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7 Dec 2022

REVIEW: EDENGATE: The Edge of Life on Xbox

Review by Jon Donnis
EDENGATE: The Edge of Life is a new walking simulator/narrative adventure from award-winning writer Matthew Seiji Burns

Created and developed during the pandemic, the game has been designed to represent the fear and loneliness that we all suffered during Government enforced lockdowns and the isolation that we were forced to endure. With a haunting soundtrack composed by Laryssa Okada, does this game succeed in its aims? Read on to find out.

"Mia, a young and promising biologist, awakes in an abandoned hospital with no memory of how she got there. With no other traces of life, Mia tries to piece together the events that brought her to the hospital and unravel the mystery of the now desolate city of Edengate. What happened to her? What happened to the world she remembers? Join Mia on her emotional journey to discover any traces of life and the terrifying events that have befallen the once vibrant city. A fusion of exploration, investigation, puzzle solving and meaningful decision making will lead you on an emotional journey and unveil the events leading to Mia's awakening."

As mentioned, this is a walking simulator/narrative adventure, in English this means that you are playing a story, and witnessing it as it happens, as opposed to how you might control a story when you play. You can approach glowing items which will trigger flashbacks, which further explain what has happened.

The game is played from an over-the-shoulder viewpoint.

You start off in the abandoned hospital, no idea where to go, or what to do, luckily this is a linear game, so as long as you keep moving forward down the only routes available, you will figure things out. There are a few decisions in there, but nothing major.

There are basic puzzles that might need to be solved, for example you enter a room, the door digitally locks behind you, you notice a note on a table, read the note, that gives you a clue to what the code is to open the door. Figure out what the clue is and how to solve it. And job done.

I don't want to say too much about the game, as to do so will spoil the story, but you will relatively quickly leave the hospital, find yourself outside, then back inside a different area and so on. A school, a train station, etc, All the way you will find little objects to look out, the glowing objects which trigger flashbacks, as well as a ghostly child that will appear and then disappear.

Although at times it can feel like a horror story, there are no major jump scares, and things are pretty straight forward. There are no real enemies in the game. 

You will complete the game in perhaps 2-3 hours, depending on if you rush through it, or search every corner for things to interact with.

The Good
Amazing soundtrack that really does make a huge difference. The gameplay is simple, and there isn't much you can get stuck on, so you can just enjoy the narrative being told.

Voice acting is of a very high quality.

The Bad
This is a pretty short game, and unless you rush through it, there is not really a reason to replay it.
There are also some issues when moving, for example you might need to move a crate to reach an area, you move it, and clearly you can just get past, but you have to move it a little but more before you can. It is only a small thing, but in the real world, as soon as you got enough room, you would just hop over something

For me, this game delivered what I was told it would, a story about isolation, with some puzzles, and somewhat of an emotional journey.
If you are looking for excitement, then this game is probably not for you. But if you want to experience a really good story, then you should give it a go.

I enjoyed EDENGATE: The Edge of Life, and score it a lonely and isolating 7/10

Out Now on Xbox

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