So, the Earth has been taken over by dragons. Everyone has given up fighting back except for the colourful characters of Earth Night. What do you think the solution is? Here is an idea, why not jump out of a spaceship, run down the back of these dragons, collect loads of loot and stab them all in the head. Sounds good to me. If I could use all this loot to help me on my dragon killing quest, all the better. You can? Brilliant.
Earth Night PS4 Review
A Beautiful Auto-Running Dragon-Slaying Simulator
Earth Night is a very peculiar yet strangely addictive video game. It is one part auto-runner and one part platformer with a sprinkle of RPG goodness. It is also has a slight rogue-like feel to it, because when you die you always start from the beginning of the game but your upgrades persist. Earth Night is a strange concoction but it works, once you get used to its flow and its game systems, it gets quite moreish. It has that ‘just one more go’ before bed quality I love in video games.
Once dropped on a dragon your character, which you have two of, will run automatically. It is not all bad though, you can vary the speed with your analog stick and can jump various ways depending on your chosen character. Each dragon is a colourful playground of obstacles, loot, collectables and challenges. Your job is to avoid the enemies or jump on their head Mario style, collect as much loot as you can and get to the business end of these flying serpents.
When you get to the head of the dragon you must commence the stabbing. There are different ways to do this depending on the style of dragon and character you have chosen. It normally boils down to pressing X at the right time to inflict the maximum amount of damage. If you slay the beast you will be awarded a piece of its body, this is used to unlock more skills or upgrade them further. You are then free to descend closer to Terra Firma, rinse and repeat.
These upgrades you unlock are vital in descending closer to Earth, to kill more dragons and hopefully rid our planet of these mystical, yet beautiful creatures. You unlock better weapons, more jumping techniques and even mind control. These unlocks and upgrades come often and regular and as is always important in games like this, always makes you feel like you are progressing, even if only a little bit at a time.
One of the unique systems in this game I had to grasp early on was the way you regain your health. You have to combo together enemy kills by jumping on their heads. Every time you get to five, you will regain a health point back, then a health point every four after that in the combo. It was hard to execute early on but with practice and some valuable upgrades, I was able to blast through enemies and regain vital health points back. It was both rewarding and addictive to accomplish.
Graphically, Earth Night it to die for. Everything is hand-drawn and has a pastel-like quality to it. From the dragons to the playable characters, everything is so beautiful and pleasing to look at. The animations are also top-notch and you can tell a lot of time has been taken to make this game look how it does. As you are floating through the sky or running on the back of a dragon you cannot help but take in all this exquisite splendour.
I also really enjoyed the music. The old-school chiptunes and sound effects really hark back to arcade games of old. I would go as far as to say this is one of the best soundtracks I have heard in a while. Really crunchy, catchy music accompany your many runs down to Earth.
It helps a lot in a game where repetition is vital, boring music will get repetitive and spoil the overall experience. I loved the soundtrack a lot and my ears never got bored, I’m old-school at heart.
Earth Night performs very well on a technical level too. In a game where jumps matter, especially when they need to be pinpoint accurate and performed at speed, performance is vital. Luckily, over my many hours playing Earth Night, I had zero issues. It has a great framerate and I experienced no crashes or bugs whatsoever. It is always nice to play something that just works, you are free to enjoy your time with the game. Even if you are having to stab majestic dragons to death.
Beautiful And Very Likeable
Earth Night is a breath of fresh air in a sea of familiar games. It is very unique, beautiful and runs very well. While longer sessions can get samey, the constant upgrades and powerups make each run to Earth memorable.
The game does have that ‘just one more run’ quality I love in rogue-likes even though it’s not really a true rogue-like. It is fun, looks great and I think a lot of players will find something to like about it.
Earth Night is out now on PS4.
Review code kindly provided by the publisher.