Eneme Entertainment's Eitr was on show during last week's E3 in Los Angeles. Zach Welhouse reports back on the time he spent at the show with the Norse mythology-based RPG.
Eitr is a challenging action RPG from Eneme Entertainment that follows a shield maiden through the nine worlds of Norse mythology. The E3 PS4 demo didn't dive deep into the plot or myth, instead focusing on the the core combat mechanics. The dark, isometric graphics are a striking use of skinny-legged, pixely characters common to the indie scene. Here, the dash-and-slash through dangerous streets, plays out in a way our own Zack Webster describes as "2D Dark Souls." I can't speak to that comparison, but I can say I died a lot — just like in Necropolis, the other RPG from the showfloor that critics frequently compared to Dark Souls.
Like Necropolis, combat in Eitr is unforgiving. The most effective strategy for traversing the demo was shooting each enemy with my limited quiver of arrows before switching to my sword and stiking a slow, heavy blow. The heavy blow requires timing the attack so the enemy doesn't walk past it and murder the player while I'm still swinging, but it's harder to counter than a series of quicker strikes. Chaining attacks together and breaking an enemy's guard with kicks is satisfying when it works, so mastering the system is probably the key to survival. Rationing stamina, which is required for running and dodging, and health potions is likewise important. Enemy attacks can be blocked with a shield or dodged, but mastering those buttons was beyond me. Worse, blocking too many strikes in a row left me stunned, helpless, and ultimately dead.
Most enemies dropped loot when they died, which influenced twenty-eight different statistics and eight traits. Constitution, Strength, and Stamina were all familiar ways to understand a hero's abilities, but it was unclear how my Bravery and Pride scores aided survival. I filled my pack with swords, rings, and boots, but arrows and potions seemed more limited. There was no sign of how to gain the elemental damage mentioned on the status screen or lightning-wreathed swords shown in the trailer, but they will no doubt come in time with fire, blood, and practice.