There's something Faustian about it: in striking a deal to carry such a powerful banner, it's gotten attention that games of its class would never get. Ironically, it's that banner that invites the most bitter criticism for a game that certainly could have done a lot worse.
In the end what you’re left with is an interesting curio, a relic from a bygone era by a talented developer. Whilst it’s clear to see the game’s ambition and the fact that it’s utterly unique, it’s also encumbered by a bizarre control scheme, some experimental storytelling techniques that don’t pull together well, and some cringe-worthy navel-gazing dialogue that disappears up its own bottom.
Despite this generous clutch of problems, there is an odd charm to the game. Its schlock is part of its allure, and each time I loaded the game, I felt as though I was returning to a well-thumbed piece of pulp horror trash or sliding an old VHS B-movie slasher into the machine – its cheap ghouls awash with scan lines.
To say that it’s repetitive would be akin to calling an online shooter or a sports game repetitive: whilst it absolutely is, it all comes down to whether or not the fun can sustain the repetition. I can’t say it did, really, though being reminded of my old history teacher was scary enough I suppose.
All that to one side and what I’m left with is a passable, extremely repetitive game that offers up brief bursts of catharsis muddled in a misguided sea of queasy colors, and all wrapped up in a convoluted and uncompelling plot. The game isn’t terrible: there is, mechanically, nothing all that wrong with it, and if you like Musou games – and have exhausted the likes Dynasty Warriors or Hyrule Warriors – or if you’re a fan of the Fate series, then there’s some service here for you.
There is a clarity to proceedings that invokes the memory of a time when games were uncluttered with narrative baggage, when a single, simple idea was front and center, and gameplay spoke louder than all else. In that sense, playing Boulder Dash now is a nice little hook, and it will keep you entertained for a short while, but with irritating barriers to progress, and a lack of any depth or nuance, it will be a short while indeed.
There's potential here, and a lot of the game's promise is steeped in maybes and the possibilities that lay behind future updates; right now, Eternal Crusade is an undercooked, bare-bones affair that can, at times, produce a compelling shootout, but on the whole remains a rote and subpar game. For those outside of the Warhammer faithful, there's no real reason to play Eternal Crusade when there are the likes of Destiny, Battlefront, and Overwatch out there that do far more, far better.
A shaky conclusion to a fantastic season, the finale episode is still a solid entry but it doesn't reach the dizzying heights of the first two entries.