We had the pleasure of previewing Eternal Threads, the latest title from Cosmonaut Studios, and today we want to tell you about it in our PC review
Time travelers should be able to stop a house fire with ease. All you have to do is fix the faulty electrical system or get rid of a wandering cigarette butt, right? This is the situation that arises in Eternal Threads, but in this timeline the causes of the fire are to be avoided by the power of kindness alone. But let’s get into the details of Eternal Threads in our PC review.
The incipit of Eternal Threads is nothing incredibly revolutionary or unprecedented, but the twist that the guys at Cosmonaut Studios have reserved for the concept of time travel is certainly interesting. The world has been ruined due to random events in the timeline and it will be up to our heroes to go back and change the past in order to recover the future. Specifically, our adventure is focused on the case of a fire in a building which saw several casualties among the residents. Our task will be to avoid what happened and save as many lives as possible by affecting the timeline modifying the decisions of the condominiums involved.
Basically, we are presented with a series of events that take place over a week and that add up imperceptibly until the tragic fire. Fortunately, we are equipped with a technology that can subtly modify some of the decisions made by the residents, creating a butterfly effect that will make them survive the incident. The protagonist is a kind of “Crononauta” in a bleak future, where time travel has littered the fourth dimension with all sorts of reality-altering radiation, but we don’t have too many other details about the game’s narrative context. The whole thing actually remains rather vague, and we are catapulted into a house in the north of England in 2015, where a landlord and a handful of problematic college students spend the best of their 20s.
From there, Eternal Threads almost becomes a theatrical representation in 3D with actors – projection. Basically the game consists of a queue of scenes that punctuate the timeline of the boys (a game of billiards at midnight, a cigarette break on the patio and so on) and the nuances of the dynamics of the group are analyzed. From time to time, your time device will ask you if you want to enter an alternative climax in the action. With the right interweaving of these fragments, they all eventually survive the fire.
Eternal Threads inserts some elements intriguing and mysterious along the way, but there are no macabre curvy balls or particular surprises. Don’t expect to find an arsonist among the kids, the storyline is quite simple and straightforward. However, you will have to do some detective work. While exploring the apartments, you will be asked to collect notes, postcards and smartphones (all containing important contextual information) that complete the puzzles. Cosmonaut Studios uses this mechanic as a canvas for some very interesting and stimulating ideas related to the tradition of time travel. For example, a room can look completely different after changing a resident’s decision-making process (usually a sign that you are on the right track). These tricks, as well as modifying the “world” of the game, are necessary to mitigate the graphics quality gloomy and slightly prehistoric on Eternal Threads.
The character models have a strong Second Life imprint, which can be difficult to overcome when we are asked to empathize with their deep suffering. A great pity to associate such little detailed and emotionless faces with an excellent vocal interpretation by the voice actors. Even the house does not stand out particularly for care and detail, even raising the graphics quality to the maximum threshold.
One of the biggest problems with Eternal Threads is that there isn’t a real degree of challenge. The game it does not offer a direct investigation and the real ending of the game is achieved quite naturally, simply by looking at all the scenes and changing the junction points that seemed unsatisfactory. There is only one kind of decision: to watch and react to the deleted scenes, but nothing more. This “lack of satisfaction” strongly influences both the general experience and the ending, which leaves open to a potential sequel. The game hinted at a much larger sci-fi conspiracy that couldn’t be contained in a dorm and hopefully will be dealt with in a second Eternal Threads.
Eternal Threads consists of about 10 rooms, with six main characters, and it is easy to imagine that Cosmonaut will stretch out on this compact format once again, perhaps further exploring the cross vectors of the temporal narrative. Let’s just hope the sequel (if it ever comes) make us feel smarter than this chapter has done. Let me make my mistakes, because making mistakes is the meaning of time travel.
Net of what has been analyzed in this review, Eternal Threads is a game rather solid but worm-eaten with obvious problems. Congratulations to the writing team for having well characterized the characters and how they balance each other. Plus, the time manipulation mechanics are easy to use and never complicated by having to sift through to find specific events. However, the game falters in the gameplay department, becoming repetitive and not very engaging, apart from the occasional opening of a few locked doors. We would have liked a greater degree of challenge or in any case some more intrigue, the graphics sector definitely leaves something to be desired and the final cliffhanger leaves us in suspense for no real reason. We look forward to a decisive and (hopefully) better structured second chapter.
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