Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising is the most beautiful game of PAX East 2022
Easy on the eyes.
Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes is an upcoming JRPG set for launch in 2023, but developers NatsumeAtari and Rabbit & Bear Studios are already hard at work on a prequel — Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising. Inspired in part by Konami’s beloved Suikoden series, this 2.5D action RPG boasts a stunning art style, wonderful characters, and digestible gameplay—perfect for those looking for a compact 25-hour adventure.
During Pax East 2022, Inverse had a chance to try out a demo for Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising, and although it was a short experience, we’re eager to get our hands on the full build when it launches in May 2022.
Immediately, the most impressive aspect of Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising is its art style, which consists of incredibly beautiful assets that pop, making it hard to look away from the screen. The vibrant colors mesh well with one another, and thanks to the stunning linework, everything is easy to take in—especially the grass, and other objects in the foreground. Oftentimes in similar games, backgrounds and environments don’t get as much love as the characters themselves, so it’s refreshing to see Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising strike such an appealing balance with its presentation.
Once you start moving around, things become even more impressive, as the animations are fluid, yet still feel like they’ve been created by hand, with an almost construction paper-like approach that gives this game so much personality. Even before getting to the gameplay and story, Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising is gripping, thanks to its art.
Simple, yet elegant
When it comes to gameplay, Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising starts off relatively simple, and never gets too complicated, at least according to 505 Games. While this might be a turnoff to some, we’re pleased with the idea of a shorter, more manageable experience, especially after enduring hundreds of hours of Elden Ring.
At first, your character has a basic melee strike, but as you accumulate more party members, your abilities expand, giving you plenty of attacks to unleash upon your foes. We didn’t get to try out the other characters, but apparently, combat becomes far more interesting later on, since you’re able to switch to different party members on the fly.
According to 505 Games, certain party members deal high amounts of damage up close, while others are more so meant for ranged battle, offering a variety of ways to engage with enemies throughout the world. Players looking for complicated combat with plenty of variation might not be into Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising, but those seeking a more approachable experience are in for a treat. No need to memorize lengthy combos or be perfect with your button-presses to succeed in this game.
Aside from combat, you’ll also need to collect resources to rebuild your town, and craft useful items that will help you along your journey. These side activities help bolster the overall gameplay, which breaks up some of the repetition of the combat.
While we hardly scratched the surface of Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising’s story during our demo, we did manage to get through a couple of quests, setting the tone for the greater narrative at large. The first quest required you to locate a missing cat named Yum-Yum, which sprinkled in bits of the tutorial throughout. Despite being such a straightforward quest, it was satisfying, especially since it required you to ask townsfolk for information before defeating enemies in a deadly forest, and eventually locating the feline companion.
After returning Yum-Yum to their human, you move on to a bit more of a sophisticated quest that sends you back into the forest to defeat a boss: a deadly tree that shoots beams of energy at you. Along the way, we ventured through a dungeon and partook in light platforming, all while gathering materials to strengthen our home base. Ultimately, the goal is to rebuild the town, which was destroyed by an earthquake.
It’s unclear how the story will unfold, but based on the first 30 minutes, it’s likely Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising will give us a heartwarming, humorous adventure—hopefully with a few twists and turns.
Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising launches for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, and PC on May 10, 2022.