The Eternal Cylinder

Eternal column review

Eternal column review

need to know

What is it? It’s like the rolling boulder levels in Crash Bandicoot, but you have to control a bunch of mutant Q*berts.
Expect to pay
30 USD/24 GBP
Developer ACE team
Publisher Good Shepherd Entertainment
Review date Intel i7-6700 HQ, NVIDIA Geforce GTX 960M, 8GB RAM
multiplayer game? No
Associate Official website

When you are in it, telling stories about the end of the world is tricky. Where video games about “doomsday” once involved nuclear wasteland, the slow onset of the climate crisis has spawned more games about living with disasters rather than exploring its consequences. As for the eternal column, it means thriving in the shadow of a roller at the width of the horizon, guiding a group of elephant-nosed creatures called Trebhum through a wonderful alien ecosystem, which is steadily declining.

Trebhum is neither a lover nor a fighter, you can control it alone, while the rest of the herd rolls behind. All they could do in the beginning was to suck up things and store them for later use, spray water from their trunks, and then roll around like Sonic the Hedgehog. But they do have a key advantage, and that is their ability to change. By eating the right things, from grasshopper feces to fish, they can acquire mutations such as a third eye and furry skin that (mainly) enable them to withstand future tests.

The drunken creator of Zeno Clash has a vivid but slightly boring escape story. The eternal column mixes frenetic moments with infinite contemplation. The huge opponents of the game will not chase you mercilessly. Its methods are sometimes blocked by the tower. The tower is surrounded by flashing blue energy, creating an oasis where you can forage, play with mutations and go deep into the ruins. There are basic platform challenges, legends and rare consumables. .

(Image source: Good Shepherd Entertainment)

Here, you can freely taste the quirky and brilliant biological designs that imitate the paintings of Dali, Picasso and Bosch, ranging from Jörmungandr-style astral snakes to large sauropod dinosaurs that cause sandstorms when eating. There are other Trebhums, either resurrected, rescued, or persuaded to join your team with the right items. Among the indigenous life forms are the mysterious servants of Cylinder, cyborg sentinels, whose searchlights will remove mutations from any Trebhums blocking their path.

These fascinating probations are the highlight of the game, an opportunity to delve into the world like the greedy Attenborough-for example, to find out that a beast is the offspring of another beast, or how to make certain creatures fight against each other . Everything flows into an outline, where the description of the objects doubles as the “Just So” story about Trebhum itself, and they are not as new to this field as it seems.

The scenery is equally fascinating: pink and purple ice fields, peculiar coral lattices and towering seed pods. However, the moment you break through the dome, all the peculiarities and colors will be forgotten in the panic trampling of the next tower. Other creatures are no longer miracles of nature, but become obstacles, scared or fleeing by the sound of horns. Once you have escaped, there will be a cold feeling when you look back at the cylinder doing its job. Then, you roam and experiment again.

(Image source: Good Shepherd Entertainment)

At least, when you are not fighting for control. Part of the game’s procedural terrain is uneven, and Trebhums is not designed for precise operation. Their survival mainly depends on the power of numbers, because you will learn this when you jump off the wrong boulder and become lunch. Micromanaging a growing herd and redistributing their stomach contents is as tedious as walking around. You can press the shoulder button to switch to the Trebhum you are viewing, or press and hold another shoulder button to skip the group during the freeze time, but it is easier to drag and drop resources in the menu.

If the eternal cylinder is awkward, it may also be too forgiving. The narrator-the fait acquaintance storyteller at Fortress and Stanley’s School of Fables-is very generous in providing hints and guidance, making it a good choice for young players. The elements of survival are inconspicuous and even redundant: hunger and thirst are easily satisfied, even before you eat the things that turn Trebhum into a water filter and storage room, despite the later desert and tundra environment increasing risks.

Although the story of the game requires you to track certain mutations from time to time, it is usually possible, so it is tempting to go straight to the next tower. In theory, you will struggle more with larger herds, but this does not prove this in practice. If all other methods fail, you can eliminate the danger by fleeing any Trebhums in danger, giving the game a chance to transport them to you.

(Image source: Good Shepherd Entertainment)

A bigger problem is that the Eternal Cylinder is in a way a basic upgrade marathon, pretending to be something stranger. Once you get used to the aesthetic, mutations can be surprisingly boring. Some are one-off miracles-you can use your Trebhum cubes as door keys, or insert suction cup feet to prevent them from being blown off the wind platform in the shrine puzzle. Others are exotic retellings of the main actions in other games: bend the knees to get higher jumps, and the balloon abdomen is used for sliding to increase water absorption or endurance. The least inspiring thing is for you to create a crystal currency and use it to buy ordinary stamina and health upgrades from the temple. Damn the Cosmic Bulldozer: There is always time to shop.

Although occasional losses and intersections with Cylinder servants will encourage you to confuse things, you can eventually perpetuate certain mutations. Therefore, the whims and fun of the early games gave way to a stable optimization process, and your herd was solidified into the business equipment of the walking bomb factory and the Far Cry resource detector. Some mutations that are not very useful or actively hinder, such as disco skin or eye stems that impair vision, are left aside.

You can view the increasing emphasis on efficiency as a challenge. When you are eager to survive, how much diversity of this world can you retain in Trebhum’s body, even if it is not directly useful elements? But it feels more like the game succumbed to genre conventions rather than presenting such a challenge. Although there are often far-sighted works, the eternal cylinders are mutations that lack brilliance.

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Bart Thompson
Bart is's List Writer . He is from Houston, Texas, and is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in creative writing, majoring in non-fiction writing. He likes to play The Elder Scrolls Online and learn everything about The Elder Scrolls series.