First up is our disclaimer. We received this game for review purposes only, and as such all opinions in this review are our own. No money has been exchanged for this review.
We have lost a great talent last year named Monty Oum, who helped bring life to Ruby Rose.
As a fan of the show I can say that the work he has done for Rooster Teeth in making RWBY is unlike a lot of other shows; not only in its voice cast, but in its story as well.
Rooster Teeth has said they plan on continuing his works and are dedicated to bringing them to other mediums as well; one of which is RWBY: Grim Eclipse. Now as I write this, I want it to be known that the game is still in Early Access. This review is no way a reflection of the final product. However that being said, I plan on being honest about its current state in hopes that notes are taken regarding its current design.
The game plays as a simple hack’n’slash where you battle across various chapter stages, trying to find out what is going on with the Grim. When you start, you can pick your character from team RWBY. This includes Ruby, Weiss, Blake, and Yang. As you battle your way across various stages you can collect artifacts and fight Grim to unlock abilities from your character’s “ability tiers”.
The abilities you choose can help develop stronger fighting styles or just enhance your moves. The max level cap is 10, which is also how many ability points you can get in one run. After each play through your characters abilities are reset. Besides the abilities during combat there are a wide array of Grim to fight, many of which have already been seen in the show, as well as a new type exclusive to the game!
Although the game is in Early Access, it has a fair amount done in terms of its story and it leaves you with a cliff-hanger at the end of Chapter One. I only hope that the animation will be better than what we’ve seen in the RWBY show. As it stands, a few scenes in the game could do with some re-working and touching up, such as when the building collapses.
My own personal thoughts are tied to the story, where it is fun to play as Ruby Rose. It doesn’t really build upon the world we are experiencing; we are just seeing another story of a character we all love and enjoy. It would be interesting if they took a Rockstar Games approach; have the story written from the protagonist’s viewpoint and play through the game like that. But when online capabilities come in, a player could create a custom character and experience the story firsthand through their own avatar! It would not only expand the story of Ruby, but it would also expand the world in which she lives. Players would feel more involved and enjoy the deep, thriving world that Monty Oum tried to make.
A more solidified tier system for abilities would be useful, as well. I am no stranger to designing games in my free time. I see RWBY: Grim Eclipse and think of how well it could benefit from an ability list like that in Final Fantasy X; being able to expand and grow not only on their own merits but the merits of your team. For example, we know Yang and Ruby each have their unique fighting styles, but as a team they would operate as a grouped unit.
If Weiss were to give Ruby some of her dust, she could utilize it in a new manner of attack, as could Yang. If Ruby or Blake taught Weiss some of their techniques, they would be all the stronger for it. As it stands for me right now, the system which they have in place isn’t very strong and it gives the game a short shelf-life in terms of play-ability.
Given that the game is largely unfinished, I hope the developer does right by Monty and that his works continue to shine for many years. I hope that when Rooster Teeth does read this, they will at least consider some of the ideas I’ve put forward here.