After the End: The Harvest - PC Review


After the End: The Harvest travels into a territory that isn’t explored as much as it should be. Like Thorne, which we took a look at last year, AtE takes the RPG Maker for a spin on the more real-time adventuring side. Wielding swords and pistols to keep you alive, you will explore different planets while laying waste to the creatures that would deplete your health bar.

There’s a lot of work that goes into just a standard RPG before even adding all the bells and whistles. It’s probably because of this factor that we don’t see more adventure styled RPGs rolling out of the maker because of the pile of extra work on top of all the extra setup time. I’m saying this because with everything that it sets out to do, it does, but it does so with plenty of bugs and lag to keep you company. With two modes to chose from, I had to restart the “Campaign” Mode twice because I couldn’t get out of the tutorial because of glitches. Once I did? Things started to look up.

There are a lot of details that went into AtE and I think that’s a bit of where the lag can come from. On a snowy planet in the middle of the night without proper winter gear your health is going to drop, you aren’t going to see much in the dark and you aren’t going to see much else because of the snow blowing by. The filters for the animation can be a bit hard on the eyes at times since it feels like the image is blurry and it would have been nice for them to not be ever present.


A prime example of this is when you walk into a building and it’s still “dark” requiring you to have your flashlight on even with the interior lighting. It’s great in concept but some aspects were taken a bit too far and in the end affect the performance because the engine is trying to do too much. A dark cave makes sense but you should never need a flashlight on for light in a futuristic hotel when the lights on the walls are on!

The other aspect that could use a bit of work is the dialog. It’s not the writing that’s the issue as much as how it’s presented. Clicking “next” doesn’t always speed it along and more often than not it requires hitting “next” two or three times in order to move on to the next. Having had to do the tutorial more than once is where I originally noticed it but it kept occurring even further along within the storyline which is where one of the bugs can come into play. If your character levels it’s possible that the level up window will interfere with the dialog making you have to restart from your previous save because either your character disappeared or the event in question is no longer able to trigger.

When things work though, they work and I had a good time with the end of the galaxy. In some ways it made me think of Mass Effect when the Reapers came calling. There isn’t much hand holding and it’s pretty much figure things out for yourself such as if you choose to follow the campaign route you are given basic instructions but after a minor crash landing you’ve got to find your own way to keep protected from the cold. Leveling up sadly cannot save you as even if you do your health with not regenerate. You’ll need potions for that. Run out of those? You’ll die and it’s game over and back to the previous save. With no auto-saving you’ll want to choose carefully exactly how far that you are willing to push things.


Movement is handled with the arrow keys and they allow you to strafe with the shift making ranged combat a lot smoother than it would have been otherwise but it was good to have as it allowed for various options and play styles. Melee does exactly what you would expect but range combat offers up some variety as you can have unlimited ammo pistols but you could also have limited ammo weapons such as higher powered rifles or bows. Side to even those are the options for magic that will take away from your mana bar allowing you to cast fire at your enemies. The provided options were nice as they don’t set you into a class but allow you to play as you see fit.

Attacking enemies can be a bit of a hit and miss if they’ve already started to move from your “current line of sight” to the next one over. If you think on a number pad of 1-9, say you’re at 5, the enemy is at 8, if they’ve started to move to 7, you’ll miss. It takes some time to get used to it but the same works both ways and sometimes in your favor.

Finally there’s probably where I had the most amount of fun, playing Pokemon. Well “Pokemon”. At a certain point you get the ability to pick up a companion and not only are they great to carry around with you for support in battle, they can also old school RPG fight with abilities against other peoples companions for medals in order to compete in a galactic tournament once you collect enough medals. These companions gain experience and level up like you but they also evolve if you let them becoming more powerful, and in turn, more useful out on the field. Showing off against other being of the galaxy that your companion is more badass than theirs? That’s all bonus!


If you can get past the issues and get past the lag there’s definitely a gem underneath and the developer is still working on it and providing updates. After the End: The Harvest is an experience worth having but it may take a bit before it’s in a less buggy state in order to experience it the way that it was meant to be.

Game Information

Platform:
PC
Developer(s):
Elushis
Publisher(s):
Black Shell Media
Genre(s):
Adventure
RPG
Mode(s):
Single Player
Other Platform(s):
N/A

Source:
Provided by Publisher



Article by Pierre-Yves
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