[PlayStation 5] Aeterna Noctis Review
Aeterna Noctis from Aeternum Game Studios and Sony Interactive Entertainment is a solid Metroidvania that you should check out on PS5. Learn more in our Aeterna Noctis review!
Aeterna Noctis from Aeternum Game Studios and Sony Interactive Entertainment is a solid Metroidvania that you should check out on PS5. It offers a challenging 2D action platforming adventure in which an endless battle takes place for the throne of Aeterna, an infinite cycle of light and darkness in order to maintain the balance of the universe. After your defeat to the Queen of Light, you must traverse the world of Aeterna as the King of Darkness to recover your power, so that you can once again ascend and continue your eternal battle for the crown.
After the game was recently patched, you can now play it in one of two difficulty settings: Aeterna and Noctis. Noctis is the original experience, which is more challenging and will require you to be careful as you take on the many enemies on your path and solve trickier platforming segments and puzzles. Aeterna is the new mode which considerably lowers the difficulty, but you do need to be aware of how selecting Aeterna as your difficulty will make it impossible for you to unlock trophies.
You’ll control your character with the left analog stick, as you jump with the X button and attack with the Square button. You can also jump and press down by using the Square button to perform a downward attack, which will allow you to bounce off enemies. If you want to take a look at what awaits around you, use the right analog stick to swing the camera around as needed. If you find a health potion, you can use it by pressing up on the D-Pad to heal some of your wounds. There are also special dimensional vials that can be used by pressing left on the D-Pad to teleport you to the last throne you visited. Later on, you’ll gain access to a special gem that can be filled with the blood of the enemies you defeat. Once it’s full, you’ll be able to press down on the D-Pad to heal one health point.
As you defeat enemies you will get to collect energy shards that will allow you to gain skill points that can be used to open up new paths on the skill tree for Aeterna Noctis. By spending your hard-earned skill points, you’ll be able to boost the critical damage dealt with all weapons, increase your melee damage, lower the cooldown period for the quick dash ability, boost the chance of landing a critical hit, increase the invulnerability period after you’re hit, boost the damage dealt with arrows, and more.
You start the game with four hit points, which are useful, but hardly the best-case scenario. This is why you should look everywhere for heart fragments to collect. Every time you manage to find three of them, you’ll gain an extra health point, which will certainly be useful when you’re taking on a boss fight. To recover your health and save your progress as you play Aeterna Noctis – and especially before a boss fight, you will need to sit in one of the many thrones you’ll find during your quest. The thrones will also serve as quick travel points, so that you can move around Aeterna with ease as you find more and more thrones.
To prove your worth and recover all of your power, you will need to collect ten keys so that you can open the ten doors at the Temple of the Kings so that you can take on a new challenge. Complete each challenge, and you’ll be rewarded with some of your lost power. The first key for the first gate will be given to you early in your journey. Complete the challenge of the first door, and you’ll regain your dash ability, which can be used with the R2 button to quickly move around the ground or the air, thus reaching areas that were previously out of reach.
You’ll soon find a character that can help you with the exploration side of Aeterna Noctis… for a price. The many coins you’ll collect from defeating enemies and opening treasure chests will be put to good use for purchasing maps of each region you visit, a more detailed atlas that will reveal the location of secrets in the area, colored markers you can use to set a custom mark for specific locations in the map that are of interest, as well as purchase a refill for your health potion or dimensional vial.
This character is a fan of the King of Darkness, so after asking him a bunch of questions, he’ll gift you with a gem. You can find a ton of gems during your time exploring, and you can equip them to receive boosts to your stats. The first one you’ll get will be a light alloy that will increase your chance to land a critical hit by 5%, but you can obtain others to have your sword attacks shoot out a wave attack, or improve the damage dealt with arrows or the scythe. After his fall from grace, the King of Darkness will only have one slot on which to equip a gem, but as you progress through Aeterna Noctis, you’ll unlock five additional slots.
If you take a short detour after meeting this character and explore a dark cave just below him, you’ll be able to find not only a new throne for saving your progress and to use as a fast travel point, but also a key that will allow you to open the door to Asnur’s store. He’s a merchant located in the starting area of the game, and he can offer some very interesting and important items for sale at premium prices. You can get a heart fragment, a skill point, dark material, or pure magnetite to increase the range at which the magnet ability – which you unlock by way of skill points – can attract coins.
The game features a full trophy list with a Platinum trophy for you to work on, as you obtain the 14 Bronze trophies, 19 Silver trophies, and 3 Gold trophies that Aeterna Noctis has in store for you. The first one you’ll get out of the way will pop when you manage to complete the game’s tutorial. After this, you’ll have to defeat every boss in the game, collect all keys that grant you access to the ten stages in the Temple of the Kings and complete said stages, collect all weapons, all abilities, all heart fragments, every lore point, and all available skill points. It’s not an easy task, so you better be ready!
Aeterna Noctis is a Metroidvania I had been waiting to check out from the moment it was announced, and I’m here to report that it’s definitely one of the best ones on PlayStation. It offers dozens of hours of content, a skill tree to work your way through, challenging combat and platforming segments, bosses that will test your skills at all times, a nice variety of enemies of all shapes and sizes, new skills and abilities that will help you adapt to the new ordeals you’ll take on, and a full trophy list that will take a while for you to complete. It’s one of the best games to come out of the PlayStation Talents initiative, and a must-play on PlayStation 5. Aeterna Noctis is out with a $34.99 price.
This Aeterna Noctis review is based on a PlayStation 5 copy provided by Sony Interactive Entertainment.