Eternal, created by Sparkplay Media, is an up and coming
browser-based free-to-play MMOG hoping to win over gamers with its
unique style and animal-themed races. How well does Earth Eternal stack
up against other MMOGs? To answer that question, Ten Ton Hammer
examined various aspects of the game such as graphics, gameplay, and
combat. We’ll also look at microtransactions in Earth
Eternal, a core component in any free-to-play. Let’s get on
with the review!
The graphics in Earth Eternal are darn good for a free-to-play game!
Despite the browser-based platform, the frame rate is very smooth.
Compared to subscriber-based MMOGs, the graphics in Earth Eternal are a
little dated, but not horribly so. The world as shown is colorfully
lush and generally detailed.
The main thing a player may need to get used to in this game is the
“cute factor.” This is not a gritty, hard-core
setting. You play one of 22 races, all of them animal. (Yes,
you’ll be a cute fuzzy animal, whether you like it or not.) The enemies
in the game range from other biped animals to quirky mixes, such as the
Quackatrice, a mixture of duck and cockatrice. If you like blood flying
across the screen and hearing the dying echoes of the fallen, then this
game is not for you.
The gameplay in Earth Eternal is solid. If you’ve played
other MMOGs, especially World of Warcraft, then you’ll be
used to the controls in the game. The UI is the industry standard, with
a chat window in the lower left, a mini map in the upper right, quests
listed on the right side, and your action bar on the bottom. Movement
is the standard WASD.
Your character is chosen from one of 22 different races. Each race has
the same stats, so all that really matters is what kind of animal you
want to be. There are 4 different classes: knight, rogue, mage, and
druid. One appealing feature of the game is that you can take skills
from other classes as you level up. Naturally, if you do so, you
won’t be maximized in your own class, but it is nice to be a
knight and be able to heal yourself.
As you travel, various creatures will give you missions. You can track
4 missions at a time, and you can choose which 4 to track (the maximum
number of missions you can carry now is 15). There are also bounty
boards, which will give you missions to kill a certain number of
creatures in an area. Completing bounty missions will give you tokens
with which you can purchase better equipment. I haven’t
encountered any mission gaps while playing, unlike some other
free-to-play MMOGs. I was able to level quite easily just by completing
missions, without resorting to endless grinding. However, there are
quite a few missions of “kill x of something” in
Combat is just like most other MMOGs. There is an auto-attack, and you
can activate special abilities. Each character has a different pool to
use for combat and spells. Most abilities require a certain number of
points from a specific pool (Might or Will). The activation of certain
abilities creates a “charge,” which is shown next
to your character portrait. When you have a certain number of
“charges,” you can then use an
“execute” ability, which is a more powerful. It
works just like using building rage or combo points in WoW. Overall,
combat is fairly fluid and works well.
Sparkplay Media has created a huge amount of back story for the game.
In fact, you can download
page .pdf file
you want to fully learn the lore of the world of Earth Eternal. A quick
synopsis would be that the game is set in the Age of Beasts, which is
in the future after the end of mankind. In the distant past, the animal
races, called Beasts, were created by the Earthmother, Gaia, who has
protected them throughout time. The many beast races formed a pact of
cooperation and peace, which was blessed by the Earthmother and this
pact was put into the very blood of the beasts themselves. Time passed
and the beasts faced many foes such as the Undead and the Primals.
Eventually this pact was broken by some Dog Soldiers who slew one of
their own. For this treachery, the Dog Soldiers were cursed to become
mankind. As the race of man rose in power, the Earthmother shielded her
beast children by putting them into the Groves, areas outside of
reality where they would be safe from mankind. Eventually, mankind
destroyed itself and the beasts returned to the Earth, starting the Age
of Beasts in which the game is set.
Like any free-to-play game, Earth Eternal includes microtransactions.
You can buy a multitude of items from the game store, such as potions
(healing, speed), weapons, armor, extra bags for increased inventory,
and so on. You start the game with a decent amount of credits to get
you used to buying stuff. You can get additional credits in three ways.
First, you can buy credits outright. If you don’t want to
spend real money, then you can take surveys or accept a product offer
to earn credits. Lastly, you can purchase credits with in-game currency
by buying credits from another player. All in all, the microtransaction
system in place for Earth Eternal is flexible. Most store items can be
acquired within the game, but you’ll spend a good amount of
time doing so.
There are a few flaws in the game, but that’s to be expected
for a game still in beta. The first problem is that there is no
keybinding as of now. You have to use the default keys already in
place. It would be nice if you were able to assign keys, but hopefully
that’ll change in the future.
Another potential flaw in the game, at least for those interested in
PvP, is that there is none. According to their website, Sparkplay hopes
to implement PvP some time this year, but they aren’t
offering any specific time frame. So, for now, Earth Eternal is
strictly PvE. The lack of PvP isn’t a game destroyer, but it
will limit the number of people interested in the game.
Overall, my impression of Earth Eternal is that it is an extremely
solid game for what it is, a free-to-play, browser-based MMOG. It lacks
some of the bells and whistles of subscriber-based games, but
that’s to be expected. Remember that the game is still in
beta, so it currently lacks some features that may be implemented
later. It has good 3D graphics, solid gameplay, and an interesting
world. It’s not a game that I’ll play on a daily
basis, but one that I’ll come back to from time to time.
I’ve enjoyed my adventures in Earth Eternal, and so will you.