Eternity Warriors 2
Chop your way to victory and better loot in Glu Mobile's monster-filled sequel.
Glu Mobile's Eternity Warriors 2 is loud, brutal and in your face, three necessary components of any action game. It never attempts to be anything more than that, with each level sending you into a dank-looking catacomb or crumbling ruins, tasked with laying waste to hordes of skeleton warriors, spiders, trolls and other baddies hell-bent on clobbering your hero into mush. There's blood, dizzying special attacks and a war chest filled with loot, but most importantly, this thrilling iOS and Android dungeon crawler is a head-crushing, creature-slaughtering good time.
Story-wise, the game comes up short. Taking place 100 years after the original Eternity Warriors and the First Demon War, those terrible creatures have returned, setting up refuge in Demon Towers overrun with monsters. Naturally, there's only one viable solution: exterminate every living (or in this case, undead) thing. Not exactly the deepest plot, but it has a simplistic charm that takes us back to the NES days, when a game's story was summed up on one tiny page.
Besides, you didn't charge into the Undead Spire or Shivering Refuge to engage in diplomatic relations with zombies. You came here to crack some skulls, and Eternity Warriors 2 lets you scratch that itch, and does so wonderfully. The game is easily-digestible, with a responsive analog stick that appears whenever your thumb touches the left side of the screen, along with virtual buttons to attack, block, unleash a Rage attack and charge up a Skill. Very basic stuff, which is great, because the developers at Glu always keep the focus on button mashing like crazy to outlast eight or more baddies at a time, and what's especially impressive is how smooth everything is, from the hero's swings to the various special effects. We noticed a slight hiccup in the Android version, running on Samsung's Galaxy S2, but on the iPad, we struggled to find a performance hiccup of any kind. This even carries over to online multiplayer, where you can team up with another player and tackle dungeons co-operatively. Surprising, to say the least.
That said, combat is for the most part extremely satisfying, as you eviscerate foes with a variety of razor-sharp weapons, some of which you have the privilege of dual wielding. Enemy difficultly spikes dramatically the more you play, but only to encourage you to micromanage everything about the warrior, from upgrading to a superior weapon to outfitting him with stronger helms, leggings, belts and arm pieces, which brings us to bread and butter of many a dungeon crawler: loot. To be fair, Eternity Warriors 2 doesn't seem to have as much as the competition, but what's here works, and you'll want to grab each piece of shiny goodness left behind from defeated enemies, including coins. From there, you have the option of upgrading weapons, and Glu implemented an interesting risk versus reward system that may result in failure if you choose to upgrade using coins over gems, which guarantee a 100 percent success rate.
Of course, this also ties into the game's freemium structure. Coins are easy enough to come by from replaying stages. Gems (Glu Credits on Android) are much tougher to acquire. You'll also notice that, the further you progress, monsters become insanely tough to kill, forcing you to choose a better weapon. But wait? You don't have enough coins or gems to afford the best gear? Well, that's what in-app purchases are for. Therein lies the hook. In kingdom-building games, you may need to buy more virtual money to speed up the construction process or expand. With Eternity Warriors 2, it's all about carrying the best axe or mace for the job. Otherwise, you'll get your butt kicked each and every time. That is, unless you aspire to constantly replay the same old dungeons.
Our biggest issue with the game, however, involves having just one playable character, that being the warrior (melee) class. Typically, dungeon crawlers come with other classes to enjoy, like sorcerers and scouts. Here, you can only play as the one guy, without the option to switch genders.
On that note, Eternity Warriors 2 is a step behind the best this sub-genre has to offer when you add consoles and PC to the mix, but you shouldn't let that small complaint prevent you from experiencing this highly polished and downright cool action game from Glu, as it's still one of the finest titles for iOS and Android. We see room for improvement, but on the positive side, that's what updates are for.
What's Hot: Fast-paced and thrilling combat, numerous monsters on-screen at once, collecting loot and then making upgrades, seamless online co-op, adrenaline-fueled action music.
What's Not: You may need to spend money to buy powerful gear, only one playable character.