Aeterna Noctis Review | Review | PC

  • Developer: Aeternum Game Studio S.L.
  • Publisher: Aeternum Game Studio S.L.
  • Release Date: 1412/2021
  • Price: £24.99 / $29.99
  • Review code provided by Aeternum Game Studio S.L.

Introducing: Aeterna Noctis Review

James and I are back for another joint review covering Aeterna Noctis. Both of us are massive fans of Metroidvania games and have teamed up to bring our expertise in the genre to Aeterna Noctis.

So, as before with our joint review of Destroy All Humans, this review will be a tad different from our normal affair. James has put together another amazing video covering his views and comments on the game. Then we follow it up with a written review of my experiences with the game. Being a genre that James and I are well versed in, I am sure this is bound to be one heck of a time. Join us as we take you into the world of Aeterna Noctis.

The James Perspective

Chaos and the Light and Dark

Well, I must say it doesn’t seem like James enjoyed Aeterna Noctis all that much. For a quick recap, the story of Aeterna Noctis follows the external struggle between Light and Dark, onset on the world by its god, Chaos. Essentially, Chaos made the King of Darkness and Queen of Light immortal, so that they are doomed to repeat their power struggle because they couldn’t choose to co-exist.

We as the player take the role of the King of Darkness after he had just been defeated, on a journey he has taken countless times to regain his lost powers and reclaim the throne. While I am all for a good light vs dark storyline, this really didn’t do much for world building and doesn’t go far to explain why the world below is in such a state of disarray.

Who Put Celeste in My Metroidvania

Those platforms are auto-scrolling…..

As James and Andy put it, the platforming required in this game is hard. Like when I compare it to Celeste or I Wanna Be the Guy, I am not actually joking. And yeah, while some of those sections are just for collectibles or money, a good number of these sections are strictly blocking progress of the game from you. While I enjoyed the challenge and difficult platforming myself, it is certainly not to be taken lightly.

On a quick aside, there are sections where you can get stuck or soft-locked. Yes, you have access to an Aether Veil, which teleports you back to the last throne you visited. That sounds great, but that doesn’t refill by itself and if you use it and forget to refill it, you can actually get soft-locked in certain platforming sections if you can’t figure a way out.

White-lined Navigation

So, this is going to be more of a pet peeve of mine, but can we stop considering white lines on black backgrounds good enough for navigation? This seems to be a growing trend and when you put little else on your map outside of standard location names. It makes it hard to find your way through what is quite a big world in the end of it all. As I said, more of a pet peeve of mine, but if you aren’t going to make a clear map then it is sometimes better to not have it. 

Not to mention you have maps essentially locked behind an NPC. One you have to find and whose maps compete with everything else you actually have to buy. The economy needs a bit of tweaking to say the least.


As far as how the actual game plays, it is a pretty standard affair with not much separating it from the pack. You have standard combat and traversal abilities, most of which you unlock as part of your built-in Celeste experience, with leveling up giving you percentage bonuses to your various stats. There is a rune system that will provide additional effects, but as I said, it is pretty standard for the genre itself. 

I did find it interesting that the second traversal ability you get is basically infinite wall-climbing…though you will certainly need it to progress. The whole experience while playing Aeterna Noctis was a mixture of “this is fine” and “wanting to smash my controller apart”.

Style of the Realm

If there is one overwhelmingly positive note I have for Aeterna Noctis, it would have to be the art for the game. Even when a boss was destroying me, I was able to enjoy the Gothic-inspired realm of which Aeterna Noctis resides. Now I know that James feels that this darker theme hinders the game, and to some extent it can. Some jumps were harder to distinguish from the background and they certainly could have done more to make the enemies stand out so I don’t “arms of an angel” myself into one. But, I am a sucker for Gothic themes in any form of media and combined with the soundtrack I would have to say that Aeterna Noctis swings that look right into the nearest decrypted church wall. 

Let’s Remove Some Challenge

There is something to say about when even a developer says their game is a little too hard. Even more so when they release an entire separate mode for the game to lessen the challenge, as is the case here. Now I will say that the alternate mode does a good deal to lessen the platforming difficulty. It however comes off as difficulty shaming to me nonetheless.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the fact that this mode is included and it will help to make Aeterna Noctis more accessible, but the fact that I can’t earn achievements for playing on this easier difficulty simply tells me that they want you to play the soul-crushing experience to be rewarded. They could have simply changed over appropriate story achievements to work for either mode. It just makes me think of how people look down on others for wanting and easier experience. Trust me, after getting through Aeterna Noctis’s challenge myself, I can say that the lower difficulty mode felt like a relief. 

Final Thoughts

James and I had a rather hard time agreeing on a grade for this review. James would suggest that no one ever play this game. While I am more on the side of people who want a serious challenge should check this game out.


  • Beautiful scenery and music
  • Large world to explore 


  • Very difficult platforming
  • Easy to get lost – poor map design


Aeterna Noctis is a game filled with difficult challenges for the sake of challenge..

Scoring Policy