Tell me if you haven’t heard this story before? Aliens are attacking the planet and our defenses are completely useless. We’re being slaughtered left and right, it looks like humanity is doomed to become our aggressors’ snack food. All is lost, until we suddenly find a way to fight back and now we’re in the fields taking to the baddies as only super powered humans can do.

earths-dawn-xboxone-boxart-01Game Name: Earth’s Dawn (also known as Earth Wars)
Platform(s): Xbox One (Reviewed), PlayStation 4

Publisher(s): Rising Star Games
Developer(s): One Or Eight
Genre: Action RPG

Release Date: November 1, 2016
Price: $29.99

Yeah, I thought so and this is basically the same premise here as well. In Earth’s Dawn, the Earth is being ravaged by an alien race, who we dubbed as E.B.E. They’ve laid the smackdown on the entirety of Earth’s defense’s and things are looking grim. That is until we figure out how to incorporate the E.B.E’s own technology, creating super soldiers known as A.N.T.I. (I don’t make up the names). Using this new found power, humanity is taking the fight to the E.B.E and while the story is generic, we’re not here for the story.

What we here for is the action! Non-stop, kicking ass, walking tall and taking names kind of action. Earth’s Dawn, is at heart an old-school 2D beat em’ up title with some Action-RPG elements tossed in for good measure. But we’ll get to that in a moment, let’s get back to the action. Taking control of your A.N.T.I soldier is relatively easy and after a few moments, you’ll be transformed into this mere weakling to super soldier in no time.  Only several buttons are used , with the Y button used for attacking,A  is to jump while pressing it again provides a double jump, the B button is used to activate “Exceed” mode which provides you with more power to do even more damage and RT lets you boost in the direction you’re facing.

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Action, you want action? Well, you got it! The combat in Earth’s Dawn is all about the combos and in your face action. Charge into your enemies with your blade swinging, cleaving them in the face, knocking them into the dirt then quickly thrusting them into the air and finishing them off with a shot from your gun. Or you can whack them over and over, stabbing away with reckless abandon, it’s your call. There aren’t any combo’s to memorize either, you’re simply there to press buttons and attack however you feel fit to. You can even start combos, cancel them out to go attack something else and then pick up where you left off. I haven’t had as much fun as I had with Earth’s Dawn in quite some time. You’ll encounter all sorts of enemies in the game as well, not just the smaller cannon fodder enemies but also bosses that can take up a portion of the screen. Make no mistake, however, as much as I say you can attack until your fingers fall off, you won’t be able to do that against the bosses as they require a plan of attack. Some of them can make your day miserable by handing you defeat after defeat. Oh, and you can’t die either, so if you find yourself fighting the same boss after fifteen turns, you’ll need to figure out something or just bid your time as you whittle it down over time.

Throughout your gameplay session, you’re gain levels and skill points, of which can be used in a matter of methods. Skill points will let you customize your character and let you specialize in specific areas. This mean that you’re able to decide how awesome your character becomes. I’ll add that the skill point allocation system is very daunting and confusing at first look. There’s no real direction on how to use it and as such you’ll stumble for a while, as you decipher just how to assign those skill points.

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This also applies to your weapons and gear. Don’t like your current set of weapons, or wish it had more damaging abilities? Well, that’s fine as you’re able to craft new weapons as well as enhance them, thanks to the crafting system. There you’re able to build masterpieces of chaos and even break down your old and busted weapons that you don’t want anymore. It’s really quite expansive and you can easily sit there for minutes while you’re deciding on what you’re going to make and determining if you have the materials to craft it. I also like the fact that in addition to ordinary gear, you can craft items with buffs such as Ice or fire elements. There’s a downside to this, however, and that’s the grinding. There are times when you just don’t have enough to craft something and in order to get those needed materials or energy that you need,  you’ll have to head back into your previously completed areas. Now repeat this over and over, which is exactly what happens. There’s a bit of grinding to do as well, which leads to the game’s repetitive nature. 

While there’s no sort of online mode or leaderboards, Earth’s Dawn does grade players after their battles and awards a ranking, with “S” ranking being the best. This is going to be something that many gamers will be playing with once they’ve gone through the game and trying to beat their previous scores. Didn’t like that you got a “C”, on a previous area? Well, go back and work on that ranking as every area is unlocked and is replayable once you’ve beaten it once.

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Where have I seen this before?

Graphically, the game is a mixture of simplistic and detailed looks. The animation is fluid and is more colorful than I would expect for a dreadful battleground. It kind of reminds me of some of VanillaWare’s earlier titles, to be honest. That said, I did notice some slowdown from time to time, it was completely random. It never interfered with the combat and mostly happened during stage transitions which make sense, since the game was loading into the next stage. Now the music, on the other hand, is metal and rock, the perfect combination to get you into the action and it fits perfectly. Lastly, there are no English voices in this game. As this is a port of the original title, Earth’s War, they opted to not record any English voices.

*Earth’s Dawn was provided to us for review purposes. For more information on how we review video games and other media/technology, please go review our Review Guideline/Scoring Policy for more info.

Killing Floor 2
  • Earth's Dawn is tons of fun and combat for everyone!

Overall

This is like if you took Earth Defense Force, Starship Troopers and Guardian Heroes and tossed them into a blender. A wonderfully action packaged game, tons of fun combat and a vast customization system, Earth's Dawn is well worth the price of admission. The only thing that drops the title a notch or two is the grindy nature of the game, still, if you can get past that then you'll enjoy Earth's Dawn.

Pros:

  • Oh, the combat is fun as can be.
  • The crafting system is a nice touch.
  • Holy shit, that boss is huge!

Cons:

  • I know it's unavoidable, but damn the grind is annoying.
  • This game screams for some co-op action. Where's the online?
4

About The Author

Keith Mitchell
Editor-in-chief and all-around good guy!

Founder and Editor in Chief of The Outerhaven. Fan of all video games and technology. Loves long walks in with very long swords in hand.