It’s always interesting to see developers take some pretty big swings for the fences, trying out new variations in play style to forge a path of their own. The downside is that when such swings fail to connect the results can be a bit painful. I can’t fault the ambitious idea behind Aeon Must Die, trying to mix the feel of a side-scrolling beat-em-up with more of a technical fighting mentality, and on that level the result is actually interesting. In order to discourage you from just locking into the same attack pattern that works against all comers, as can sometimes happen with the genre, Aeon has a heat gauge that you’ll need to constantly keep an eye on and manage through the use of different attacks and defensive moves. This added layer of complexity, aside from simply trying not to get beaten up, does create some tension and initially it helps the gameplay feel pretty fresh. Sadly, it doesn’t take long before you’ll still inevitably lock into some pretty set patterns, simply responding to your status gauge position on a consistent basis to keep it in check. Add to that some problems where performance can feel inconsistent and a bit jerky at times and the overall experience ends up feeling like it has potential, it just can’t figure out how to make it all more compelling to keep coming back to.
Justin Nation, Score: