The Endless Mission (PC) Preview

By Renan Fontes 02.12.2019

Review for The Endless Mission on PC

Early Access is a crutch, plain and simple. It can help developers out considerably by generating hands-on feedback from players immediately, but it more often than not leads to developer complacency - especially when a price is attached. The fact of that matter is that developers have no real obligation to finish their products once the money is in their hands. In some cases, titles are pushes out of Early Access with little more than they entered with. Planning two phases of Early Access between now and January 2021, The Endless Mission promises quite a lot - for a price.

The Endless Mission boasts too much content for its own good and it realistically isn't going to be able to deliver on every facet of its design by 2021. As of its November 2019 build, it's home to an editor, a narrative-driven adventure mode, and two distinct playable genres in the form of a platformer and an RTS. The Road Map posted on its Steam Store page promises of a Kart racing genre, multiplayer by February 2020, and "continual development of narrative, genres, and other core features."

It is basic marketing jargon, but what's promised will almost certainly lead to a bloated sandbox editor without a clear lack of identity - which is funny considering how this mishmash of content is being presented as the main draw. To be fair, there's something inherently appealing about an editor filled with detailed, pre-existing assets that players can then play with to create their own "games." It's a novel idea and a natural extension of the RPG Maker and Minecraft models.

As of now, however, there's little depth to either the platforming or RTS genres, and The Endless Mission frankly doesn't boast a strong enough visual style to encourage the dozens upon dozens (likely even hundreds) of hours needed to create something competent and worth playing beyond the novelty of it. If the community can even survive long enough for multiplayer to hit - it almost certainly won't, but dropping multiplayer will naturally bring players back in - the tools aren't there to make truly engaging player created levels.

Screenshot for The Endless Mission on PC

...But, the tools are there to create engaging editing. If there's one thing The Endless Mission gets right without question, it's the ease of editing. Just about any little detail can be customized, leading to a world where you are in genuine control of everything around you. It's a level of interactivity only an unfocused and eclectic editor could pull off. Genres can even be blended in some capacity, but it's here where the title's inherent shortcomings start to hold it back.

None of the genres added are going to have as much mechanical or conceptual depth as their actual genre counterparts. It's not necessarily a bad thing and, really, it only makes sense, but it does mean that if players aren't in it for the actual editing aspect, there's really no meat to The Endless Mission. What little story there is here is bland, character models are quite ugly and stiff (a shame considering how nice the set pieces and other models look), and neither the platforming or RTS genres are remotely as fun as playing an actual platformer or RTS made from the ground up. It can actually be an incredibly handy tool for teaching yourself basic level or game design, but The Endless Mission does have potential to sort itself in the long run.

The best course of action would be to trim the fat altogether. The genres are a nice idea in theory, but they either need to be fleshed out considerably or be cut. Capitalizing on the inherent teaching aspects of the editor would also be a smart bet. The Endless Mission likely won't end up that fun a game, but it could be an excellent learning tool someday.

Screenshot for The Endless Mission on PC

Final Thoughts

The Endless Mission isn't dead on arrival, or aggressively underwhelming like most Early Access titles, but it's straddling that line awfully close. There's room for improvement everywhere - visuals, content, and especially with the script - but what's present won't manifest into much without some course correction. Beyond a genuinely engaging editor, there's little meat to the experience. This title has the potential to be a great learning tool for game developers to-be, or those just looking to dip their toes in the craft, but its road map seems to indicate that it will wind up as an underwhelming sandbox instead. Two years are a long time, though, and anything can happen between now and 2021.

Developer

E-Line Media

Publisher

E-Line, Media

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  n/a

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date TBA   North America release date TBA   Japan release date TBA   Australian release date TBA   

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