Endling: Extinction is Forever, the review of a game about human brutality

We go to the borders of human brutality towards nature in this Endling: Extinction is Forever review

The well-being of our planet is an important issue, which rightly reveals itself to us day after day with ever greater fervor. Environmental struggles have existed for some time, with a constant growth value from the second post-war period up to the present day. Such an important topic often leads to some sort of commercial exploitation by the world of communication, especially in the entertainment subset, but there are (fortunately) many examples in which the desire to point out problems and crises far outweighs the economic return. . This is the case with the debut title of Herobeat Studiosstrongly involved in the fight against the intensive exploitation of the natural environment by man.

Let’s see if they hit the mark in this one Endling’s review: Extinction is forever.

Man’s hand

Endling: a story that begins in flames

The ending is a strongly narrative adventure starring a fox. The game opens with a daring escape through a burning forest due to some shady characters armed with flamethrowers. Having escaped the danger, the fox finds shelter and gives birth to four cubs. These (individually customizable by the player) will be the fulcrum of the game action, since our task will be, at first, to find food and, then, teach them to fend for themselves within this hostile world. unlikely.

The world, in fact, is populated by predators of all kinds, from owls to the most fearsome and dangerous men. These, among hunters, vagabonds, jackals and desperate people, are unscrupulous and obstinate to exploit everything they have at their disposal, so much so that part of the game revolves around the search for a kidnapped puppytaken from our lair.

The most striking thing about this narrative is that there seems to be no redemption, much less hope. We do not want to anticipate anything, but the story, while deeply striking for its genuineness and sweetness, presents a desolate and gloomy soul, black as pitch, where man’s hand she is the one who drops the ax with a mechanical, pounding, relentless rhythm.

Being a fox

Endling: fox life

Endling: fox life

If the narrative is the main focus of the game, functional to the achievement of the ultimate goal (to sensitize the sleepwalker audience with a loud slap), the game it proves even more amazing, in its small way. The game is not linear, but not too “open” either. Basically, we have the possibility to move horizontally within a very layered three-dimensional map, full of crossroads, raised floors and so on. However, our time is limited. In fact, it is necessary to find food for the litter and, at the same time, to explore the environment before the sun rises, since foxes in the wild are mostly active during the night hours.

Every nightthe landscape that surrounds us changes, often drastically. Lush forests quickly become boundless expanses of stumps; where once there was fresh food, soon there is only garbage to rummage through (with the risk of getting caught in some filthy bag). In short, we are witnessing the destruction of an ecosystem at an unthinkable, but perhaps not unlikely, pace.

Endling: the world is full of dangers

Endling: the world is full of dangers

The interactions with the environment they are limited to overcoming more or less high obstacles (including traps), to cuddling their young (perhaps to calm them after the attack by some nocturnal birds of prey), to collecting food (which can vary from hunted prey to products packaged by humans and related scraps) and smelling odors (some related to their missing puppy, others that lead in the direction of possible meals).

All these actions they look simple in themselves, but have some subtleties that make them sufficiently intriguing. For example, you have to crouch down and proceed slowly before hunting down a possible prey, otherwise it will escape, as it is also possible to quickly snatch food from under the eyes of possible criminals and then slip away and deliver it to the little ones only once safe.

Endling: our nose is able to lead us to different goals

Endling: our nose is able to lead us to different goals

Just the puppies prove to be fundamental both on a narrative and playful level. Given their veiled protagonism, their experiences with the world around them are fundamental, so much so that it is the latter who develop the skills and not the character controlled by the player. Everyone has, in fact, the opportunity to acquire specific characteristicssuch as knowing how to climb or being able to hunt some small prey or, again, having the opportunity to slip into narrow spaces. In short, the game has much more depth than it shows at a quick glance, considering that it is completed in a couple of abundant hours.

PC System Requirements

Test Setup

  • Operating system: Windows 11
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-10700
  • Memory: 16 GB of RAM
  • Video card: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070
  • DirectX: Version 12

Minimum requirements

  • Operating system: Windows 10 64 bit
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 / AMD FX-6300
  • Memory: 8 GB of RAM
  • Video card: GTX 760 2GB / Radeon R9 270X 2GB or better
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Memory: 6 GB of available space

Visual quintessence

Endling: In its simplicity, it is a visually spectacular game

Endling: In its simplicity, it is a visually spectacular game

Endling, in addition to having excellent narration and gameplay that knows how to surprise, is also visually appealing. Among all, probably, the technical sector is the one that convinces the most, given that the game is told mainly on an audiovisual level, with well-calibrated shots and highly suggestive views. The graphic style, while being extremely simple and basic, manages to give an amazing glance, very layered, clean and detailed.

Some animations are a bit woody, but overall it’s still a lightning-fast experience, both for the eyes and for the ears, as even the sound sector largely contributes to building the melancholy atmosphere that envelops the entire work of HeroBeat Studio.

Comment

Tested version Windows PC

Digital delivery

Steam, Epic Games Store, GoG, PlayStation Store, Xbox Store, Nintendo eShop

Price
€ 29.99

Endling: Extinction is Forever is a small diamond of the contemporary gaming world, and it’s not too crude either, as these small but ambitious projects that clamor for socio-cultural attention often prove to be. The message behind the product is strong and clear, perhaps fatalistic, melodramatic, of course, but never communicated with sufficiency or hypocrisy. The game itself also works; it flows quickly and with constant rhythms, which tend to never let you detach yourself from the search for the missing young fox. Visually, then, it is a solid product, with a common (and abused) but easily identifiable style, as well as being full of intuitions with a strong spectacular rate. Now it’s up to the players to decide whether it deserves a prominent place within the still relatively short and proud history of gaming. We sincerely hope so.

PRO

  • Narratively bold
  • Visually spectacular
  • Satisfying gameplay

VERSUS

  • The narrative context could have been deepened further