Resonance of Fate (End of Eternity) – Tokyo Game Show Hands-on Impressions

Resonance of Fate, to be known as End of Eternity here in Japan, is a forthcoming strategy/RPG being developed by tri-Ace (the Star Ocean series) and published by SEGA . I had a chance to play the 15 minute demo at Tokyo Game Show ’09 on the Xbox 360 (ROF will also be available on the PS3) and I came away with mixed impressions. The basic layout of the demo was relatively straight forward: move from one area to another whilst following a linear path, using your three characters to defeat a succession of enemies, which culminated in a boss showdown.

Resonance of Fate mixes aspects from a number of different games and genres, and from what I could tell from the 15 minute demo, it does so relatively successfully. Combat is a partially real-time affair, where by making use of angles and positioning yourself between your other characters, you can pull off satisfying combos which see you jumping through the air effortlessly, wielding your dual pistols. The battles moved quickly and smoothly, and despite not being entirely confident with the set up, I always felt in control. The battle system was certainly fluid and allowed the player free roam of the enclosed level. However, the enemies were relatively dull and generic, and seemed quite content to do the same attack over and over.

The combat areas were a succession of small enclosures with an industrial, steam punk feel. Upon vanquishing one set of foes, you ran to the highlighted exit, which in turn transported you through to the next area. There was no room for exploration in this set up, but there was no indication if the whole game would be like this or if other parts would play out in a less linear fashion.

 

As anyone who has seen the current trailer will know, ROF is rather stylish in its presentation, and puts a great deal of stock in the balletic gunplay of the leads. The character animations are impressive, but the in-game levels were bare and uninspiring for a current generation title and there was an abundance of grey throughout. Bloody steam-punk!

My brief experience with the demo left me interested in, if not entirely sold upon ROF. There is certainly a great deal of potential, and the game mechanics are pretty sound, but it’s just not quite there yet. Give it a while, and maybe it will become the game that people are hoping for.

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Written by Matt M

Matt has been a gamer ever since Father Christmas left him a Master System II in the early 90's. Santa was clearly a Sega fan, as a Mega Drive and Saturn would follow in later years. Matt has long since broken free from the shackles of console monotheism and enjoys playing a wide range of games, almost as much as he enjoys meticulously ordering them on his living room shelves.

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