Many sci-fi stories begin with a crash landing on a strange planet, and it’s no different in Eclipse: Edge of Light – the virtual reality adventure from the team at White Elk Studios that has just made its debut on PlayStation VR. Your unlikely adventure on the planet sees you uncover a special artefact which can be used in a variety of different ways, but more specifically will affect the fate of the seemingly dying planet.
The first thing that’s worth noting is thatEclipse: Edge of Light can only be played with a DualShock controller, with the player given full free-movement with the left-stick and able to turn with the right-stick (either smoothly or at different angles). Initially, it was a little disappointing not to have the option to play with Move controllers, but the mechanics of the game are simple enough that I didn’t feel like I was missing out on any extra immersion.
The main bulk of Eclipse: Edge of Light’s gameplay comes down to utilising the special artefact you discover, which can be used by the player to interact with the environment in a variety of ways and help solve puzzles. It can be used to activate switches, create platforms for you to jump between, destroy statues that blast lasers your way, or just interact with the game’s puzzles – all it takes is a quick throw of the artefact and you’re good to go.
Actually throwing the artefact could be a little weird, with an auto-aim function in place to ensure that you hit your target first time. For the most part, this works well and ensures that you’re not wasting time trying to hit an object with pinpoint accuracy. However, there were occasions where it didn’t seem to work at all, mainly because I’d be a little bit too close or too far from whatever object I was trying to hit. Whilst it’s not a game-breaking issue by any means, it could be a bit of a nuisance at some moments during my time playing.
Besides using the artefact, you’ll also have to use a special tablet-like device to uncover hidden objects in the environment, scan objects to uncover information about them, use telekinesis to move giant objects, or spend the special dust you can collect to get access to special objects in the environment. Some of these are optional and not compulsory to progress through Eclipse: Edge of Light, but they do give a bit of extra depth to the game’s lore.
I’ve got to give a shout out to the jetpack in the game, which feels fun to use in virtual reality. It’s pretty comfortable too, with the slow decline as you blast your way around ensuring that you don’t find your tummy in a twist as you traverse the map. It has limited fuel mind, so outside of some areas of the environment where it automatically refills mid-use, you’ve got to be careful in how you use it if you want to make your way across the more treacherous locales safely. It’s satisfying to use though and ensures that Eclipse: Edge of Light’s platforming segments are all enjoyable.
Eclipse: Edge of Light’s biggest issue comes with how simple it is to play. The puzzling mechanics of the game are fun, but they don’t change up that much after the initial twenty-minutes or so of play – the world itself is mostly linear too so you’ll always know exactly where to go. The puzzles themselves aren’t all that challenging either, so it’s not as if you have to spend a lot of time trying to be clever and figuring out what to do. I wouldn’t go as far as calling it boring because Eclipse: Edge of Light is a fun game to play and it does have some novel ideas, but those who like to feel a little tested might be underwhelmed by the lack of challenge.
Visually, Eclipse: Edge of Light manages to look pretty good. It originally started out on lower-end virtual reality headsets so you shouldn’t go in expecting some stunning visuals, but there’ve certainly been some improvements made during the transition to PlayStation VR – sure, some textures are a little bland and some of the environments were guilty of being a little dull too, but for the most part it gives the players plenty of fascinating sights to uncover. It definitely offers a world that I enjoyed being a part of and seeing things like strange giant structures ahead of you or impressive planets in the sky never stopped feeling neat.
Eclipse: Edge of Light’s blend of puzzle-solving and exploration come together nicely to make for an enjoyable sci-fi adventure, though it could be a little guilty of being a bit too simple and linear at times. With a roughly two-hour runtime though, it certainly doesn’t outstay its welcome and does enough to keep you entertained throughout – the jetpack is fun too, which is always a plus.
It might not necessarily blow gamers away with its simplistic gameplay mechanics and it certainly doesn’t offer anything you wouldn’t have seen before, but Eclipse: Edge of Light still manages to offer a sci-fi adventure that PlayStation VR gamers will have fun being a part of.
Developer: White Elk Studios
Publisher: White Elk Studios
Platform(s): PlayStation VR (Reviewed), Oculus Quest, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch