EVERREACH : Project Eden

Planet Eden is a lush, vibrant world that is the perfect replacement for the overcrowded and polluted Earth. Everreach, has sent a team to colonize the planet and make way for the first settlers. But all is not well with Project Eden, and Everreach has lost communication with the colony. They decide to send Nora Harwood and her security team to investigate. Can peace be restored to this serene planet, or have things gotten to far out of control?

You play as Nora, head of the security team sent from home office. It is up to you to explore the planet and figure out exactly what is going on. Your adventure begins soon after being shot down trying to get to the head of Project Eden. Once you are on the planet, you must fight your way to the truth in this action adventure RPG.

The game is a third person shooter that relies heavily on tactical combat. You are equipped with a rifle and pistol, but ammunition is low. Scavenging will become your best friend, along with a floating robot companion that can act as a distraction, or even upgrade your abilities on the fly. Unfortunately, your pal has no offensive capabilities, so you are left alone to destroy all the enemies.

This would not be an issue if combat wasn’t so excruciatingly difficult. Combat isn’t hard per se, but the game mechanics make it harder than it should be. The third person camera angle will often place your robot companion in a position that blocks your view, making shooting at your target difficult. Add to the fact that you only seem to hit your target when your reticle is slightly off to the left of where you want to shoot. This is just one of the issues with game play.

Walking around the world is complicated by the lack of a jump feature, and constantly getting stuck on the environment. If there is a small step at the bottom of a set of stairs, you must go up them directly, not from the side. This removes a lot of the flow from combat and just moving around the world. As with most 3rd person shooters, you control the camera with the right stick. This becomes a problem, especially when in combat, because the sensitivity is turned all the way up, and can only be adjusted from the title screen, which means exiting the game. This wouldn’t be that big of an issue if it wasn’t was the long loading times. You will experience these at the start of each game, if you die, between chapters and more.

One of the high points of this title is the graphics. Eden is a beautiful planet, that is amazingly rendered. The colors are bright and vivid, drawing you into the alien landscape, and pushing you toward your goals. The characters you encounter, from alien life to human enemies are varied and interesting. Luckily you can’t harm the wildlife, or else there would be a pile of indigenous corpses. The voice acting is well done, and will have you engaged in the story. Until you are stuck at a loading screen, then you are yanked back to reality.

Everreach : Project Eden is available now on multiple platforms. Developed by Elder Games and released by Headup Games, the title holds a lot of promise, but is hampered by some design flaws. If you can work your way past the problems, and are able to stand the long loading times, there is a good game here. Unfortunately, most people will see the issues and bypass this title.