ENDER LILLIES: Quietus of the Knights (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Athanasios 15.08.2021 2

Review for ENDER LILLIES: Quietus of the Knights on Nintendo Switch

ENDER LILLIES: Quietus of the Knights blends the exploration style of the so called metroidvanias, with the look and atmosphere, as well as the narrative and combat philosophy of FromSoftware's legendary Dark Souls. While enjoyable, especially for fans of similar titles, the end result is something that kind of misses the mark, both when it comes to what makes a good metroidvania or a good soulslike. Not a bad game, by any means, so read on to see for yourself if it's something that will appeal to you or not, in the review of the Switch version.

A snow white-coloured, frail girl awakens in a dark chamber, with no recollection of her past. A spectral knight appears in front of her, and escorts her throughout her journey, offering his sword, as well as his commentary on the world of Land's End. The story, which is mostly told through scattered notes, as well as mini-cutscenes after the defeat of a boss character, slowly unveils the mystery behind this young priestess, and her role in this dying place, where a terrible blight has cursed its inhabitants, filling it with all kinds of abominations. Sadly, while the story will keep things interesting for a while, and fans of games that slowly feed you with lore will surely enjoy what's on offer, this fails to actually motivate the player into completing the game, or giving a damn about anything that goes on.

Screenshot for ENDER LILLIES: Quietus of the Knights on Nintendo Switch

You just do stuff, occasionally read some stuff, and then simply complete the game, with a general feeling of being disconnected from it all. It's one of those strange occasions where the story is far from bad, and yet it becomes increasingly hard to care about anything. Unfortunately, this perfectly encapsulates the whole experience of ENDER LILLIES: Quietus of the Knights, as it can generally be described as a title that does nothing wrong (and is in fact masterfully crafted), and yet seems to be forgettable, with the best example being its visuals. This is, undoubtedly, a stunningly beautiful game, surprisingly so for the first release of a small indie studio, and it easily puts the entire Castlevania franchise to shame… and yet few scenes actually stand out, and have that immersive, sense of place that it desperately needs.

It's hard to describe why, but from the story, to the visuals, to the sound, the developer has made something that's actually really, really good… but has also made you feel completely apathetic towards everything. The OST, for instance, is an assortment of deeply melancholic piano melodies, that add to the funereal, "everything is dead" vibe of ENDER LILLIES. Great? Yes, but after hearing them for more than an hour, all tunes kind of blend together, not a single one standing out from the rest, with you simply perceiving them as background noise. It doesn't help that these continue to play during the many boss fights, something that completely ruins the expected tension of the moment, despite the sad music being thematically correct, as the game soon explains that these villains, are actually victims.

Screenshot for ENDER LILLIES: Quietus of the Knights on Nintendo Switch

At the end of the day, story, presentation, and audio-visuals are all things that can't always be analysed objectively. It's all in the eye of the beholder, after all. What doesn't fall into the realm of subjectivity, though, is gameplay. How does this fair in that department? Well, you can say it does everything a metroidvania is supposed to have, like a large maze to explore, and abilities to acquire which will help the heroine in visiting new locations, and doing the whole thing all over again. Now, it's no secret that pretty much all metroidvanias follow the same basic formula… it's just that ENDER LILLIES is probably a bit too formulaic, and as a result, unoriginal. Even worse, the exploration bit, for many the bread and butter of such titles, sits right in the middle. Aka, it's mediocre.

To be more specific, it doesn't challenge you at all when it comes to exploration, as even less experienced players will realise that they just have to go through the motions to go from A to B; a little bit of platforming, and little bit of minor "problem-solving," and the occasional, but unimaginative use of a skill, which won't require any sort of thinking or skill on your behalf. Do you have the ability to swim? Then you can swim. Can you jump-crash the floor and create openings in those very-non-hidden red spots? Then do so. In many ways, the blame goes to the skills the heroine receives throughout her quest, as they mostly revolve around combat, rather than exploration. In fact, you'll spent more than 50% of your time hacking and slashing in here, rather than trying to get anywhere.

Screenshot for ENDER LILLIES: Quietus of the Knights on Nintendo Switch

Sadly, combat is one more segment that's good, but just never becomes the awesome thing it could be. Note that the little girl you control can't attack on her own. From the basic sword swings of her ghost-knight, to every single move besides her - lame - evasion leap, she uses spirits that she gets from fallen bosses. She can carry two sets of three, and seamlessly swap between them (the UI is generally flawless), with each skill assigned to a button. These skills are decently varied, but somewhat unbalanced, with some being must-haves, while others can be left to collect dust the moment they are acquired. Combat is also somewhat repetitive, mainly because every single enemy, from the shambling undead swordsmen, to the much more lethal heavies and bosses, is an annoying bullet sponge.

Combat also feels a bit stiff, with no way to cancel most of your moves, and in a game where most enemies are fast, and able to kill you with a few hits. That's not a good thing for a combat-heavy title, and combined with how repetitive it is, as well as how bullet spongy foes are (especially bosses), going anywhere quickly turns into a mildly enjoyable chore. Now, despite all the negativity so far, it should be made perfectly clear that this is far from a bad game. The correct word here is 'disappointing.' This is too formulaic, too simple, and too unoriginal, and, as a result, too forgettable, with your interest and feeling of immersion slowly diminishing the longer you play. Metroidvania fans have been spoiled by some fantastic indie games throughout the years, so there's no point in them trying out something that's just 'good.'

Screenshot for ENDER LILLIES: Quietus of the Knights on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

ENDER LILLIES: Quietus of the Knights is the definition of sky-high potential gone to waste. At first it will seem like this is a flawless diamond. It is beautiful, it controls like a charm, and the story behind it all is mysterious and dark. The more you play, however, the more you realise that, under the wallpaper-worthy vistas lies something that leans more towards generic than awesome, with combat in particular slowly turning into a repetitive slog. Sadly, this is nothing more an 'okay' metroidvania.

Developer

Adglobe

Publisher

Binary Haze Interactive

Genre

Action Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

What would you say are the india ones that are so great?

Dragon0085 said:
What would you say are the india ones that are so great?

There are many. Hollow Knight is their King.

Can't a fella drink in peace?
                                -Farnham

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