The first production by Catalan studio Herobeat Studios, Endling: Extinction is Forever is an environmental fable aimed at a very young audience. In addition to its superb artistic direction, the title also seduces with some original ideas…
Published by HandyGames and only available digitally, Endling: Extinction is Forever is a one-of-a-kind survival game that lets you take the destiny of a vixen and her cubs into your own hands. The title presents itself as a 3D adventure game, which is however based on a 2D progression on a map that continues to evolve. Endling thus looks like a curious mixture of platformer, walking-simulator and Metroid-like.
We will not really talk about open-world here, but about an open environment that continues to evolve over the days, since new game areas will gradually be unlocked, which will allow you to advance in the plot. In this sense, Endling gives a certain freedom of action to the player. Everything here is governed by the rhythm of the days, and more specifically the nights, which last only a few minutes, forcing you to quickly explore the environments to hunt, feed your brood and move forward in the scenario. Once the night is over, it is imperative to return to the burrow as soon as possible. Of course, even at night, danger lurks everywhere: whether it’s an owl stalking from a tree, a hunter chasing you in the forest or traps strewn in nature, it is very easy to leave a tuft of hair there. The whole concept of the game is based on the survival of your offspring, who will not only have to be fed but also protected from the dangers of the outside world.
To feed your cherubs, you will have to go hunting in the game’s environments. And activate your flair to spot the traces of various prey, which range from rabbits to berries, rats and fish. The fox is an animal easily to its environment and Endling shows it rather well.
At the beginning of the adventure, the title offers a very simple gaming experience, which is close in this sense to a walking-simulator. The player literally walks on rails, contenting himself with avoiding a few dangers and ingesting all the food he encounters. Subsequently, however, Endling gains in depth with its small open world, its secondary missions and especially the many abilities that your foxes can recover and which will expand the range of movements. Once these have been acquired, it will become possible, for example, to make one of our cherubs slip through a narrow passage to retrieve an object or to dig in the ground to find prey. Our valiant vixen also gradually shows her potential, since over the minutes we discover, for example, that she is able to briefly climb trees. Packed with good ideas in its gameplay, Endling struggles to convince us completely. On the one hand, because despite appearances, it is not always easy to know what to do in this game. The little ones will clearly need help to progress. The older ones will find the gameplay too basic to get a kick out of. Certainly, the game remains pleasant, but it tends to be a little too repetitive, easy to access and above all, not to offer a very interesting environment. Overall, if we have the choice of the route to take, the game remains very interventionist and does not show much creativity in its level-design.
Where the game shines, however, is in the survival aspect, perfectly mastered with its hunger system, which adds permanent pressure, and its rhythm based on the nights, which often pass much too quickly… To progress , you will sometimes have to take risks, play with time, and all this will sometimes lead you to lose one of your cherubs… In Endling, death is an integral part of the adventure. If the game knows how to be full of good feelings, it also wants to be a realistic experience.
Another advantage of the title: its superb artistic direction, which gives it a unique personality. In addition to flattering the retina with its pretty graphics engine, the game manages to move us. The story of the title is also narrated during the game sequences, with in particular very well brought flashbacks – since the main quest pushes us to find clues which will allow us to locate one of the four foxes, which has kidnapped by an unscrupulous hunter. Endling does not hesitate to present itself as an environmental fable that quite openly criticizes our world. In this sense, therefore, it could be an educational title for the youngest – but be careful, given its game mechanics which are not always well explained, it will be better to accompany the little ones in this (beautiful) adventure.
Sold € 29.99, Endling manages to seduce us, without however completely convincing us, the fault largely with its repetitive gameplay, its uninspired level-design and its adventure a little too short. Count 3 to 4 hours of play to see the end. Not much, even at this price.
The first game from the Catalan studio Herobeat Studios, Endling: Extinction is Forever is a pretty environmental fable that invites you to embody a vixen who has gone in search of one of her foxes kidnapped by an evil hunter. The title brilliantly mixes several styles of play by presenting itself sometimes as a survival game, sometimes as a Metroidvania. Stuffed with good ideas in its gameplay (hunting, the permanent constraint of time), Endling however tends to be quickly very repetitive and to hardly surprise level level-design. The adventure is also quite short. Still, at €29.99, here is an atypical and educational game, which could well appeal to parents with its original concept and its superb artistic direction. One thing is certain, it will not go unnoticed this summer.
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Endling: Extinction is Forever
WE love :
The artistic direction, superb
Some very good ideas in the gameplay
A touching environmental fable
A game accessible also to the little ones
We like less:
A rather short adventure
Too basic gameplay
An unconvincing level design