At this week’s PlayStation Showcase, Project Eve was the surprise game of the show for me. While I’m still pumped for Forspoken, God of War Ragnarok, and Spider-Man 2, this Korean action experience satisfied a need I had not realized existed. For starters, it looks amazing, with a sense of style loaded with vivid colors amongst a wonderfully future universe that draws from our own while also launching us into the unknown.
From the trailer’s opening moments we see an acrobatic heroine flipping about the place and slicing into ghastly monsters, her movements and grace in combat akin to Bayonetta and Devil May Cry. She looks badass, and this slick demonstration sets the tone for a reveal that drew me in and refused to let go.
As for what the game is actually about beyond all the ghastly monsters and sexy style, the trailer is about as incomprehensible as one might expect. Thankfully, the PlayStation Blog has cleared a few things up and outlined exactly what Project Eve will involve. Presumably a working title, the game will follow humankind in the near future as its been eradicated from Earth by a mysterious alien force known as NA:tives (yes, it really is spelt like that) and you play as Eve, the sole survivor of a paratrooper squad who finds herself alone to defend herself on a planet filled with hostile creatures who want nothing but to put her in the ground.
It’s a simple premise we’ve seen the medium use time and time again, but Project Eve is doing something novel with the concept by taking inspiration from some of the finest action titles in recent years. Devil May Cry and Bayonetta are the most immediate inspirations, with both combat and movement seeming eerily similar to the modern classics. Eve is also able to switch between combat styles, made clear visually through a change in outfit, in the midst of battle to pull off combos and execute different abilities. Developer Shift Up have also said players will be free to customise Eve and outfit her with new skills and upgrades throughout the campaign, so it all seems largely similar to other games in the genre, and that’s absolutely not a bad thing.
I think what really fascinates me about Project Eve is the world it takes place in. Humanity seems to be taking shelter aboard a space station orbiting the Earth, but it soon becomes clear that the alien infection has taken over as our protagonist finds herself plummeting toward the surface. Don’t ask how she can breathe in space, judging by how she’s sexualised I assume she breathes through her skin like Metal Gear Solid 5’s Quiet. Putting that aside, the Earth she finds herself upon is one that echoes the beautiful loneliness of Nier: Automata, each step forward accompanied by an aura of melancholy as there is nothing to greet us beyond battered, broken buildings, and aliens littering the streets in search of their next victim. It’s a world without hope, and one that leans on an absurd sense of stylistic integrity to help that vision shine through.
Project Eve’s intentions to replicate are obvious, which will certainly harm the completed result, but I can’t blame a game of this caliber and money for emulating the greatest. Later in the trailer, we see Eve navigating around landscapes, accompanied by a robotic partner. It’s comparable in size and shape to the pods in Nier: Automata, and I wouldn’t be shocked if it served a similar function, spitting dialogue and pointers towards goals while simultaneously operating as a ranged weapon for dispatching adversaries from a distance. Much of the video focuses on action, but there are a few moments of calm contemplation, which I hope will be mirrored in the complete game.