The medieval knight in Of Love and Eternity (opens in new tab) is not having a great day. Firstly, their lover gets murdered right in front of them, then the same bastard who killed her plunges a sword into his back, killing him instantly. It only gets worse. Instead of floating up to heaven hand in hand with his partner, they both get dropped into the world of the damned, separated from each other. It's a pretty grim start.
Playing as the fallen knight, you need to search purgatory and reunite with your partner's soul. The demo for Of Love and Eternity is only twenty minutes, but its use of neo-romanticism and gothic visuals is giving me major Dark Souls vibes. But that's not all.
Next to its bleak story—and the fact you're playing an undead knight clunking around a weird afterlife in a full suit of armour—what matters is its atmosphere. Of Love and Eternity holds the same heavy, dark bleakness as FromSoft's RPG series. It's a demo concerned with cursed spirits, angry ghouls, and fractured souls that have been long abandoned in the space between the living and the dead.
After waking up in a dungeon, I meet a hulking skeletal creature who looks so much like a Dark Souls boss I thought I had a boss fight on my hands from the get-go, but actually turned out to be pretty friendly. In a soothing Scottish accent, it tells me of my quest to find my lover's lost soul and gifts me a lantern for the journey. Who knew undead skeletons could be so nice?
Stepping out of the dungeon, the demo introduces the first area of the game, a sprawling forest. It's a labyrinth of interconnected paths but I don't mind getting a little lost since it's beautiful. The autumnal trees create a peaceful vibe and there's the subtle sound of the rain lightly hitting the knight's armour is wonderful. Sure, I spot a giant spider scuttle back into its hole and I find a decomposed horse corpse being eaten by bugs, but I try not to focus too much on the nightmare fuel I see.
After moving through the first area, the game gives me the option of camping or continuing on into the night. On your journey, you'll see fireflies that you can put into your lantern and if you've collected enough camping is your best bet, if not then you must continue on. As someone who has picked both options on separate playthroughs, they're both equally chilling. I won't spoil much but you'll encounter more undead creatures hidden in the dark that may include a screaming undead deer and a very angry graveyard ghoul. The demo ends a little after your first night ends.
Creator Acornbringer says that this is an early alpha demo but it holds much of their vision of the full game. If development continues on Of Love and Eternity, we're going to have a lavishly dark game in our hands and I for one can't wait to see more updates.