Rooster Teeth’s excellent RWBY animated series has finally come to consoles after releasing on Steam way back in 2015. The hack-and-slash adaptation of the animated series is well priced at £15.99, although you will need to drop a further £3.99 if you want to play as a member of JNPR team.
Set in the world of Remnant, dark creatures of Grimm wage war against humanity. Teams of four Huntsmen and Huntresses stand against these forces using the power of Dust to buff their weapons, which double up as a gun. If you haven’t watched the series, then I recommend you do so before playing RWBY Grimm Eclipse – without the series there’s very little grounding to the events of the game and this is its biggest omission. The license of the anime is vastly underused.
While it looks authentic, the soundtrack superb and the voice actors all present and correct, there’s very little to ground the campaign’s events, especially if you aren’t familiar with the series – no introduction to the characters, no cut scene setting the back story, not even a tutorial – just a narrated story that loosely sets the scene.
Single player is limited to the campaign mode, and playing on your own will make the simple combat mechanics very repetitive. Take the game online and the action intensifies, with enemy frequency and difficulty scaling to your party, making the combat feel far less of a grind as you work together as a team. RWBY Grimm Eclipse is certainly best played in multiplayer.
Multiplayer also allows you to play horde mode, where you must defend security nodes against increasingly difficult waves of Grimm. Turrets can be built to help you, choosing from machine guns and flamethrowers or even grenade launchers. Horde is a great way to gain XP for your characters and gain pride and prestige by being the top player – at least it would if you could see the scores of your teammates.
Combat is extremely solid throughout and even though it’s simple, linking together light and heavy attacks with dash can create some devastating combos – you just have to work out each combo for yourself. Beyond the simple combat, including a parry move when an enemy broadcasts their attack, there’s little depth and even though new enemies force you to mix up your tactics, the same techniques can be spammed over and over again. An XP tree allows you to buff your attacks and health, but does little else to change the flow of combat.
Instead of the standard level-up XP tree, each segment of the tree is a challenge that must be completed before it can be purchased with tokens you gain through leveling your character. To max out the tree you need to rank up the whole team – achieved when each character hits level 10 – this is certainly for hardcore fans.
While it doesn’t take too long to level up, to get to the lofty heights of rank 10 you must first get all characters to level 10, not a huge issue but with the annoying progress reset plaguing the Xbox One version, it makes playing online quite the game of roulette as to whether you get reset, although I believe I have worked out a way to stop this from happening.
I really enjoyed playing as each of the members of team RWBY, not only does the combat look different, but each character plays differently and although there are many similarities to the combat, the main differences are in technique. Some characters are best suited to ranged-attacks while others are better at aerial or close combat assaults. Having access to team JNPR helps this further, increasing the longevity and enjoyment of the game.
I feel it would also have made more sense to include a central hub world like Beacon Academy where you can interact with the rest of your team or other online players, and it would have been an ideal opportunity to invest XP tokens into the tree, which instead, must be done in game with the action never pausing.
As is often the case with these kinds of games, the camera can be rather troublesome, crashing into the ground or shielding your view of the action by clipping into the environment, but with the press of the left trigger, it smoothly centres behind your character. Thankfully, this didn’t happen too often, just always at the wrong time.
The simplicity of RWBY Grimm Eclipse’s combat really works, especially when things get intense online, making for an enjoyable button mashing hack-and-slash. But as smooth as the combat is, the game misses the mark by not recreating or using the show’s assets – Attack on Titan really nailed this – instead, RWBY Grimm Eclipse is a decent hack-and-slash title that fans of the show will get the most out from, while hack-and-slash fans will still find a decent title that won’t leave a vast hole in your pocket.
Thanks to Xbox and Rooster Teeth Games for supporting TiX