by Marcus Mulkins
previewed on PC
A crossover game in more ways than one
So you've heard there's this new Action Adventure game coming out. It's gritty, edgy, and has a lot of twists on your stock hack-and-slash epic quest type game. As the saying goes, hold onto your seats, 'cuz you ain't seen nothing yet! Not in your wildest imaginings have you seen anything quite like this. There's a whole lot of "that bit is something like...", but the final mix is rather unique.
Edge of Twilight is being developed by relative newcomer, Brisbane's Fuzzyeyes Studios. They also have offices in Taipei, Beijing and Singapore. (Can we say "telecommute"?) Don't bother to look it up on Wikipedia; I just gave you pretty much all that the wiki has, other than the fact that the company was founded in 2001. What have they done since then? In 2007, they released their first game, Hot Dog King, a fast food tycoon type game. That was met with lukewarm reviews for the most part, though most critics generally enjoyed many of the game's quirky features. The game did well enough that it will be followed by an expansion set, Hot Dogs Hot Gals.
Now, you're probably asking yourself, "How does a company go from doing just business sims to doing a state-of-the-art third-person adrenaline pumping ACTION Adventure?" According to Fuzzyeyes CEO Wei-Yao Lu, it was because "we knew the growing Fuzzyeyes team was insanely talented so we really wanted to let them flex their creative muscles." How talented is "insanely"? That remains to be seen.
Once upon a time...
The story begins in the unique and mysterious land of Hellayem. Hellayem is a vast and largely uncharted land that contains all manner and varieties of fauna and flora. Unlike regular Day and Night cycles, Hellayem used to experience a unique long-lasting cycle of approximately six months for each state. (Sounds like Alaska without the cold.) Because of this, the environment had become equally unique and diversified with lush forests that thrived during the Day cycle and more rugged and dead landscapes that formed during the Night cycle. This dichotomy spawned two distinctly different races: the industrial Atherns of the day cycle, and the spiritually-oriented Lithern which are more in tune with Nature. The bone of contention between the two civilizations is a power source known as Ether. The Atherns use Ether to power their machines, while the Lithern have tapped into Ether as a spiritual lifeline.
Not surprisingly, the Atherns see the Lithern's use of Ether as being an utter waste of valuable resources. They attack the Lithern, bent on genocide. One particularly enraged Lithern turns the tables by establishing a permanent barrier between the realms of Night and Day, and then he starts to send through hordes of undead Tainted Litherns to wreak havoc on all things Atherns. (Think of the Shadow Plane from Mask of the Betrayer and you're halfway there. It's more like two co-existing dimensions than anything else.) The end result is one world with two distinctly different post-apocalypse settings.
Balanced between these two wildly different environments is Hellayem's one and only half-breed, Lex, your character in the game. Both races disdain him, yet both see an advantage to be gained from an individual that can easily pass from one realm to the other. The question is: who will _you_ decide to have Lex work for?
Two games for the price of one!
Probably the most quirky thing about the game is that Lex - and all of his gear! - alters, depending on which realm he is in. In the Day Atherns realm, Lex is slower and bulkier, but also more physically powerful. While in Day he can use Ether to operate Atherns machinery as well as Ether-powered weapons. (Wait until you see his battle ax/shotgun thingie!) When he is in Night, he alters to become quick and lithe, practically a ninja. His environment awareness in Night is akin to a Jedi's connection to the Force in "Star Wars". The two realms almost play like two distinctly different hack-and-slash games.
Like doing side quests in Fallout 3, there's scads of things to do. But it is left to you to discover, or uncover the storylines and secrets of Hellayem. At the beginning you will have access to a large Citadel, and from there you will be able to choose from a plethora of side quests, buy/sell/upgrade weapons and equipment, interact with NPCs, or forge ahead in the main storyline. If you you want more bang for your buck, do ALL of the side quests. It's not like there's a Doomsday stopwatch ticking down to oblivion. (Or is there....?) Besides, the more side quests you do, the better your understanding of this weird ass world will be.
One last thing: This is NOT a multiplayer or online community game. Fuzzyeyes was emphatic about the fact that "....we're telling a story and focusing all our attention on doing that well." How well is for you to decide.