IndieRPGs.com Checks Out Eldritch (late alpha)
David Pittman of Minor Key Games was nice enough to give me access to a (very, very) late alpha version of Eldritch (previously covered here). He writes: “I’m calling it an alpha, but it’s closer to what other developers would probably call a beta: it is content complete, and the only things that are changing now are balance issues, minor polish, and bug fixes.”
My first impressions follow (coupled with eloquent observations like “that sparkly shit is the go-back stuff):
What surprised me most: this game is much, much creepier than the trailer would lead you to believe. The way one hears enemies wandering the vicinity is nerve-wracking; it reminds me a lot of System Shock 2. (Really, it’s amazing what a difference sound design can make.) Combined with the game’s permadeath-y mechanics, there is a lot of tension in every outing.
The only things I encountered holding Eldritch back are some minor interface issues. I found the instructions for controlling the game largely illegible; and sometimes, when I could read them, they were flatly incorrect. I never did figure out how to switch powers or open up my character screen. Most of the primary controls were intuitive enough, though (WASD to move, left-click to attack, right-click to use a power, mouse wheel to switch weapons). I found the F key somewhat awkward to use for interacting with the environment–I would have preferred the space bar, or Control, or tapping middle mouse, or anything that wouldn’t result in me accidentally leaning right when I meant to interact.
The interface issues weren’t big enough to keep me from enjoying this game, though, and they’re the sort of issues that can be addressed quickly. I expect they’ll all be ironed out by Eldritch’s release next month. In the meantime, Minor Key Games is actually taking pre-orders for this title. $15 will get you access once the game hits beta–that will happen in a couple of weeks, per the devs. Eldritch is Windows-only.