Bright colors, splendidly cell-shaded character models and quippy one-liners abound in this official Rooster Teeth Games production of RWBY Grimm Eclipse. Take up your over-powered weapons and hack and slash your way through hordes of Grimm as one of the four original characters of the hit Animated TV series, Ruby Weiss, Blake and Yang, as you plow through levels, collect experience points and crack jokes along this fun-filled and challenging adventure.
If you haven’t seen RWBY, you’re missing out. The game takes place between seasons 2 and 3 of the animated series, leading to some confusing plot points and what appears to be clunky dialogue if you haven’t seen the show at all. It’s safe to say there’s spoilers in store if you’re just starting out with Team RWBY for the very first time and don’t know who they’re fighting or why. The campaign won’t drop any back story either so you may want to pick up the first few seasons to brush up on the RWBY story line because there’s high expectations of the player here.
You fight the Grimm, or rather, Team RWBY does. They are ugly little beasties that have always been a part of Remnant, the world humanity inhabits, and whereas humans and all living things can use the spiritual essence known as Aura (In this case, your health bar) the Grimm are black, soulless creatures who lack any aura at all. Drawn to feelings of negativity, sadness and hate the Grimm congregate and wreak havoc amongst the living, feeding on these sentiments. Enter Team RWBY.
There’s several modes to choose from: including campaign and horde mode where the player can run off solo and fight the Grimm on a variety of difficulties or you can team up with friends. There’s no static character choices so players can either join as every member of team RWBY or you and your friends can all choose to be the same face smashing female protagonist, Yang. Either way, gameplay is centered around murdering mass numbers of soulless Grimm and competing with your friends to see who can do it best.
RWBY Grimm Eclipse doesn’t offer any new gameplay mechanics. It’s got a rustic, familiar feel that makes the storyless slaughter of Grimm seem more nostalgic than groundbreaking. It’s definitely nothing we haven’t seen before but most definitely the high point for the team that brought us Red vs Blue. Every playable character has a unique skill tree catering to their individual fighting styles and completely one off ultimate moves, powerful combos that are meant to render a mass number of foes asunder. However, enemy difficulty scales quickly and after a few hits you’ll find yourself quickly abandoning both friends and the fight just to regenerate your aura. Along with your skills and ultimate, every character comes equipped with a versatile and deadly signature weapon that is devastating in close quarters combat and almost decent at ranged combat. Whether using Ruby’s High Caliber Scythe that also acts as a powerful long range rifle or Yang’s dual shot ballistic gauntlets that act as a shotgun you can punch Grimm in the face with, there’s plenty of options for changing your play style on the fly with any character.
Playing with friends upscales the difficulty as well. For every member who joins in multiplayer, the enemy grows with power and ferocity. At best it’s a decently fun challenge to see who among your friends is the best monster murderer. At its worst, Grimm Eclipse is a grueling and rage inducing game that would make even From Software proud. However, don’t praise the sun just yet. When killed in multiplayer, your teammates can revive you if they’re not busy running for their lives. If they fail to pick you up in time, there’s a massive respawn delay which mocks you for over a minute as you wait to re-enter the fray.