Earth’s Dawn is a side-scrolling action RPG fighting game developed by Oneoreight and published by Rising Star Games. In Earth’s Dawn the Earth has been invaded by a group of aliens known as the E.B.E. and due to their technological upper hand, have dominated humanity whilst facing limited resistance. This is where you the player comes in! You play as a member of an elite squad of soldiers known simply as A.N.T.I. in your quest to vanquish the alien invaders and reclaim a destroyed Earth. As a member of this elite group, scientists and military weapons engineers have equipped you with some highly sophisticated hardware specially designed to fight the alien menace through the use of their own technology. Your weapons and armor have been modified to merge both living E.B.E. cells and metal machine into cyborg-like armor that allows you to fight as a super-human.
Backstory aside, the game itself plays as a shooter-hack and slash hybrid across a 2D side-scrolling platform. In Earth’s Dawn you will have to navigate different levels with varying alien encounters and abilities and the occasional boss encounters which offer some great gameplay and challenges. In Earth’s Dawn the gameplay in terms of storyline progression works in two ways. First there are the main missions which must be completed to further unlock side missions in that same area. After you complete the main missions, you will be given a timer on the main menu which denotes the time until the next counteroffensive mission—or main mission. During this downtime between main missions it is important to complete the side missions. These side missions are a way to level up, gain skill points and collect reagents used to build, upgrade and customize weapons and armor. Completing a mission awards skill points as well as by leveling up through overall progression. These skill points are used to customize player play style through, increased damage, defensive or technological boosts to your soldier through a skill tree. In addition, you can link specific attack modifiers to certain abilities such as a down-slash or a combo move in order to boost the damage of a particular ability which drastically increased the customization of Earth’s Dawn.
In terms of graphical style, Earth’s Dawn really reminded me of the Metal Slug series of games. In Earth’s Dawn the art style is very much thematically based in anime. From the backdrops of the side-scrolling, to the individual art of the aliens and characters, everything is Japanese anime. The only thing that I would say isn’t necessarily “drawn”, is the ability effects and collision particles in the combat system. The effects themselves are flashy, and finishing off a group of aliens can be very satisfying because of how well the combat looks and flows. Aside from that, you’ll find yourself fighting through multiple different zones which take you from above ground to deep tunnels below encountering all manners of challenging extraterrestrials along the way.
The only shortcomings I can attribute to Earth’s Dawn is that the game play style was very repetitive and at times I felt slightly underwhelmed by the non-boss alien difficulty and the lack of explication when it came to the loot system in Earth’s Dawn. Boss fights on the other hand were engaging and challenging, making it fun to learn each unique encounter and what strategies worked beset to dodge, attack and ultimately defeat each boss. In addition I found that while the talent tree was highly customizable and offered some interesting specialization options, it was in my opinion overly complicated and for someone starting out, it may offer a slight handicap in terms of playability.
Overall, I’d say that if action packed hack and slash games are your thing, then Earth’s Dawn is well worth giving a try. Although I’m personally not a huge anime fan, I think that the art style really added some interesting additions to the play style and all things considered I would rate Earth’s Dawn 6.5 out of 10 points.
Here is Earth’s Dawn gameplay video:
Earth’s Dawn is now available for PC on Steam as well as PS4.
Related: Earth’s Dawn Review for PS4