Eden Rising: Supremacy Early Access Review
Eden Rising: Supremacy is, as far as I know, a first of its kind. From Nvizzio, it’s a persistent world co-op open world Action RPG tower defense game. It’s equal parts Orcs Must Die and Conan Exiles, but without the dong slider. There’s no thirst, hunger, or any other survival mularkey, and yet the game sets you out to explore, gather, and craft in the name of defending your home base. It’s addictive, difficult, and should be on your radar if you like co-op action games with persistent worlds.
Eden Rising hits Early Access on Steam tomorrow, May 17th. It won’t be “complete”, but there’s roughly 30 hours of content, and loads more in development over the coming months as Nvizzio works to get the game launched by end of 2018. It’s also worth noting that only the female character model is in right now. Males will presumably be added later. Customization is limited, but you’ll soon craft loads of armor and weapons that obscure what you look like anyway. If you want to chat with the dev team, there’s always their Discord server too.
After a brief intro and some backstory, Eden Rising plunks you down in game with a starter weapon and sends you off on the (skippable) tutorial. I highly recommend not skipping it though, as it’ll give you the basics of both combat and building, and as well as gathering and crafting. The core gameplay loop in Eden Rising: Supremacy is tight as can be. You go out, gather materials, fight baddies, and go back to base with your loot to craft defenses and new gear to make fighting the waves of monsters easier.
There are only 8 players per server at Early Access launch, with 16 being the goal for full launch. It’s a co-op game, not a PVP game, so you likely wouldn’t need more. Your tribe is everyone on the server, all working persistently towards upgrading your base (Crucible), and unlocking more tech, in order to explore more of the world and uncover its narrative bits as you go.
When you feel you’ve got your defenses and your team set, you call on the next stage of upgrading your Crucible, which is to say you “Call out the Wolves” as while the Crucible is upgrading, that’s when the hostile alien life starts swarming in. The rest of the time, your base has shields up and it’s your safe space for crafting, plotting, etc. The siege phase is well-thought out, and like a good tower defense game, it’s easy to see where the next wave is coming from, how many monsters you can expect and what type. As your defenses are whittled down, you can replace them if you’ve more in your inventory too, but each stage of the Crucible upgrade has a limit to how many “points” you can spend on defenses, and each type of defense item takes different amounts of points.
I’ve played roughly two hours on “Solo” difficulty on the MMORPGcom server (it’s public, so if you see it online, come join!). I’ve had little issues getting to the fourth wave, but this one has a load of monsters at once, plus one really large mother effer that hits hard and has a ton of HP. You only have so long to finish the siege, or you automatically fail. So you can fail if a.) you let the monsters destroy the Crucible, or b.) if you don’t kill them all in the amount of time allotted.
I’d say that right now, Solo difficulty feels more like duo-ready, but that could just be me. Combat is good fun, with your melee glaive, huge hammer, and charged ranged weapon providing three distinct means of fighting. But it also feels like the only one that really “connects” with mobs is the Hammer. The glaive feels like you’re just swinging at the air, and the gun doesn’t really make an impact, minus the red numbers from hitting your target. I’d like to see attacks be faster too, or do more damage early on, to help make it feel like you have a real advantage over the mobs.
One other minor qualm is that the dodge key is mapped to left control, which is just plain awkward to use in a third-person action combat situation. No one’s hands work like that. A double-tap of WASD would be better, or even a double space-bar press. In either case, remapping the key to something like V works well.
Overall, I’m quite impressed with Eden Rising as an Early Access title. Too often these games just feel half-baked when they hit steam. Instead, Nvizzio’s open world tower defense is a delight, polished, and feels really engaging. I can’t wait to see how it grows from here.