Publisher: Binary Haze Interactive
Platforms: PS4, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Serise X PC
Reviewed On: PS4 Pro
Release Date: 20/07/2021
Reviewed By: Keith Lavelle
Review Rush was kindly supplied with a review code.
Finally, I get to talk about one game that surprised me a lot this year, Ender Lilies. I was expecting it to be as good as it was, especially with so many other 2D souls-like metroidvania’s out there.
You play as Lily, a young girl who has been awakened? By the free spirit of the Umbral Knight, who becomes her sworn protector. She wakes to the kingdom of Land’s End is in ruins as a cursed Rain of Death has transformed all people and animals into monsters called the Blighted. Lily is seemingly the only human with her humanity intact, but she has no memory of events before waking up. Lily must find away to stop the rain and find out what has happened to the kingdom.
The story is integral to the gameplay as much of the gameplay will play right in to the story. Making progression something you do not mind dying for over and over.
Lily is no fighter, in fact she cannot fight at all, she is the vessel the cleansed spirits she frees protect. Lily can run, jump and dodge everything else will come from the spirits she frees. The Umbral Knight is her sword and will always be at her side. He will cut down all that stands in front of Lily to do her harm. Other cleansed spirits will offer her mobility aids such as double jump. To get these new abilities and protectors, Lily will need to defeat the bosses throughout the kingdom. This will unlock more story as well.
As stated Ender Lilies will need Lily to back track to unlock new areas, find treasures and beat more Blighted. With all souls-like games, killing the enemies will grant you exp this will allow you to increase the souls you have collected power and make them more formidable. This is essential to do as Ender Lilies in places can a challenge, so having as much power as possible it paramount. As you will die and die and die until you get it right, then you will die again a few moments later.
Ender Lilies have been developed to give a feeling of loneliness, foreboding, utter destruction and oppression and that just the rain. The world its self gives off the air that all hope is lost and that Lily is the last light left in this Kingdom. And all hope is on her shoulders. Even with all this death, destruction and cleanse of the kingdom and its inhabitances, it is a thing of beauty to see and to play.
The music accompanying the artistry on the screen is perfect. It is minimal even in boss fights. There is a haunting appeal to the tracks along with them being oddly relaxing. Feeling like it should not work, it is actually perfect for the game and the overall tone.
Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights, is a must play even if you are not a massive fan of the souls-like formula it is a work of art. Along with excellent controls and a grand story, there is much to like.
I also know that the souls-like gameplay is not for everyone and if you are not at all a fan, you will want to give it a miss.