Aliens, known as E.B.E, have invaded the Earth. After years of being utterly destroyed and humiliated, humanity utilises alien technology to create super soldiers called the A.N.T.I troops. Super soldiers that can finally take the fight right back to those aliens. No longer on the back foot, humanity launches the New Dawn counteroffensive to drive out the aliens and take back our planet. The plot to Earth’s Dawn might be standard, but it serves the purpose required, giving players both a change of scenery every couple of levels whilst making the enemies harder, better, faster and stronger.
The game itself is a 2-D beat ‘em up with heavy RPG elements. The combat controls are fairly simple, only need a couple of buttons required. A to jump, X and Y to attack, B to activate your Exceed mode where you do more damage, and RT to boost in any direction.
Whilst there are no complex combo trees to memorise, being able to cancel moves or move recovery into boost allows for a liberating combat experience in the air and on the ground.
The mission structure should lend itself to a sense of urgency, the keyword there being should. The idea is that you’re supposed to take a set amount of free missions before each stage of the New Dawn counteroffensive, meaning you have to carefully select which missions to undertake and which subsequent skills to unlock.
These skills range from the usual health and other stat boosts to new weapon loadouts and skill attacks. You can even buff certain attacks to do more damage or stun enemies easier. Most games would rather avoid your finding a one move strategy and sticking with it, but Earth Dawn’s upgrade system practically encourages it.
In theory, only having a set amount of missions should make levelling up and character development limited and each choice of stat boost would be important. The time management aspect would add some much needed depth beyond “slice the aliens until total victory”.
In reality, you can just fail the main mission and go back to levelling up like nothing had happened, free to start the main mission at your earliest convenience.
It’s an unfortunate oversight that happens to undermine the gravitas of the situation. There is no consequence to your failure. There is no choice regarding your loadout because you can just complete everything and maximise your tree before each mission. There is no difficulty because you either are or can become too damn powerful.
And that’s a shame, because Earth’s Dawn has great potential. Had the mission and skill system been optimised better, the players choices and upgrades in the game could have been much more impactful. Still, the combat and graphics do make Earth’s Dawn a pleasure to play.
Have you been playing Earth’s Dawn? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below!
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A fun, if disposable beat 'em up.
Whilst there’s a lot of enjoyment to be found from carving the aliens into tiny pieces, the campaign offers nothing of real consequence. Earth’s Dawn feels like a game that could have been improved using permadeath or more significant time management implementation. Instead, we’ve got a fun, if disposable beat ‘em up.