Endling: Extinction is Forever – Review

Endling: Extinction is Forever – Review

In the first five minutes of playing Endling: Extinction is Forever, you can tell it’s one of those games that doesn’t need to be a technological marvel or an action blockbuster, with a thrilling and immersive story that’s sure to touch your soul deep. For the fox mother’s journey (it’s impossible to call it just the fox or the protagonist) is a survival adventure, an intimate journey, and at the same time a call to nature for help.

I’m talking about the first five minutes because that’s where we really get to know Mother Fox. Escaping the flames of the forest fire where he lives, we learn some of the controls we’ll be using on our adventure. The mother fox can jump, sniff, run and climb trees. But only one thing matters now: escape from the fire. Desperate (and so were we, as we watched trees burn and other animals die), she came to a small cave where she faced an even bigger challenge: giving birth to her baby.

Endling: Extinction is Forever – ReviewEndling: Extinction is Forever – Review

Our goal for the first few days was to find and get food to keep the four little ones healthy while avoiding other predators, mostly the odd humans wandering around. We only go out at night, in the dark shade, and using our scent, we can find and eat anything: wild berries, rubbish, little mice, fish… anything to keep our kids healthy. But then an unfortunate incident occurs when a scavenger (human) takes one of his children out of the cave, which sparks the family’s journey to find him. It’s going to be a dangerous journey, but at this point, as a player, I’m giving my all to help this boy find his family again.

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Young children are an important part of not only the story, but also the gameplay, and the feeling that the title is behind. Maybe it’s because, like Mother Fox, I’m a father myself. Because the constant feeling that my baby has survived hunger and danger is what keeps me going. Prodigal sons produce scents, and every night we go out in search of scent trails that will lead us to new clues about the paths the scavengers are taking with our sons, while exploring their surroundings and keeping the rest of the cubs safe while you teach them how to survive.

Endling: Extinction is Forever – ReviewEndling: Extinction is Forever – Review

There is a “metroidvania” component in Endling, based on the learning of its children. There are places where mom can’t access because of her fox size, but not for younger children, who will learn new skills through events such as accidental falls and subsequent advice, such as digging, jumping, or walking through walls fence or hole. This will gain access to new food resources and open up new paths, although the latter is also tied to story development.

As I already mentioned, there is a cycle of day and night, we just venture out of the shelter under cover of darkness, and whether we reach our destination or not, we must return before sunrise. Many times we have to choose between letting our prey run away or not following the scent trail of a lost child because we are too far from the burrow and need to get back as soon as possible (even if it means making noise and putting us in more danger) ). Like I said, the important thing here is to keep the family alive.

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At this point, it’s time to talk about another component of Endling: Extinction is Forever, the world we live in. The map (an important tool in this game for investigating all routes, events and food sources) is divided into areas. All of these areas are located around factories and some buildings inhabited by some cruel humans. I say cruel because every encounter you have with them is representative of the way our species treats the world. Polluting rivers, skinning poor rabbits, using factories, disposing of waste… With the exception of more advanced parts of the game, humans will be the main enemy. The world is dying, but nature continues to prevent death in a beautiful way. Plants, riverbeds…even some dangers like owls are beautifully embedded into the scene, giving the area a sense of depth as we move through the scene by rolling, twisting and changing direction. Beautiful music, with simple, warm, melancholy melodies, is also a wonderful addition to the story.

Endling: Extinction is Forever – ReviewEndling: Extinction is Forever – Review

Without being too tough (if you’re not too reckless), you can keep the puppy intact most of the time. But if you make mistakes, or don’t react quickly enough to encounters (showing up as fast events), every failure costs you as a player and the game itself, because you risk losing a child that no one else is capable of, and you Will have to find another path that makes the adventure more difficult. Sometimes there seems to be no way to move on, or there is no food left. It can be a little frustrating knowing you’ll end up hurting and limping against enemies on your way home, but at least you’ll survive another day of fighting. Hope the kids are safe too. I also think his kids’ skills should be learned as a group because everyone is there, everyone can see the learning, and they can embrace it together. But what Herobeat Studios is looking for here is that you value and love the personal value of each child, not as a replaceable part.

At times Endling is a grueling adventure and a little unfair (like life itself), but at the same time it has a lot of beauty and purpose that games are designed to achieve and that few do. Despite its short length, this game has left as much of an imprint on me as the previous Journey or Firewatch. I think Endling is going to be one of those games that I want to revisit from time to time as if it were part of my family.

Endling: Extinction is Forever – ReviewEndling: Extinction is Forever – Review