Review: Dark Eclipse (PSVR)

Review: Dark Eclipse (PS4)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • PlayStation VR Required
  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move Optional (1)
  • PS VR Aim Controller None
Title: Dark Eclipse
Format: PSN (542.1 MB)
Release Date: September 25, 2018
Publisher: SUNCORPORATION
Developer: SUNSOFT
Original MSRP: Free-to-play (US), (EU), (UK)
ESRB Rating: T
PEGI: 12
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Gameplay:
A fog of war shrouds the play area in darkness with my towers acting as beacons illuminating the enemies lurking close by. I quickly learned if none of my leaders are close to a tower it doesn’t do much and can be easily destroyed by my opponent.

To build towers you must send your Leaders and their accompanying Soldiers to chop down trees, the spoils of which can be used to create one of five types. One tower slows the enemy and another revives your fallen leaders. Plus, some cost more than others.

Only the soldiers can chop down trees, once given the order, and carry the large gemstone to a mount point. I’m not sure how they get the gemstone resource point from a tree but they just do, okay.

Trees can also be used to hide from the enemy and pounce when the time is right. I always forget this and have obsessively cleared the area of hiding spots. Once a tower is built nothing can be built adjacent to it, so there is some strategy involved.

Review: Dark Eclipse (PS4) Review: Dark Eclipse (PS4)

As your Leaders fight, they gain more power and you can recruit and upgrade their Soldiers at the Base Tower. You can also choose between melee or long-range specialists. Each of the three Leaders can have a maximum of three Soldiers in their group, meaning the Battlefield often becomes quite hectic.

There are small weak creatures, called Eaters, scattered about the map, primarily used to strengthen Leaders with each vanquish. These respawn depending on the number of trees in the area. A large and menacing Eater randomly appears that puts up a good fight but also gives better rewards.

Dark Eclipse has a middle name and it’s ‘Tactics’. There are so many little things that can easily turn the tide of battle, none of which are taught in the quick Tutorial and they’re not even that apparent after many games. For example, if a Leader is close to a Tower, any of their Soldiers will get revived. Plus, if you build an expensive Tower the wait is much less.

Then there are the passive and active Leader skills. Some deal a large attack to anything in the area of effect. Others might earn resources after defeating a large Eater. One even gets a defensive buff for every Leader in the area.

Deciding whether or not to send all of the Leaders out or keep one or more back for defensive purposes is a tough call, one I seem to get wrong every darn time. Yes folks, I’ve lost many games.

My skills and strategy are improving with each game and I receive Quarks even in defeat. These are used in the in-game shop, called the Collection, a not so subtle way to encourage owning more of its contents.

Review: Dark Eclipse (PS4)

The shop contains some things that can only be purchased with Quarks while the rest also need some of the game’s currency, DC, which I guess stands for Dark Credits. This is where Sunsoft, the developers of this Free-to-play MOBA, recoup some money.

With fifteen Leaders, some skins for them and the disembodied hand, and Player Icons, you can be assured the temptation is real. Especially when it pays to have a varied set of Leaders, each with unique abilities.

This tough game isn’t without a few niggling issues. First off are the controls, which I purposely neglected to mention until now. While they are very simple to understand and grow accustomed to, I feel they could be improved and there is also one big annoyance.

I should point out that I only need one hand to control the game and it works with either a DualShock 4 or Move Controller. The directional buttons on the standard controller can even be used if you wish.

Using the Sixaxis (I love that palindrome) technology in the DualShock 4 and Move controllers you can easily control the game. Grabbing Leaders, panning across the map, or zooming in and out is very simple and natural but feels more elegant with the Move.

However, the Move controller doesn’t work in the menus, even after I selected it as my preferred control method in the menu. I, therefore, have to keep the DualShock close and swap each time I finish a game.

Review: Dark Eclipse (PS4) Review: Dark Eclipse (PS4)

The game only switches to the VR mode when a match is loading, meaning the menu is quite bland and basic. It would have been nice to see the character models and a three-dimensional representation of the menu in VR, but alas it wasn’t to be.

Out of the eleven Trophies on offer, there is only one Common and one Rare, the rest are still Ultra Rare cowering at zero percent. I partly blame the tricky learning curve and inherent fear of the Free-to-play moniker that puts some people off from even trying them.

Visuals:
Dark Eclipse has some nice graphics and looks good in VR. The play area is quite detailed yet easy to understand. Being able to zoom in close or raise up to take in the entire map is done very quickly and works well.

The character and animation design are good and I especially like the artwork for the Leaders. Their alternate PS VR inspired skins are also worth checking out. If this game does well I anticipate some great additions down the road.

Audio:
I really like the music in Dark Eclipse, even if I cannot understand what is said. There isn’t much in terms of variety but the quality is very good. The sound effects are nice too with some speech and grunts from the Leaders and their squad. Anyone who grows weary of a certain audio aspect can adjust the many sliders in the Options menu.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is meant to be played against real people and luckily the matchmaking and connection quality is good. I mainly played against the computer as I struggled to win any matches but all of the games I played against actual people went well without any issues.

I can invite a friend to play against but none of them bothered to download the game before I wrote this review. I doubt there would be any issues with this online mode as the rest works well.

Review: Dark Eclipse (PS4)

Conclusion:
Dark Eclipse is a good, Free-to-play MOBA for the Playstation VR. While it can take a little time to understand all of the nuances and strategies needed to win I didn’t feel like I had to fork out any money to advance. That being said, once I grabbed some more Leaders from the in-game shop it became easier to find a set to suit my playstyle.

For anyone on the fence with this one I highly suggest giving it a go, there is fun to be had. Just don’t expect a walk in the park.

Score:
6.5

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

Written by Chazz Harrington

Chazz Harrington

You can find me on everything: PSN, Twitter, Wii U, Origin, Steam, etc using my universal ID: ChazzH69

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