Eternal Threads | Review – Rewind time to save the world

Eternal Threads | Review – Rewind time to save the world

 

Eternal Threads is one of those side quests of some apocalyptic RPG, with the world on the verge of ruin while we delight in card games and the recovery of some sheep. Yes, I’m talking about you Geralt of Rivia.

In this first-person adventure developed by Cosmonaut Studios we find ourselves in two thousand and something, an unspecified future made unlivable by the man’s craving for greatness, who has indeed learned to travel through time but at a decidedly high cost: the world is a hopeless radioactive wasteland.

Without too many preambles we therefore find ourselves in the role of Agent 43, with the task of eliminating corruption from the timeline and thus saving our present. A decidedly important task, but whose weight it is hard to perceive in the English town where we are shipped.

The year is 2015 and the situation that presents itself before our eyes is decidedly dramatic. A fire broke the lives of six young roommates, characters who for some reason play a fundamental role in the general framework of our expedition and that we will have to save by changing their choices and investigating the ruins of the house.

Wouldn’t it have been easier to ensure that the fire did not break out directly? No, because such action would only increase temporal corruption. For what reason? We do not know and it is precisely this uncertainty around the purpose of our actions that has made the whole trip less interesting , together with a cast of decidedly uninspired protagonists, between stereotypes and a very fluctuating acting.

We only need a few tools to avoid ruin
As we had already described in our preview , Eternal Threads is not a title that makes action its strong point and, speaking of simple game mechanics, much of the time is spent wandering slowly between the blackened walls of the home.

However, it would be a mistake to include the work of Cosmonaut Studios in the list of pure walking simulators (among which we recommend this one , on Instant Gaming ), because great importance is given to investigations and the player’s ability to put together all the pieces of a puzzle , hoping to save the six victims from smoke and flames.

The tools made available to us are not very many, but this immediacy manages to bring out even more the deductive abilities of the player, who does not have too much extra-diegetic information at his disposal.

The most important element in Agent 43’s arsenal is a sort of computer that he holds around his wrist and projects the numerous events that led to the tragic event on a timeline.

This digital “agenda” can be navigated in the order you prefer, reading each scene in chronological order from start to finish, ranging only between the acts involving a character to better understand his choices or, again, rewinding the tape from concluding remarks and going backwards to understand all the facts.

The interface is also able to effectively return all connections and through lines, question marks and icons you can immediately understand the effects of your choices. It is therefore up to the player to decide how to conduct their investigations and among the various modes there is not one wrong or one right, because everything depends on the ability to interpret and read what comes to life in the form of a hologram and the way in which the house also changes appearance according to the roads taken.

A voiceless enigma
In an almost ghostly silence, the scenes involving the various protagonists are in fact reproduced through projections , which we can listen to and experience closely and on which we also have the ability to affect through the numerous crossroads proposed.

Apparently it does not seem that the various deviations created by our interference have real repercussions, but precisely in this subtlety lies the beauty of Eternal Threads , since our choices will add – or even block – new events to the timeline, but above all they will modify through small details also the offending house.

In addition to the main rooms, such as the kitchen or the bedrooms of the various characters, there are in fact locked doors or various padlocks to unhinge, environmental puzzles to be solved by listening in detail to the various exchanges, as when we found a part of the house that the owner of the apartment kept hidden from all other tenants and that opened up new facets on the tale.

It is therefore essential to carefully explore cabinets and drawers to take note of the latest messages received from the protagonists and to complete the unspoken sentences during the exchange of words, just like real detectives.

The puzzles and the butterfly effect are therefore skilfully combined but, despite these secrets, Eternal Threads suffers from an obvious rhythm problem . The main causes are a general slowness in carrying out the plot – with lots of scenes that add very little – and the constant wandering around the same environments, which in the long run only increase the sense of repetitiveness.

They are actors taken from the street
The real discordant note, however, is the story told, a lack that resonates with greater force given the simplicity of the playful mechanics . First of all, for almost the entire adventure we do not perceive the importance of the protagonists involved, which for some reason we find ourselves having to save without any explanation. While the world is a heap of radioactive debris, we have been sent back in time to hear the anger-control problems of a 20-year-old or the emotional crisis of a young mom.

Only in the finale does the reconstructed story begin to reconnect with our main mission, and then culminate in the classic final twist which, however, does nothing but add more questions, without putting a final answer.

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