RWBY: Grimm Eclipse is a game based on the animated series made by Rooster Teeth that goes by the name "RWBY" (as you could probably notice from the title). RWBY:GE has started out as a fan project but then when it got through Steam Greenlight it has gotten some recognition from Rooster Teeth. Later on Rooster Teeth has decided to license the game, enabling it to become more than it already was.
Note: This game doesn't follow any of the plot that occured in the anime so it's spoiler free if you're still watching or haven't even touched the series!
This game mostly focuses on the four main girls; Ruby Rose, Weiss Schnee, Blake Belladonna, and Yang Xiao Long. However, there is a possibility to play as team JNPR thanks to a DLC. Team JNPR (Juniper) consists of Jaune Arc, Nora Valkyrie, Pyrrha Nikos and Lie Ren. In the animated series from volume 1 all the way through to volume 3, they act mostly as supporting characters, although they do have their big moments as well. I'd consider them "semi-main" characters. Thanks to a DLC you can also play as Jaune in his white dress that he used in volume 2 of the anime, I don't think I have to say how hilarious that can be at times. Let's stop with the DLCs though and talk a bit more about the game itself.
Visuals get a clean pass from me as they are both accurate to the anime series and are also not a pain to look at while playing, compared to some games that can be like that. If I were to compare the visuals of RWBY:GE to a completely different game it would have to be Hyperdimension Series as both of those use 3D modelled characters that are made in an anime-ish art style. I wanted to be fair on this so I've decided to compare RWBY:GE with a game that had released around the same time. I chose to compare the art styles with Megadimension Neptunia VII which was released on the same day, according to steam. And I must say that it was pretty hard to decide which game had better visuals overall. However, map design seems to be a bit more polished in RWBY:GE, but that's most likely because there aren't that many different maps in RWBY due to the story being quite short with only about 10 chapters, which equals to 10 different maps with unique designs.
The animations look fluid and satisfying, I don't think there were any animation imperfections or bugs that I could find from when I was playing the game. Judging as this was a fan project, you really have to appreciate the time that went into this title! When I mentioned the animations being satisfying I really meant it, each of the characters can sometimes perform an "execute" move when the enemy is stunned. Ruby will dash towards the enemy, jumps in the air and starts constantly spinning meanwhile damaging the enemy with her Crescent Rose (her scythe). This both, looks awesome and fits her fighting style in the anime as well. Yang on the other hand just dashes right in front of the enemy and smashes them to pieces which is just satisfying to look at, especially when you do a couple in a row! Below is a picture from the gameplay without the HUD, so that you can get a better idea on what the game looks like.
I really like the HUD for this game as it is quite minimalistic but still tells the player everything that needs to be known, their Aura (HP) level, how many ultimate charges they have and the enemy counter when in a waved encounter are all displayed.
But the visuals aren't what makes a game, what makes a game is...
The gameplay itself at first isn't anything too special; each character has a couple attack combinations, each of them useful for different things. Each of the combos are made up of certain number of times the player has pressed left mouse button and then followed with right mouse button, so for example 3 LMB followed by a RMB will make a combo. Having simple combos in a hack and slash game can be both good and bad. Good because it makes the game easy to pick up by a lot of people, therefore if someone has gotten into the anime series and simply wants more of it, they would be able to pick up RWBY:GE and play it for just pure enjoyment or to get to know what happens in this non cannon adaptation. But it can also be bad since the game can be beaten by using a stun and one combo over and over again, but if you ignore that part, it's perfectly fine for hack and slash games to have simple combos as it makes the game more appealing to more casual players, or ones that are just starting out on their gaming journey!
The story however is a bit short which once again, can be justified with the argument of this game concept starting out as a fan made production. What really did stand out to me as a bit of a bad thing is that when you decide to play the entire story as one character you will hit maximum character level (which is capped at 10) at around half-way point in the story, depending on the difficulty level. But then again at that point you start meeting more and more annoying foes, and thankfully there are a lot of new different enemies for team RWBY to face! There are mutant grimm that act like banelings from Starcraft2, big buff mutant beowolves which can be a pain to kill. Then come the most annoying of them all: Atlas' robot-looking soldiers. They come in two different variants, gunners, which you will see running around with a minigun that is also a grenade launcher, and lance-wielding variant that can take your health bar from 100% to 0% in a matter of seconds (depending on their numbers).
Having more and more enemies added to the game just makes it more interesting for the person that has just gotten into RWBY, if you're one of those people and like Hack and slash games, you might want to give this game a try!
Other than the story mode there is also Horde mode which can be played alone or in multiplayer. In this mode the player (or players) have to defend up to four nodes in four different locations on the map. When an enemy is killed they will drop some money which can then be used to build a turret to help defend some of the points. Horde, as you can see its best played in multiplayer. But it can be played solo, especially since there is a map where only two nodes have to be defended at the same time. Not to mention there is also an achievement for completing a horde map alone.
The soundtrack is mostly taken from RWBY animated series. Personally I'm completely fine with it as RWBY's soundtrack is simply amazing. The songs stand out especially well during fight scenes. Some of the soundtracks include: Red Like Roses, Caffeine, Lusus Naturae which (was released along side the soundtrack for RWBY volume 4) and many more. Most of the soundtracks used during fights are exactly what they are supposed to be, hype-y and energetic to further enhance what the player is supposed to feel in those kind of encounters. While battles are energetic and all, the soundtrack when the player isn't fighting is mostly calm and always serves like a break and a nice little tune to accompany the player while they are exploring the world of Remnant.
I didn't find any problems with the voice acting side of things. However, at times after you do a finisher with a character they will say the same line over and over again. Obviously this doesn't happen every time but I thought it was worth pointing out since I do know a couple people that would be bothered by this. I personally paid no mind to it as it didn't happen all too often, or I was just a little bit too immersed into killing all the grimm creatures around me. Also I didn't hear Pyrrha say "Sorry" yet, those that watch the anime should get it if they paid closer attention as to how many times she says that word.
In the end, if you enjoy RWBY and hack and slash games this might just be the game for you. It has a lot to offer and provides a different story to what we have seen so far in the anime while still keeping character's personalities intact. What's best about all this is that everyone can enjoy this thanks to the combos not being overly difficult to pull off but still having the option for the players to challenge themselves.