to level up. However, no cards I saw in action were gamebreakers. This prevents the game from falling into the pay-to-win trap that free-to-play games often use.
The amount of customization and overall gameplay in The Amazing Eternals was impressive, and it is a game you have no excuses to pass up on when it releases for free on PC in 2018.
The Amazing Eternals is set to release on PC in 2018.
tags: Digital Extremes , PAX West 2017 , preview , The Amazing Eternals , The Amazing Eternals Preview