If you’re a fan of Rooster Teeth’s RWBY animated show, then you may enjoy playing the video game based on the series. Originally released online as a fan game and turned into official release for PC, RWBY: Grimm Eclipse is a port of the game to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. For fans, it may be fun to dive into some co-op with the girls on home consoles, but for everyone else it definitely won’t be as interesting, especially if you’ve never watched the show before. Combined with a myriad of technical hiccups and some repetitive hack & slash gameplay, RWBY: Grimm Eclipse is only for die-hard fans of the show willing to overlook any issues they encounter.
Grimm Eclipse is a pure hack & slash game that has you constantly battling enemies known as Grimm in a number of chapters. Whether alone or with up to three other friends, you take control of any of the girls from the show and defeat waves of enemies while completing objectives. A few other characters from the show make an appearance during stages, but only offer some dialogue related to the plot.
If you’ve played any hack & slash game, then you know exactly what to expect when playing RWBY: Grimm Eclipse. You’ll mostly be mashing one button to attack Grimm and jumping around in hopes of avoiding groups of enemy attacks. Visually, the game looks very stylized and mimics a lot of what you see in the show. Unfortunately enemies are recycled throughout most of the game, with only variations of baddies that you’ll run into throughout the main story.
Each character can level up through experience you gain from defeating enemies. It takes a long time to level up however, especially if you’re playing alone. Each level you gain opens skill points to spend on new abilities and attacks for that character’s skill tree, which can be reassigned at any time. Unfortunately, most of the moves each character have at their disposal are somewhat similar and experience isn’t shared amongst them all.
This can be a little annoying when you’re playing with a team online and want to switch control to a different character, but need to start over from scratch. This wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t take a while to level up and obtain skills. In addition, the game also locks a few abilities behind some overly tedious tasks that prevent you from reaching them, despite already being at MAX level.
Playing co-op online with a full team of four is where you get the best experience playing through the main story. You can play through the game solo, but it can be much more difficult and not as fun. The main story can take a little under three hours to complete with a full team, more or less depending on the group you are with. Playing solo can take a lot longer, but mainly due to the times you end up getting killed because of the various bugs and glitches that occur as you play. This makes the game a little harder than what it actually is, especially in the later portions of the main story.
There are numerous occasions where you’ll get stuck in place, enemies will connect with attacks that are out of range, and some button inputs won’t get recognized when you hit them. This doesn’t take into account issues that you run into while playing online, including some sessions falling victim to connection problems and making things worse.
Overall, RWBY: Grimm Eclipse is just an okay game. There are some good things for fans of the RWBY series, including extra downloadable content featuring other playable characters, but not much for anyone else. The combat is simple for a hack & slash game, but can be bogged down by a number of technical issues that pop up frequently. Online multiplayer is fun with a few friends if you don’t run into many connection issues, which is good for a game that can be completed in just a few hours. The game has a Horde mode that offers some variety to online multiplayer, but once you’ve played through RWBY: Grimm Eclipse once, there really isn’t enough reason to linger around any longer.
This review was based on a digital review code of RWBY: Grimm Eclipse for the PlayStation 4, provided by Rooster Teeth Games.