No matter how you cut it death is a key stage of life and it’s something few people tend to think about, but it’s the driving force in a lot of ways behind Spanish based SandBloom Studio’s latest title DE-EXIT – Eternal Matters. Here you play as a mute skeleton called Lux – who has just entered the land of the dead – which is a bit of an interesting place to say the least, as it blends fairy-tale and sci-fi themes together on the visual front.
On the whole the tale in DE-EXIT – Eternal Matters is a solid platform built around how one hero can save the world, but serves more to deliver the existential themes and somewhat taboo subject matter the studio wants to highlight surrounding death and even what comes after it. Not an easy subject matter by any means, but it feels like real effort has been taken here with something that could have easily been ham fisted in. This is all backed up by the game having a real cinematic edge to it and you can tell this in the way it deals with cut-scenes especially and the specific shots and scenes used. DE-EXIT – Eternal Matters’ gameplay is a bit of a throwback in ways, as it has the tones of a classic PS1 title like Tomb Raider on the gameplay side – not a bad thing, as you platform around solving puzzles and even using stealth to sneak around some areas. There are quite a few chase sections in the game, but many of these chases feel almost entirely down to luck if you’re going to get past them. This is mostly due to poor pathing, many tiny invisible obstacles you bump and clip into, and floaty platforming controls. Though when not running for your eh… life, many of the puzzles are quite creative, but fail to really make a mark or truly test your grey matter.
As you play through DE-EXIT – Eternal Matters, you’ll start to unlock a few abilities that will help you out along the way. It also brings in some fresh mechanics too, such as a torch – that will not only light you’re way, but can also illuminate invisible creatures and change the shapes of structures or ability to telekinetically move objects. These abilities are also added into the mix on the puzzle side of things too, but do sometimes feel a bit overly awkward and a bit forced as things get more complex. Beware that the game does suffer an age old issue 3D platformers sometimes have and that’s the cameras system, which can be really hit and miss at times.
Visually DE-EXIT has a striking voxel art style; similar in ways to Minecraft, where blocks and smooth shapes are the way… blending fairy-tale and sci-fi themes together. This visual choice gives everything an almost childlike feel at times. An interesting choice when you look at it given the games core theming, tale and subject matter. Sound wise music is used sparingly, though there are some nice synth strings tracks to be found, but most of the time it heavily relies on ambient sounds and build an atmosphere with more than a hint of wonder. There is also some voice acting for characters you’ll find along the way, which adds to the tale nicely even though you never speak. DE-EXIT – Eternal Matters is an interesting and at times charming title that aims to bring up some real questions, that will have you thinking about what it’s asking long after the credits roll. Although it’s a bit rough on the technical side at times and the puzzles never get too taxing, it holds together for the most part.
An Xbox review copy of DE-EXIT – Eternal Matters was provided by SandBloom Studios PR team, and the game is out now on Xbox, PC and PlayStation for around £.
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