Remember just a few years back when MMORPGs were all the rage, but all of the newcomers were faced with the impossible task of having to draw attention away from the juggernaut that was World of Warcraft? Well, now it feels like we’re back in the same kind of scenario with hero shooters and Overwatch. And considering the colorful casts and unique characters that populate these games, any new take on it has to have a particularly intriguing hook in order to stand a chance. And thankfully for Digital Extremes, their upcoming free-to-play shooter The Amazing Eternals has some notably attractive elements when it comes to both setting and gameplay, creating what will hopefully be something that can stand alongside the likes of Tracer and company.
The unique draw of The Amazing Eternals – or at least one of them, anyway – is how it draws inspiration from ’70s pulp comics, creating some attractive visuals and entertaining characters. You can feel the influence from the likes of The Tomb of Dracula, 2000 AD and All-Star Western in each design, from the hulking plant creature that feels like a Swamp Thing/Groot mixture to the glittery superheroine raised by water elementals. As mentioned earlier, possibly the biggest lifeblood of a hero shooter is in the heroes themselves (rather unsurprisingly), and just how memorable they are and fun to play with. And indeed, these heroes and their mixtures of various genres make for an entertaining brawl together.
The ’70s influence extends into the game’s premise even further with the initial setup, which revolves around the discovery of an old board game from the era that sucks you into the actual game and its battlefield each time you play. And yes, that means we are now taking cues from Jumanji as well (just in time for the upcoming sequel that now revolves around a video game, in quite the eyebrow-raising coincidence). But the board game elements come into play here even moreso as well, with level progression represented by various spaces on the board in the menu, and in the game’s other notable draw, the collectable cards you unlock for gameplay purposes.
To strengthen each of the Eternals, you have to build decks suiting each one, filled with cards of different rarities. During the actual match, you draw cards from the deck at random, providing you with the likes of new weapons, abilities, and passive effects to temporarily work with. In the five-on-five match we played, where we had to capture points and destroy the enemy’s Fragments within, it was an absolute blast to suddenly draw a gun with more rapid fire or the ability to move faster that seemed to turn the tides slightly, with the cards being easy to activate and fun to play with. The deck-building elements definitely add a bit of strategy to the game and help you craft a more unique character in certain ways, and work perfectly with the fast-paced action, the two blending together seamlessly. It also goes without saying that the FPS gameplay on its own is well-crafted as well, playing perfectly fine and with things nicely balanced so far.
So thanks to its creative mixture of deck-building strategy and FPS action, combined with its lovably retro character designs and aesthetics, The Amazing Eternals easily stands out from the crowd and makes for a fun, frantic and unforgettable FPS. And you won’t have to spend a dime to enjoy it, with everything available to be unlocked in one way or another. If you can’t wait, though, you can sign up for the Closed Beta on the game’s official site or even pick up one of the Founder’s Packs there as well. The Amazing Eternals will also be adding more content to it as it inches towards an official release as well, so stay tuned for any updates on this promising bit of pulp action.