Apocalyptic events are often portrayed as unforgiving nightmare worlds. Darkened landscapes, blanketed by ash clouds thrown into the air as a result of nuclear/interstellar/biological warfare are the norm in end-of-the-world scenarios. While there are a handful of exceptions, DayZ and Rust for instance, the majority follow this genetic pattern to the point where almost every post-apocalypse game has started to feel all too familiar. The minds at Ice Water Games obviously feel the same way and have given us their own take on doomsday with the survival collect-em-up Eidolon.
Imagine if you will what we would assume to be a terrible future. Washington has been devastated by events which changed its very landscape. The work of human hands, drawing their own artworks using concrete inks and steel brushes, is nothing more than a distant memory in Eidolon’s world. Small strips of roadway cling on to the grasslands but even they are slowly being blanketed by nature. The only telling signs that people once lived in the world are the steel girders stretching towards the sunlight and the scraps of information left behind.
These scraps of information provide the majority of Eidolon’s intended driving force. Scattered throughout the vast game world, each one comes in a variety of forms from simple blog posts to handwritten letters adorned with sketches. Where most games would give you some meaningless upgrade for collecting ten though, Eidolon simply lets you read them.
What’s the point in amassing a collection then? Well, every single one is beautifully written and presented. So much so in fact that reading one or two is enough to inspire the ongoing quest for more. Some are characterized as letters to a mother while others constitute reports of geological and social instability ravaging the remaining population. Eidolon is filled to the brim with these outstanding pieces of writing, probably enough to fill a small novel in fact. However, as delightful as each snapshot of life is, finding them isn’t exactly easy.
It isn’t as if Ice Water Games are intentionally shrouding pick ups to make the game more difficult. Every single one is floating around somewhere in the world after all. What makes them a challenge to unearth is actually coming across one in Eidolon’s huge game world. It is seriously vast. During the course of this review, I picked a direction and simply walked that way imagining I’d hit some manufactured wall or chasm into the great unknown. While I did come across a mountain range it did take upwards of two hours walking in as straight a line as possible. Eidolon truly is a game for the explorers out there.
Same goes for the survivalists – the more relaxed ones that is. Where other survive-em-ups pit you against a harsh environment and hostile players, Eidolon only demands that you eat a little a day, sleep when tired, and don’t get too cold. Finding food is barely a struggle. Bushels of berry trees sprout up at every turn alongside mushrooms. Fishing is possible from the very beginning, serving as a firm fountain of fresh food which can be easily gathered from one of the innumerable water sources. Right the way down to the simple act of making a fire and cooking up fish, everything is incredibly relaxing.